Nursing Jobs: Requirements for Indian Nurses to Work in Germany

Germany was always a popular destination for Indian workers, nurses aren’t exception. The good news is that some foreign health workers, especially nurses are eligible to work in Germany with their already earned qualifications.

However, there are few special requirements for Indian nurses willing to live, work and od course pay taxes in Germany:

  • First and foremost your qualifications must be recognized in Germany
  • You must have a German language certificate of level B1 or B2
  • All certificates must be translated into German and notarized
  • Physical and mental health
  • Proof of impunity (police certificate)

Accordingly to statistics, only 50% of applicants get their nursing education recognized. The other 50% will need to pass additional exams and attend some courses. Read below for more detailed information.

How to work as an Indian nurse in Germany

There are thousands of foreign qualified nurses coming to Germany each year to work. Even if their degree and certificates don’t get recognized there are many ways to pursue the career.

Recognition depends on the country of origin of the candidate:

  1. EU country – qualification will be recognized automatically without proof.
  2. Non-EU – it is crucial to apply for recognition of your foreign professional qualification.
    1. You received full recognition of your professional degree/qualifications. As soon as you have a specific job offer, you can apply for a German working visa or residence and working permit if already in Germany.
    2. You don’t receive full recognition of your professional qualifications. In this case, you can pass the necessary exams and take additional courses in Germany, so you can cover this lack of theoretical or practical knowledge.

!Especially as an Indian nurse you will need is a university bachelor’s (BSc or PBBSc) in Nursing, a few years of work experience (optional) and of course, a German Language Certificate at B2 level.

Option 1. If you fall into the second category and your qualifications could not be accepted, and you already have a job offer as a certified nurse your employer may agree to downgrade your job contract to a nursing assistant. This will enable you to apply for a German working visa and work while you are gaining missing credentials on the side.

However, expect a lower salary but also many advantages such you get practical experience and skill training while not carrying the full weight of responsibility for your patients. After you pass an exam, your job status and salary will be upgraded to the qualified nurse.

Option 2. In case you don’t a current job offer then you have a chance to receive a visa for the recognition of foreign professional qualifications.

It can be issued only under certain conditions in order to undertake further training and earn missing qualifications for a maximum length of 18 months.

In these 18 months, you are able to take all educational measures such as adaptation courses, preparatory courses for examinations, language courses or company-based continuing education. You are even allowed to work as a nursing assistant and earn income if you find a suitable job.

After the recognition procedure has been completed positively, and you passed all the needed exams, your visa can be extended for up to one year in order to find a job as a qualified nurse. And finally, you are almost there!

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What if your language level isn’t there yet?

If you currently live in India and know some German but it’s under level B2 (upper-intermediate) you can come to Germany to complete the language course and receive a required certificate.

German Language Course Visa (Visa for Language Learning) is what are you looking for.

What you can do while staying on this visa and after:

You can:

  1. partake in an intensive German language course (20 hours per week)
  2. require an extension of the visa, if the German language courses will not be followed by full-time studies – the extension shall be offered for up to 1 year
  3. pass language exam and receive one of these certificates:
    1. Test of German as a Foreign Language (TestDaF)
    2. Goethe Institute German Language Diploma (GDS)
    3. German Language Diploma of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs, Level II (DSD)

You can’t:

  1. convert it into a student or student applicant visa
  2. change it into a work permit
  3. undertake any gainful employment
  4. start university studies/vocational training
  5. apply for university admission

Please keep in mind: If you decide to attend university or vocational training directly after the language course you will have to return to your home country to apply for a Germany Student visa/ Working visa. It is not possible to apply for this while you are in Germany.

A German Language Course Visa’s valid up to the length of the course that can be between 3 months up to one year and it can not be extended further while in Germany.

As you can see this visa will allow you only to learn the language and gain needed certificate but you can’t exchange it on another type of visa/residence permit.

What you can do is apply for recognition of your Indian nursing degree in the region where you staying, do some connections/networking with future employers, you can even attend job interviews if they are interested. After the course, you will need to return home and apply for a new visa/residence permit for:

  1. Recognition of foreign professional qualifications if your documents are still pending or you need to undertake further training and earn missing qualifications.
  2. The job in Germany which you already have received while going to interviews and networking.

How recognition prozess looks like

After arrival to Germany, foreign nurses have to submit their degrees and qualifications to the competent authority of the federal state in which they stay or want to take employment. You need to notice these factors before application:

  1. Health suitability: with a certificate from a German doctor, you must prove that you are physically and mentally healthy and therefore suitable for the challenging nursing profession.
  2. Reliability: to prove your trustworthiness, you need to prove impunity. Depending on the situation, you must provide a police certificate from your home country or police certificate from the German police office.
  3. Granting of visas to enter Germany often takes several weeks or even months. Provide documents as earlier as possible to the recognition authority so you can apply for the German visa at the German embassy in your home country.
  4. Sufficient level of the German language (B1-B2): To be able to work with the patients and German colleagues you need to speak german and understand it enough no avoid mistakes and misunderstandings while working in the hospital. Be prepared to start to learn German for at least a half year, better a year before starting your career there.

Before you apply for a nursing job in Germany you need to translate all your Indian documents and qualifications if they aren’t on German originally. Lingoking is a German translation company which will help you to prepare all the necessary documents in the right way! Moreover, they also offer very affordable prices and super easy online platform where you can order your translation inclusive notarization! without any hustle and time-wasting.

You don’t have a nursing degree, but you can speak German or at least ready to learn it

First and foremost even if you have professional experience and speak german its not sufficient to work in Germany as a nurse or caregiver without the right qualifications.

Germany is obsessed with qualifications. And you will notice this once you are there. Nevertheless, you have good chances and potentials to work as a nurse in Germany.

The problem with Germany is the language and requirement of foreign healthcare professionals to speak it fluently in order to get a job. Compare to English speaking countries like the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand where we see many foreigners live and work without any problem.

German healthcare system is unable to attract big numbers of foreign healthcare professionals due to its mandatory German language requirement. 

With this said if you speak German and want to work in Germany is your unfair advantage which can help in many ways.

Study nursing in Germany

For example, you want to work as a nurse but apart from the wish and maybe some experience you don’t have anything. The good news is that foreigners with no matter which citizenship can study nursing in Germany. Therefore you have an opportunity to complete vocational training in nursing or a nursing degree.

Most of the time these organizations are more than happy to accept international students, moreover, during your training/studies, you will work as a nurse and earn money in terms of internships which take half of the program.

Read more about how to become a nurse in Germany here.

The benefits of being a nurse student in Germany:

  • You will receive at least 1,000 EUR monthly salary
  • You can expect many employee benefits same as regular full-time worker has
  • 2,500 hours of internships will provide you with all needed practical knowledge for future job
  • You will be 100% sure in your German skills for daily and professional life
  • After comleting training/studies, you can specialize yourself further and so demand and salary will grow
  • Training lasts only 3 years and bachelor program – 4
  • It’s possible to find the employer already during the training
  • After the graduation, reapplication prozess for working visa is extremely easy and made within Germany
  • With German qualification your career opportunities are endless!

For more information and assistance write us an email on

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