Information for doctors from abroad

Have you completed a medical degree abroad and would like to work as a doctor in Germany? Then you should apply to the Behörde für Arbeit, Gesundheit, Soziales, Familie und Integration (Sozialbehörde), Amt für Gesundheit - Landesprüfungsamt für Heilberufe, Postfach 760 106, 22051 Hamburg - for a licence to practise medicine or a professional permit. Only then are you allowed to work as a doctor in Germany.

Licence to practise medicine and professional permit

What is the difference between a licence to practise medicine and a professional permit? A licence to practise medicine is issued for an unlimited period and is valid throughout Germany. A professional permit is temporary and restricted to a federal state, sometimes also to a specific job.

For information on the requirements for a licence to practise medicine or a professional permit, please contact the Landesprüfungsamt (State Examination Office) on the above link. Here you will also find all the necessary forms and a list of all the documents you need to enclose with your application.

To be able to work as a doctor in Germany, good German language skills are important. The Landesprüfungsamt may therefore ask you to take a specialist language test at the Ärztekammer Hamburg for a licence to practise medicine or a professional permit to be granted. You can find the relevant information here:

The Landesprüfungsamt may also ask you to prove your medical expertise in an examination. This is known as the Knowledge Test. You can find further information here:

Association membership

Once you have received your licence to practise medicine or professional permit, you need to register as a member of the Ärztekammer Hamburg (Hamburg Medical Association) in the medical register if:

  • you work in Hamburg as a doctor or
  • you are resident in Hamburg and do not work as a doctor

You can find information about registering here.

Recognition as a medical specialist

Once you have registered with the Ärztekammer Hamburg, you can have your work abroad partially or fully recognised as further training to become a medical specialist abroad (EU or third country recognition). To do so, you need to submit an application to the Ärztekammer Hamburg.

  • Application for recognition of work abroad (in accordance with WBO 2015 (Regulation on Further Education) + new WBO 2020) (in German)
  • Application for accreditation of EU medical specialist qualification (in German)
  • Application for third country recognition (in German)
  • Application for Recognition of Qualifications (in English)

With the Anerkennungs-Finder / Recognition Finder of the German government’s information portal for the recognition of foreign professional qualifications, you can obtain important information on the procedure in German and English.