My Experience and Required Documents: Applying for Approbation in Bezirksregierung Arnsberg (Updated on 10.02.2015)

Dr. Hijazeen vor der Haupteingang von Bezirgsregierung Arnsberg

Vor dem Haupteingang von Bezirksregierung Arnsberg

On 21.10.2014 I was in Arnsberg to apply for approbation. Back then, a doctor needed to go in person in order to apply for Approbation. But now things changed and one can apply only by sending legalized copies of the the necessary documents via mail.

But for those intereseted, what happened with me back then?

Frau Anette Tacke was only there (Click here for a list of the responsible employees and their contact details). I arrived at around 8:45 after walking less than 12 minutes from the main train station in Arnsberg – Hauptbahnhof in Arnsberg (westf) [This is the name that you put in the Deutsche Bahn Navigator program in order to see the trains that go there]. Here is a link to the map on Google Maps (Their Address is Seibertzstr. 1, 59821 Arnsberg):

I waited for about 20 minutes. Frau Tacke then took my papers quickly and in less than four minutes we were finished. She said multiple times that she was busy. Overall, she was nice and everything went on smoothly.

Because the Rat Haus here in Germany did not include the original versions in legalization, she demanded to keep the original copies of all papers. She told me that she needs six weeks before she would send me a mail telling me if something is missing and to tell me to go back to take the original files.

They replied after around four weeks. I had mistakes in some papers. I corrected them and my documents were sent two weeks later to the Gutachter. I called them and specified an appointment in order to go and take my original documents.


Update 10.02.2015: Required Documents for Approbation in Arnsberg for doctors who got their medical degrees from universities outside of the European Union:

The source of the below information is the official leaflet in the website of the District Government of Arnsberg (für Personen, die außerhalb der Europäischen Union (in einem sog. Drittstaat) studiert haben – link). The documents change a little bit between now and then. Therefore, keep checking the the official leaflet. If you found any changes, if there are any mistakes in my list, or if you have any question, then please post a comment to this post AND DO NOT SEND ME A PRIVATE MESSAGE. Only then can all benefit and participate! 

The required documents alaways change and there might be mistakes in this post. Therefore, always refer to the official leaflet before sending your application.


You need to have the following documents with you and they need to be legalized by the German embassy in your land. Translating the documents in Germany is not an alternative on not to legalize the documents by the German Embassy in your land. YOU MUST LEGALIZE ALL THE FOLLWOING DOCUMENTS BY THE GERMAN EMBASSY IN YOUR LAND. 

# You can translate in Germany or in your land. Translation outside Germany is not recognized without the legalization of the German Embassy.

Update 19.04.2015 regarding the translation outside Germany and legalization of the German embassy: When the German embassy legalizes a translation, then the legalization (stamp) should be placed on the original and translated version, even if the two were stampled together!!!! To me, this does not make sense as both are stampled a speical way toghether (like explained below) and this means that both are the same. However, according to the experience of a colleague of mine, this is new in Arnsberg and both versions should be stampe by the embassy. As  a solution, the employee in Arnsberg asked him to go to a translator in Germany and this translator should certifiy that the translation is correct. Otherwise, my colleague had to repeat the translation here in Germany (this means, that he wasted his money translating the English documents  in Jordan because the embassy legalizes English documents. Translating the Arabic documents in Jordan was still a must because the embassy does not legalize Arabic documents). At the end, my colleague found a translator here in Germany who agreed to read the translations and verify that it is correct. However, most translators refused that and wanted to repeat the translation.

# The German embassy in Jordan legalize only German or English documents. They DO NOT legalize Arabic documents (e.g. Strafffreiheit – 3adam alma7komeah). Therefore, you need to translate all the Arabic document to German in Jordan. Otherwise, the embassy would not legalize them. As a result, it is quicker and cheaper that you translate all of your documents in Jordan. I translated in Sukanieh Lealtarjameh, Jabal Al-Hussien (On Facebook) and they charged me eight JD per paper. Their work was very professional (No, I do not have any conflict of interest).

