Defizitbescheid according to § 17a Aufenthaltsgesetz (AufenthG) – #2
Although I have already posted about ”Defizitbescheid according to § 17a Aufenthaltsgesetz (AufenthG)” before, at that time, I had posted only the official links that were available to me.
Many of you have asked me the questions related to Defizitbescheid and 17a visa. I will try to answer a few of them here in this post. This post is mainly targeted for foreign medical doctors, but the process can be almost the same for other health care professionals. Please ask the responsible German authority for your qualification.
Why are you asked to submit ‘Defizitbesheid’ for approval of your visa?
- ”I am
a MBBSdoctor. I had a visa appointment yesterday, but they (German embassy / consulate) have asked me for ‘Defizitbesheid’. I applied for language course visa, to take a language course in Germany.”
- ”They accepted my visa documents, but they told me that it will be approved only after I submit the Defizitbescheid.”
It does not matter, for which visa you apply; if you are a skilled and highly qualified worker (like a doctor) who still need to complete further adaptation/training measures (like language or medical courses) in Germany, then you may be considered for ‘§ 17a of the German Residency Act’, according to which you will have to submit ‘Defizitbescheid’ for approval of your visa. Most of the German consulates/embassy have started to ask for ‘Defizitbescheid’.
What is § 17a of the German Residency Act (AufenthG)?
”§ 17a of the German Residency Act (AufenthG) entered into force on 1 August 2015. This provision enables skilled workers (like doctors) from third countries to compensate for any substantial differences (like language or deficit in medical study) identified within the scope of a recognition procedure by taking part in a training measure (like language or medical courses) in order to achieve professional or occupational recognition or authorization to practice in Germany (Berufserlaubnis / Approbation). After gaining full equivalence or authorization to practice, such persons are permitted to spend a period of up to one year seeking a job. Skilled workers thus have an opportunity to qualify for full equivalence and become integrated into the
– from ‘’Guide to § 17a of the German Residency Act’’ by The Network “Integration through Qualification (IQ)”
So, as I understand from this, § 17a of the German Residency Act (AufenthG) was initially implemented to make the whole visa process easy and simple for foreign skilled workers, as with this act, the requirement to get multiple visa extensions in Germany would have been gone.
Requirements for visa application according to § 17a of the German Residency Act (AufenthG):-
- Professional or vocational qualification from abroad (a medical degree in a foreign country)
- Written recognition notice ascertains the need for training (Defizitbescheid)
- Evidence of participation in training courses (Qualifizierungskursen/ theoretical or practical / German language courses / medical courses ) or completion of a test in Germany
- Consent of the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit – BA), only if required
- Proof of financing
Allowed stay and employment according to§ 17a of the German Residency Act :-
- Stay of up to 18 months for the training measures within the context of recognition (for training or courses for your medical qualification Recognition/Anerkennung process in Germany)
- Secondary employment possible (during the approved visa period -Beschäftigung begleitend möglich – up to an extent of 10 hours per week; The prerequisite for employment beyond 10 hours per week is that such employment must be in an area which is closely related to the profession for which recognition is being sought.)
- After gaining full equivalence or authorization to practice, one is permitted to spend a period of up to one year seeking a job
This means that whenever you get an employment/job according to your qualification, you will have to change your visa to some another work visa/ Blue card.
How to get Defizitbescheid from outside of Germany?
Application for Defizitbescheid is nothing but the application for approbation in Germany!
- Apply for Approbation (authorization to practice in Germany), along with a curriculum, in any of the German medical Authorities responsible for foreigners. (Here your curriculum will increase the chances that your education /qualification will be considered full equivalent in Germany.)
- Write down along with the Approbation application in a cover letter that you want to receive a Defizitbescheid. Your documents will be automatically transferred to ZAB for further Gutachten process (Equivalence assessment) and you will get a Defizibescheid after the Gutachten / Equivalence assessment.
- Submit a received Defizitbescheid along with the application of 17a visa at German c
Further information regarding these topics….
- You will find the list of authorities and respective websites with forms here. Adressen der Approbationsbehörden
- Requirements and the process for the curriculum can be found in this post. Prepare and Submit your Curriculum in Germany
- Information about Gleichwertigkeitsverfahren or Approbationsverfahren
Can you apply for Approbation from outside of Germany?
An application for professional or occupational recognition (Approbation) can be submitted from abroad. Applicants are also not required to be in possession of any residence permit or visa.
Which of the authorities /states /competent bodies / Behörde will be responsible for your recognition procedure / Application?
- Although each state has its own rules and requirements for application; responsibility of any state/authority is mostly determined by the place in which the occupational activity is planned to be exercised. The competent bodies/authorities may ask for proof of job intention in the respective area, e.g. in the form of evidence of job applications. So you may have to apply for jobs in respectiv areas of Behörde, and you can show prints of these application and rejection emails as a piece of evidence for your future intention to work in the area of the respective state/authority.
- Planned participation in a training measure (language courses /medical training courses) may also constitute a rationale for local responsibility of the authority/Behörde in the respective federal state. A list of various institutes in Germany, that offer (mostly paid) integration training courses for foreign physicians and offer preparatory courses for the knowledge test, is provided at the end of this post.
Who will be responsible for Equivalence assessment / Gutachten?
In the healthcare professions, the competent bodies /authorities may receive support from the Central Assessment Agency for Healthcare Professions at the Central Office for Foreign Education (Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen ZAB) for Equivalent assessment / Gutachten. This is done automatically via your Behörde, you don’t have to contact ZAB directly.
