Do you want to immigrate and work in Switzerland as a veterinarian? This Visa Library page will bring you every information you need. The recognition and the process you have to follow are covered here.
How to become a veterinarian in Switzerland?
The way you have to follow to become a veterinarian in Switzerland is up to your nationality and conditions. If you have already got your degree, determine if it’s from an EU or a non-EU country. The procedure is different for these two groups.
If you have already got your diploma, you need to get your degree recognized. There are two types of recognition;
- Direct Recognition
- Indirect Recognition
If you do not have any degree and are at stepping into your 20s, you need to get a diploma. You will find out the procedure in this section.
Direct Recognition of the Diploma.
If you have already got your degree from an EU country, you can apply for Direct Recognition to move to Switzerland as a veterinarian. This procedure is for the following people;
- Finished your diploma in an EU/EFTA state; or
- Are a citizen of an EU/EFTA state; or
- Are married to an EU/EFTA citizen.
You need to fulfill some requirements for immediate recognition of the diploma. Otherwise, immediate diploma recognition is not feasible.
Direct Recognition of the Diploma Requirements.
If you meet the following conditions and requirements for your degree from an EU/EFTA nation, you can apply for Direct Recognition of your degree;
- The applicant is a Swiss citizen or a citizen of the EU or EFTA, or the applicant’s legal partner is a citizen of one of these States;
- The diploma and various extra credentials are per the designation specified in EU Directive 2005/36/EG or the EFTA Convention.
- The authority specified in the EU Directive or the EFTA Convention granted the diploma.
You need to submit the following documents as well. Also, Medical Professions Commission (MEBEKO) Has the right to request additional documents:
- A dated and signed application form.
- Original certified copy of the passport or identification card and, if applicable, original certified copies of the passports or identification card of the spouse and marriage certificate.
- A signed resume’.
- Original certified copy or original of an official translated version of the diploma(s), if appropriate, if the diploma is not issued in German, French, Italian, or English.
Attention; Are you from this list of countries that have a temporary confirmation of a diploma and/or your diploma in the following countries?
If the answer is yes, you need to submit these documents;
- An original certified copy of a certificate of conformity from the appropriate authority stating that your diploma conforms with EU Directive 2005/36/EC.
- Original certified copy or original of the official translated version of the conformance certificate if the issuance language is not German, French, Italian, or English.
Indirect Recognition of the Diploma.
If you have got your degree from outside of the EU/EFTA, but it was recognized in an EU/EFTA state, you have permission to use Indirect Recognition of your Diploma. But, your degree must have already been recognized by an EU/EFTA country.
Indirect recognition of the diploma Requirements
It’s necessary to meet the following requirements;
- You or your spouse are Swiss citizens or Swiss nationals living in an EU or EFTA country.
- An EU or EFTA nation has validated your diploma.
- In the previous 5 years, you have earned at least 3 years of clinical experience in Switzerland and/or the country of recognition.
- You have at least level B2 of fluency in the official Swiss language.
Move to Switzerland as a veterinarian: Registration of a Non-Recognizable Foreign University Diploma.
A veterinarian has to get a federal diploma if he/she can not fulfill the requirements for direct and indirect recognition. The responsible center for the requirements is the Medical Professions Commission (MEBEKO).
Requirements for the Registration of Non-Recognizable Diplomas
If all of the following factors are completed, a non-recognized foreign university diploma can be placed in the Medical Professions Register (MedReg):
- Foreign diploma holders are entitled to practice their university medical profession in their issuing country under professional supervision within the meaning of the MedBG; and
- Your gained overseas diploma is based on training that satisfies the basic standards listed below:
- Veterinarians: To get an undergraduate degree, you must attend a university or college with a recognized equivalent level of study for at least five years or 4,500 hours of alternating theoretical and practical instruction.
It’s a must to submit the following documents to the MEBEKO to examine and decide on them;
- Current resume’
- Identity verification
- Certificate of Matura (plus official translation)
- Diploma (Including official translation)
- Names of examinations taken during the study (plus official translation)
- Detailed documentation of professional experience overseas, if available. These data include the duration, function, and level of employment. These documents must also be officially translated.
How can you get a Federal Diploma in the Medical profession?
All in all, If you have a veterinary degree from outside of the EU or EFTA, you may not have it recognized in Switzerland. If you may not have your degree recognized, you can apply and get the Federal Diploma. Your nationality doesn’t matter in this case.
The center responsible for determining the federal examination admission requirements is MEBEKO. It also considers and evaluates your background and work experience. Also, they will determine whether the federal inspection must be done completely or in parts.