# Costs of legalization in the German embassy in Jordan: 45 Euro per document (regardless of how many papers it consists of). Documents from the Departments of Civil Affairs (e.g. Birth certificate) are legalized for 25 Euro per document.
# Only one legalization of each necessary document is enough. In Germny, you can make copies of the legalizaed documents as explained at the end of the article.

# 2. Curriculum is short (around 5 papers). It contains only the subjects studied. This needs to be legalized by the embassy. The syllabus (details of the curriculum) of our university, for example, contains more than 100 pages. This does not need to be legalized by the German embassy and is rarely requested at the time of application or later.

The following documents MUST BE LEGALIZED by the German embassy:

1. University marks  & university certificate: legalized by the German embassy in the country where you studied medicine.

2. Legalized copy of the curriculum: More importantly, your name, date of birth and date of graduation MUST be written on the curriculum. This is called a “personalized curriculum”. This is very important. If these information are not written, at least your name, they will refuse this document. So to be on the safe side, all these three information should rather be written (Name, date of birth, and date of graduation). In Arnsberg, this document does not need to be translated into German. I think this also runs on other medical licensing authorities.

– For a doctor who grdauted from Mutah University in Karak. The above three documents need to be legalized by: Faculty, the Unit of Admission and Registration, the Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates.

3. Internship rotations (Imteeaz) and permanent medical license (Mozawleh da2emeh): Legalized by the Minsitry of Health and then by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates.

4. Straffreiheit (3adam ma7komeah): Legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates. What is this document? I do not know the english translation. Maybe police clearnance certificate? This document is issued by the Ministry of Justice courts in Jordan and in it is mentioned if you were ever convicted with a crime. This document would contain all violations of the law that a person could have committed. 

Update 19.04.2015: A Jordanian colleague of mine studied medicine in Egypt. He was also requested to bring Straffreiheit from Egypt. And of course, this had to be lealized by the German embassy in Egypt.

5. Letter of good standing from the Jordan Medical Association: Legalized by the Ministry of Health. Yes, you need to legalize it from the Minstry of Health before being able to legalize it further by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates..

6. Legalized copy of the passport from the German embassy: This costs 10 JD. You only need to make a copy of your passport and nothing more. You do not need any legalization on the copy when you give it to the embassy. Only a simple copy. I think a copy of the passport could be done in Germany in the Rathaus or by a Notar. But for safety, do it in your home country. The German Embassy will place a stamp and a group of signatures on the copy to indicate that it is an exact copy of the passport. 


From the website:

# Application papers from the website of the Bezirksregierung:

In the Ärztliche Bescheinigung document, it should state that you are to practice the job of medicine as “Arzt” oder “Ärztin” NOT “Assistenzarzt/ -ärztin”. See the example:


Reference to this information: My experience and that of my colleagues but more importantly “Point number 9” in the official leaflet:




Other documents:

# Detailed CV that is signed by you at last page end.

# When availabe, proofs of any work experience that you have. This would help in the recognition of your medicine certificate. It is not written in the official leaflet that these documents should be legalized by the embassy or not.

# Anmeldung: No longer works or required. You need a Hospitatationbescheinigung of at least two months duration in a hospital in Arnsberg or Einstellungszusage.

# No fees are paid at the time of application. The total fees are about 650 Euro. You pay after the answer of the Gutachter is received. The Fachsprachenprüfugn (when you are gleich, i.e., they recognized your medical degree, costs 300 Euro).

# No personal photos are required.

The language certificate:

# B2-level is only required. The rumors that C1 certificate or Telc B2-C1 Medizin are false. However, starting from new year, I was told by some Arab doctors here that there will be no more Gleichwertigkeit. All will need to do the Gleichwertigkeitprüfung. This is only a rumor. Nothing official!

– Starting from 30.10.2014, B2/C1 Level is required, that is to say, Telc B2-C1 Medical Exam. Source: Website of the Distric Government of Arnsberg, link.