- If there are no substantial differences between the foreign professional qualification of yours and the respective reference occupation/qualification in Germany, full equivalence is confirmed in the form of a notice.
- In the event that full equivalence is not in place (according to submitted documents) because of an absence of language/medical knowledge (for which occupational experience cannot compensate), a Defizitbescheid (deficit notice) imposing a compensation measure is issued.
At the end of the process, you will receive a notice from authority /competent body (from the one where you had applied for Approbation).
How much time will it take to receive a Defizitbescheid?
Generally, (in 2018) it takes almost 5 to 9 months. Precise time vary between different individuals. In other words, apply for it, you will find out!
”Landesamt für Gesundheit und Soziales Mecklenburg-Vorpommern” writes in ”Hinweise
How can you accelerate the procedure and get Bescheid and visa as soon as possible?
In order to accelerate the procedure, applicants in regulated professions such as
”Within the scope of the application process, the only requirements in this regard are evidence of possession of a qualification in the relevant profession and evidence of authorization to exercise the profession in the country of origin. The competent body/authority issues the applicant with a Zwischenbescheid, which states the necessity of completing a knowledge test in order to obtain recognition. In the visa process, this replaces the Defizitbescheid pursuant to § 17a AufenthG and, alongside the other required documentation, is sufficient for the issuing of a visa in accordance with § 17a AufenthG.” – Guide to § 17a of the German Residency Act’’ by The Network “Integration through Qualification (IQ)
Is Eingangsbestätigung same document like Defizitbescheid?
No. They are different documents. Eingangsbestätigung is just a notice of arrival (Acknowledgement letter) of your documents in authority (Behörde). And Defizitbescheid is a deficit notice about your studies.
Some consulates/embassies accept, in rare cases, the Eingangsbestätigung for the visa process, as process of getting Defizitbescheid takes such a long time.
What will be written in Defizitbescheid? How will it look like?
Defizitbescheid is a document that will be issued after examining your documents, stating that there is a certain deficit in your medical training, which requires to be compensated for through language or medical courses, experiences or exams (like Fachsprachprüfung or Kenntnisprüfung).
Here is an example of Defizitbescheid.
Here is an example of Zwischenbescheid.
Can any official language institute or academy help me in the whole process?
Yes. But it can be very costly if you want to process everything via any institute or academy. They can help you to translate, to attest the documents and then to submit these to responsible authority in Germany.
Marburger Bund has posted FAQ for foreign doctors. Under the question
- berami Frankfurt (www.berami.de)
- EZplus Stuttgart (www.ezplus.de)
- Freiburg International Academy (https://www.fia.academy)
- Gemeinnützige Gesellschaft für berufsbildende Maßnahmen mbH Berlin (www.gfbm.de)
- Interkulturelle Bildung Hamburg (www.ibhev.de)
- Kulturakademie Dresden (www.kulturakademie-dresden.de)
- maxQ.im bfw – Unternehmen für Bildung (www.maxq.net)
- medisim Köln (www.medisim.com
- mibeg-Institut Medizin (www.mibeg.de)
- ProBildung Leipzig (https://probildung.org)
- VIA-Institut Nuremberg (www.via-institut.de)
Furthermore, the IQ-Network offers courses which are sponsored e.g.:
- Charité International Academy (https://chia.charite.de/projekte/iq_netzwerk_berlin/)
- mibeg-Institut (http://www.mibeg.de/medizin/iquamed-integration-durch-qualifizierung-und…)
More course are posted under: https://www.netzwerk-iq.de/foerderprogramm-iq/landesnetzwerke.html
Here are some important points to keep in mind for 17a visa:-
- I couldn’t find any official language requirement for this visa. But I think, minimum A2 or B1 level will be required to understand the process and to apply for training courses in Germany. If anyone has applied for this visa, before this language level, please do inform me.
- But this exemption from language requirement for 17a visa gives a freedom to apply approbation / Defizitbescheid at an early language level, so that your time does not get wasted in waiting for the Bescheid/notice.
- As long as I know and understand, national language visas can be converted to this visa in Germany. If anyone has done it please share your experience in comments.
- Because of strict rules regarding ‘job seeker visa‘, it may not be possible to convert job seeker visa to this visa. I find, 17a visa as a better alternative to ‘job seeker visa’, because of provided stay up to 18 months with allowed secondary employment (in comparison to that, for job seeker visa, which is only 6 months without any allowed employment) !
I recommend you to read ’Guide to § 17a of the German Residency Act’’ by The Network Integration through Qualification (IQ). It will provide you with detailed information regarding this topic. (like documents, secondary employment, financing, scholarship funding, switching your visa to 17a,
References and Sources:-
- ‘’Guide to § 17a of the German Residency Act’’ by The Network “Integration through Qualification (IQ)” www.netzwerk-iq.de
- Information provided by Bilal Aslam during a telephone interview
- Documents provided by Bilal Aslam
- FAQs – foreign physicians by Marburger Bund
zumDefizitbescheid nach§ 17a Aufenthaltsgesetz (AufenthG)” by ”Landesamt für Gesundheit und Soziales Mecklenburg-Vorpommern”
- Questions and answers provided by FB group members
For All Information about medical post graduation in Germany. Look at the following link.
Please give information, ask your questions or request a topic in comments. Comments are always appreciated. It improves the quality of the post and helps others more, as it will clear more doubts.