The qualifications you need to get a federal diploma will be determined by your special case. Each person is a different case. You have to send your application to the Federal Office of Public Health, MEBEKO, Department of Education, 3003 Bern. There is also a fee that you have to pay with your application.
According to Swiss Federal law, you can only practice professionally under your professional responsibility under private law. It’s the canton officials that determine whether your profession is authorized to be practiced in the public or private sector.
Getting the Federal Diploma as a veterinarian who got his/her degree outside of the EU/EFTA is held once a year. You need to be fluent in German or French to take it, and it is possible only through these two languages.
Your application to MEBEKO must include these items;
- An application form that is completed and signed;
- Your resume’;
- Identity proof;
- Copy of your diploma with official translation;
- Names of tests taken during the course and their official translation;
- Proof of professional experience overseas and an official translation, if available;
- Evidence of professional experience in Switzerland, if available
This is the MEBEKO address to send your application;
“Federal Office of Public Health, MEBEKO, Education Department, 3003 Bern, Switzerland.”
If you are asking how much it costs, you should know that the cost range is between CHF 800 and CHF 1,000. The exact fee will be determined by MEBEKO. You also need to pay for the exam, take the exam, and receive the federal diploma at the later stages.
Getting a work permit in Switzerland as a veterinarian.
After you get the Federal Diploma or get your degree recognized in Switzerland, you might need a work visa and work permit to work as a veterinarian in the country.
If you are an EU national, you do not need a work visa and work permit to work in Switzerland. You can work in the country as long as you have a job with an employer or company.
Non-EU veterinarian moving to Switzerland.
But if you are a non-EU national, you need a work permit and a work visa. It is the Swiss employer’s responsibility to apply for a work permit, and the employee or veterinarian, in this case, applies for a work visa. A work permit is permission to work in Switzerland a work visa is authorization to enter the country.
As the employer can only apply for a work permit, it’s a must to find a job offer with a Swiss company or employer. It’s essential to find a job offer with a Swiss employer and persuade him/her to hire you as a non-EU national. Visit the below section to learn how you can find a job in Switzerland.
Sign employment contract.
After you get the job, you have to sign an employment contract. It’s part of the supporting documents to get the work permit and work visa. It must be complete and include all the aspects of your employment;
- The date it will begin and end.
- Location of the job.
- Job title
- Salary or hourly rate
- investment/retirement plans
- Health benefits
- Skill requirements
- Team & department assignment
- Job description
- Raises, bonuses, incentive opportunities
- Company stock options
- Role requirements
You might have to include other items in the work contract as well. Also, you can get help from a lawyer to sign it or understand the terms and obligations.
Work permit application.
After you are done with the employment contract, the employer applies for a work permit. You, as the veterinarian, must send the employer some supporting documents so him/user can apply for a work permit. This is a sample list of the documents you have to gather;
- Recognition of degree or federal diploma.
- Educational degree.
- Clean record certificate
- Copy of passport.
- Application form
- Employment contract.
After the work permit is issued, you can apply for a work visa.
Work visa supporting documents.
At this stage, you have to gather the work visa supporting documents. You submit them to the Swiss embassy/consulate in your home country. This is a sample list of the documents you have to gather;
- Application form
- Work contract
- Proof of work experiences
- Educational background
- Clean record certificate.
- Translation of documents.
The above list is a sample list, and the Swiss embassy could ask for further documents. You’d better visit their website or email them to know the exact list.
A meeting with the Swiss Embassy/Consulate
After you have gathered all the documents in the process, schedule a meeting with the Swiss embassy/consulate responsible for visa processing in your home country. You have to figure out how to schedule a meeting with them.
Visit the embassy in person and bring all the gathered documents. You’d better figure out if there is a special procedure with the embassy or not. For instance, the embassy requires 3 copies of each piece of documents.
Submit the documents to them when you meet the officials and then pay the fees for visa processing. It’s up to the embassy and your nationality. Then you might have to answer their questions regarding the purpose of your visit. It’s the interview part and gives true and honest answers. You’d better have some prepared answers.
Also, you might have to submit your biometrics, digital photos, and biometrics.
After you are done with the embassy, wait for visa processing. The embassy informs you when the work visa is ready. They inform you to get the visa label on your passport. After you get the stick on your passport, you can move to Switzerland and begin your work.
After you arrive in Switzerland, you must also register your stay with the local canton officials.
Immigrate and work in Switzerland as a veterinarian through a student visa.
There is another way to immigrate and work in Switzerland as a veterinarian. It’s to study a related course at a Swiss university and get a student visa. If you are into being a vet and want to continue your education, this is a way you can become a vet in Switzerland.
Follow these steps one by one to achieve what you want;
Find a veterinarian course at a Swiss university.