Update 10.01.2015: B2/C1 level is  NO longer required. They are back to the old rule of B2 certifiactate. The certificate is NOT specified to be issued by a specific institute like in Hessen, for example, where they only recognize certificates from Goethe or Telc institutes. I heard that new lawas are applied in April or October. Therefore, some hypotheise that next April they might start requested B2-C1 level. However, I read and heard this rarely. I wrote this only to show that if you can do B2-C1 Exam of Telc, then it is worth it; possibly for the Approbation but more importantly, it is very good for your CV when you search for a job. A friend of mine applied for a Hospitation and he wrote in his CV that he is attended a B2-C1 course. The hospital asked him to send them a Bescheinigung (confirmation) that he is attending this course. In my interviews when I had only B2, I was always asked if I am studying more German and I confidently and happily said that I took and I am taking German Medical Courses and courses for C1.

A recommended course for doctors in Jordan: I took a B2-C1 Medical Course in the Language Generation Center (LGC) in Amman, Jordan University Street (Facebook group). This course is taught by Frau May Asali Shihabi, who was born and raised in Germany and served for many years as a teacher and head of the language department at Goethe Institute Jordan. Her course was very useful for me because she had prepared a lot of relevant materials from many sources. Although she has no medical background, she could explain to us medical German greatly. I am writing this paragraph this paragaph as a gratitude becacuse of how much her course helped me not only to prepare for B2-C1 exam, but also during my Hospitation and for my Fachsprachenprüfung. The course costs a little bit high but similar courses in Germany costs about 1.5-3 times more. I am currently taking a course in Germany and without compliments, the course of Frau Asali Shihabi is much better. I totally recommend this course and studying alone the book “Deutsch für Ärztinnen und Ärzte” is not enough!!! You can contact the center to ask about the coming appointment. Finally, I do not have any conflict of interest with LGC.


# Birth certificate: This is not written in the list of the required documents but I translated and legalized it in the embassy in Jordan and the employee in Arnsberg took it from me.

# High school certificate (Tawjihi) is not among the required documents and it was not taken from me when I applied for Approbation.

# If you found a job in Arnsberg, and you have not yet got a reply from the Gutachter regarding the equivalence of your degree, then to get Berufserlaubnis ,you need to do the Fachsprachenprüfung in the Ärztekammer in Münster firstly. You do it similar to those who also have Gleichwertigkeit.
Based on my personal experience: If you found a job and you are Gleichwertig (medicine study recognized), then you cannot get a Berufserlaubnis. You need to pass the Fachsprachenprüfung. The logic behind that, as the employee told me, is that the Fachsprachenprüfung is not hard and one does not need months to prepare for it like the Knowledge Exam (Kenntnisseprüfung).

How to staple documents that consist of more than one paper? كيف تكبس الأوراق ضمن الوثيقة الواحدة؟

The staple should be like below so that all the papers are guranteed to remain as one document and no document would be removed from it or added to it. This is very important!

In the below example of the curriculum, on the staple should have two stamps: The faculty’s and that of the Ministry of Higher Education الكبسة لازم تكون على الثنية كما في الصور أدناه. وفي حالة الكوريكيولوم، يجب أن يوضع ختمين على هذه الكبسة: ختم الكلية وختم التعليم العالي. صديق لي لم ترض السفارة أن تصدق له على هذه الوثيقة لأنه لم يضع ختم التعليم العالي على الثنية ووضع الختم على مكان آخر في الورقة.

Cover letter and curiculum (3)Syllabus - Notice the stapling method (2)

Other notes:

# Website of the Approbationbehörde in Bezirksregierung Arnsberg:

# Cities that are part of Arnsberg’s district government:

Now you are in Germany and you want to send the documents via Mail to the District Governemt: Making legalized copies of the documents in Germany

The Arabic documents that were not legalized by the Rathaus created a problem for me. My application was delayed because I was asked to legalize these documents by a “Notar” These are laywers that have offices that are present in all cities. In my city and in Dortmund, there are many of them (You can use Google Maps to localize them). I went to one and he made copies of the Arabic documents and their translations and I was done in less than 10 minutes. The Notars chargea unified cost of 11,90 Euro per document (including the tax). I sent the documents at the same day via the Deutsche Post to Arnsberg and I got a reply four days later that my application is complete. A colleage of mine (graduate of Jordan) was asked to legalize all of his documents form a Notar. However, this colleague of mine translated some of his documents in Germany and not in Jordan. The summary? Maybe you can consider legalizing your Arabic documents by a Notar. It is really vague and I do not understand what should be legalized by the Rathaus and what not and if legalization from the Notar is alone enough.

• You should not send original copies to the district government. You should send legalized copies of the documents. This could be done via two ways:

– Rathaus: Some Rathauses do that for free. Others charge 2-4 Euro per document (what I heard). Some Rathauses refuse to legaliez any documents that are not in German, even if they were legalized by the German Embassy in your home country. Therefore, the only way to make legalized copies of these documents is a Notar. See next.

– Notar: You can make legalized copies of all of your docuemtns by a Notar. The only problem is that Notars charge 11.90 Euro per document. You take the original documents with you and the Notar will make copies in his office and then legalize them. This does not take than 15 minutes. There are many Notars in cities. You can localize them using Google maps. Zoom in to the city where you live and then search for “Notar”. See an example of Dortmund (click here). Find the phone number of a Notar through Google Maps and then call to ask for an appointment.

After successfully applying for the Approbation and getting the answer of the Gutachter (Expert): There are two routes based on the reply:

1. Gleich (Equal): You only need to do a Fachsprachenprüfung (meical language test). The full details about this exam and my experience are here in this post:

My Experience: Fachsprachenprüfung in der Ärztekammer in Münster (Medical German Language Test)

2. Nicht gleich (no equivalence of the studied curriculum by the doctor). In this case, the doctor needs to do a medical knowledge test. This consists of internal medicine, surgery, and a third subject (not sure about the details). This last for four hours and requires months of prepaation. This is certianly much harder then doing a Facsprachenprüfung. The following are topics that a doctor was asked about in his exam:

Neuroleptika und die Nebenwirkungen
Organophosphatvergiftung und Acetylcholinrezeptoren.
Thyreotoxishen Krise und Rezeptoren.

Innere Medizin:
Die praktische Prüfung: Patientenanamnese und Untersuchung, Er hat mich gefragt; wie man das Herz untersucht.
Morbus Crohn und Colitis ulcerousa (die Diagnose und die Behandlung und Komplikationen).
Primär sklerosierende Cholangitis und die Diagnose und die Behandlung.
MI und die Diagnose und die Behandlung.
Cholezystitis und -lithiasis.

Radiologie und Chirurgie:
Colles Fraktur. Risikofaktor (Osteoporose) , Behandlung ( Reposition).
Peretonitis und Pankreatitis und Divertikulitis und DD.
Trauma des Sprunggelenkes.
Aorta Aneurysma und SAH.
Aneurysma cerebral und die Behandlung ( Coiling oder Clipping).
Strahlenschutz beim Kind und bei der Schwanger.

Most doctors from Jordan and Egypt get the equivalence. However, the rates of no equivalence are increasing. Some doctors from the same batch in the same university could get “gleich” and others do not. This depends with which university’s curriculum the curriculum of the applying doctor was compared with. This is of course unfair! More details about Approbation policies in Germany in this post:

Do you want to quickly get the Approbation? Where and how? A very important advice for graduates of universities from outside of the European Union

20 responses to this post.

  1. […] My Experience and Required Documents: Applying for Approbation in Bezirksregierung Arnsberg (Updated… […]


  2. Posted by Anwar Al bahadly on 04/07/2015 at 18:14

    يااااااه ياللمصيبة المطولة. لا اعرف إن كان بأستطاعتي جلب كل هذه الوثائق من العراق؟ هل يعطون شهادة الامتياز والمزاولة الدائمة؟ ام هل هذا ضرب من الخيال؟ شكرا لك يا جميل على كل هذه التوضيحات الرائعة حقا.


  3. 1. Fees are charged per document not per paper. The fees per document regardless how many papers it contains.
    2. Curriculum is short (around 5 papers). It contains only the subjects studied. This needs to be legalized by the embassy. The syllabus (details of the curriculum) contains more than 100 pages in our university, for example. This does not need to be legalized by the German embassy and is rarely requested at the time of application or later.