For the first step, you need to find a Swiss university that offers a veterinarian course or a related degree. Also, you should find out whether they offer a course to foreign students or not.
This is a list of the Swiss universities that offer a course in veterinarian;
- Best Universities with Veterinary Medicine in Switzerland
- Best universities with veterinary-medicine programs
- University of Bologna
- Nord University (University of Nordland)
- University of Luxemburg
- The University of Padua
- James Cook University of North Queensland
- University of Cambridge
- University of Health Sciences
- Wageningen university
- University of Tromso (The Arctic University of Norway)
- University of Birmingham
Fulfill the requirements and get admission.
You should find out the requirements for the veterinarian course with the university you have picked. Determine the requirements of the university and whether you can fulfill them or not. This is a sample of the requirements, but you have to figure out the exact requirements with this course and the university;
- Latest educational documents.
- SOP or statement of purpose,
- Copy of passport.
- Language proficiency certificate.
- Sample of writing.
The language requirements are with the university, and you have to figure out what it is. It might be Swiss, English, or German. But determine it yourself.
Apply to the university and wait for processing. After the university grants admission, they send you the admission letter. Now you can apply for a student visa.
Apply for a student visa.
At this stage when you have the admission letter, you can apply for a student visa. You need to gather the supporting documents;
- Admission letter.
- Application form.
- Proof of having enough funds
- Commitment letter
- Proof of accommodation
- Health insurance
- Payment of tuition
After you have collected the documents, schedule a meeting with the Swiss embassy/consulate in your home country and visit them in person to submit the documents.
Submit the documents to the officials, pay the fees, and answer questions regarding the purpose of your visit, which is studying. You might have to submit your digital photo and fingerprints as biometrics as well.
Wait for processing, and when the visa is ready, the embassy informs you to get the visa label. Once you have the visa stick, you can move to Switzerland to begin your studies.
Note; You can find more information about Switzerland student visa by reading the related article in the Visa Library.
Complete your studies.
You have to complete your studies and get your degree. In the meantime, you have to obey the national law and gather as much knowledge and experience as you can. You’d better do research and find out information about the exams and process you have to follow after your graduation.
It takes you about 5 years to study veterinary medicine in Switzerland.
Pass the federal exam.
After you get your degree as a veterinarian in Switzerland, you have to pass the federal exam in veterinary medicine. It is required to get your federal diploma as a vet and practice the profession in Switzerland. You will have to pass the exam with the canton officials you live in. contract them to find information about the date, fees, and how to pass the exam.
Find a job offer.
After you get your diploma, you need a work permit to work in Switzerland as a non-EU national. If you are from the EU, you do not need a work permit, but you need it if you are from a non-EU country.
It’s the Swiss employer who can apply for a work permit, and you, as a vet, can not apply for it. So you need a job offer from a Swiss employer. Find an employer or company that needs your expertise then he/she applies for a work permit.
After your work permit is issued, you can begin working in the country.
How to find a job in Switzerland as a veterinarian?
There are various easy you can use to find a job in Switzerland as a veterinarian. This section provides them to you.
Websites that provide job positions.
The first way to find a job as a vet in Switzerland is to look for a position through websites. There are some online websites that advertise job positions, and you can look for a position on them. This is a list of the websites that advertise
Prepare a resume and apply for positions as a vet to find one.
The second way is to get help from recruiters or employment agencies. They introduce employers and employees to each other and find a job for you. This is a list of the recruitment agencies in Switzerland.
- Page Personnel
- Synergie Suisse
Visit their website or reach them to know if they can help you or not.
Veterinarians’ salaries in Switzerland.
Your average salary in Switzerland as a vet depends on various factors.
According to Salary Explorer, the average salary is about CHF 150,000 per year. This source says that CHF 77,900 is the lowest salary, and the highest rate is CHF 229,000.
This is while the Salary Explorer website says the average salary is about CHF 109’592 (CHF) per year.
Various items determine your salary, and these are some of them;
- Company you work with.
- Your degree.
- Work experience
- Tasks and responsibilities.
- Language proficiency
Let’s sum up…
The Visa Library team brought you how to immigrate and work in Switzerland as a veterinarian in this article. You learned how to get your degree recognized by your nationality and the documents you have to submit.
Also, the application process is covered step by step.
If you have questions, write them in the comment section. The Visa Library team will answer them.
Frequently Asked Questions about moving to Switzerland as a veterinarian.
Can foreign vets move to Switzerland?
Yes, but you need to get your degree recognized.
Do I need language proficiency?
Yes, and it’s up to the canton and its requirements.
Can I study veterinarian in Switzerland?
Yes, you need to get admission to a Swiss university and get a student visa.