  4. Posted by Ehsan on 07/22/2015 at 00:49

    What about getting a Berufserlaubnis? Does that requires Fachsprachprüfung also? And can a doctor pursue Weiterbildung by having a Berufserlaubnis?


  5. […] Jameel Hijazeen on My Experience and Required Documents: Applying for Approbation in Bezirksregierung Arnsberg (Updated… […]


  6. Posted by Dr. Med on 11/16/2015 at 13:27

    Hello Dr Hijazeen,

    do you have infos about the ” Führungszeugnis Belegart „0“ ?


  7. Posted by manel on 01/23/2017 at 17:21

    i’m a tunisian Medical Doctor recently graduated and i m pacticing in Tunisia now. i m interessted in doing my residency training in Germany. i m studying german ( B2 level now) and i have already translated all my documents mentioned ( certified from different ministers in Tunisia).
    my questions are:
    * would my translated documents be accepted? translated in Tunisia
    * could i send an electronical version of my documents or should i send by post
    * could i get a “bescheid” or “defizitbecheid” in case of non ” Gleichwertigkeit”?

    i would be grateful for your prompt reply.
    Thank you in advance


  8. Posted by M.Riad benhabib on 05/15/2017 at 02:29

    Hello, first of all Danke schön!
    is there any changes in the state of Sachsen or Arnsberg ? A foreigner still doesn’t need to pass the the Knowledge assessment test to obtain his or her medical licence? only a hospitation a B2 certificate and a promise to wok in Germany.
    Do you have any idea about the rate of equivalency of Algerian diplomas?


    • Hi,
      there are a lot of changes. There is now a central Gutachter and the “gleich” percentages are changing. In addition, to get a reply, one could wait up to 10 months.

      I do not have any info about Algerian diplomas. Sorry.

      You could check the web site of the Bezirkgsregierung regarding the requirements to apply for an Approbation. I do not know if they require now more than a Hospitation of at least two months duration.

      Best wishes


      • Posted by M.Riad benhabib on 05/16/2017 at 00:08

        10 mounts, that’s a lot!
        I tried looking at their official sites but they’re all in German
        is this the site of Arnsberg:
        Anywho, I couldn’t find any thing relevant to the duration of Hospitation
        If you had time, could you please find out the updated conditions.
        My german is still very weak


      • Hello Dr Jameel,
        I’ve graduated since from Jordan (JUST) and i have the syllabus that contains the subjects we took and the whole program, that’s the brief one, and I have also printed the 400 pages curriculum. My question, during the wait for the Gutachter result, can one proceed with the Fachsprachprüfung and Beruferlaubnis, or I must wait for the Gutachter result??

        2nd question: in case the answer is i have to wait for the Gutachter result, do you really think it’s worth it to wait 10 months or more for the non-guaranteed result, or it’s just better to go directly with Kenntnisprüfung and save myself the headache and time lost?

        Thanks again for all the inofrmative posts!
        Your follower from Yemen..

        My regards!


    • Hello Dr Jameel,
      I’ve graduated since from Jordan (JUST) and i have the syllabus that contains the subjects we took and the whole program, that’s the brief one, and I have also printed the 400 pages curriculum. My question, during the wait for the Gutachter result, can one proceed with the Fachsprachprüfung and Beruferlaubnis, or I must wait for the Gutachter result??

      2nd question: in case the answer is i have to wait for the Gutachter result, do you really think it’s worth it to wait 10 months or more for the non-guaranteed result, or it’s just better to go directly with Kenntnisprüfung and save myself the headache and time lost?

      Thanks again for all the inofrmative posts!
      Your follower from Yemen..

      My regards!


  9. Posted by dr.Mo on 06/13/2018 at 23:35

    Thank you for all these valuable info. dr.Hijazeen!
    I’ve got a few questions; are there any changes in the application process? how hard is it for a fresh graduate to find a residency in a surgical field ?


    • I do not think there are great changes. However, I am not following the procedures since more than three years. It is easy to find a residency in surgery! Do not worry!


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