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 MBBS doctor. 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 labour market.”
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 consulate or embassy.

Further information regarding these topics….

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 zum Defizitbescheid nach § 17a Aufenthaltsgesetz (AufenthG)”, that ”The duration of the Gutachten can be up to 12 months.”…!!

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 doctor have the option of waiving the equivalence assessment (Gutachten). But in this case, you will have to go through a knowledge test (Kenntnisseprüfung).

”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 17th you find a list of various institutes in Germany that offer integration courses for foreign physicians and offer preparatory courses for the knowledge test. The following institutes are approved by the Federal Employment Agency and accept vouchers issued by employment agencies:

Furthermore, the IQ-Network offers courses which are sponsored e.g.:

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:-

  1. ‘’Guide to § 17a of the German Residency Act’’ by The Network “Integration through Qualification (IQ)” www.netzwerk-iq.de
  2. Information provided by Bilal Aslam during a telephone interview
  3. Documents provided by Bilal Aslam
  4. FAQs – foreign physicians by Marburger Bund
  5. Hinweise zum Defizitbescheid nach § 17a Aufenthaltsgesetz (AufenthG)” by ”Landesamt für Gesundheit und Soziales Mecklenburg-Vorpommern”
  6. Questions and answers provided by FB group members

Thanks.

 

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.

Tejas Ghetia

Tejas Ghetia is a doctor by trade and a writer by heart. An introvert atheist. Having virtues of silence and observance. Enjoying each day with his full consciousness. Befriended with books and movies.Liberating himself with his adventures of literary and philosophical type! Captivated by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Osho, Kahlil Gibran, Richard Dawkins, Kafka, JKR etc.

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18 Responses

  1. Satish Anton says:

    National language visas can be converted to this visa in Germany.
    I would like to point out that visa §16b AufenthG does not require a deficit notification. However, deficiency notification in the domestic licensing procedure can be started early on application is shortened. The exhibitors can give their testimony with an acknowledgment of receipt. Regarding the deficit statement, I refer to the Visa Handbook, October 2017 (2.4 Required language skills.) Excursus: delimitation between § 16b (1) and § 17a (1) AufenthG): If you are only able to acquire German language skills, a stay under § 16b para. 1 AufenthG. Its advantage is that the visa can be issued without the deficit notice. In these cases, the applicant may seek the deficiency letter and appropriate adaptation measures during the language course. In addition, I and BMG refer to the administration of §17a of (as of 10.04.2017) Language skills f: If the applicant is missing the necessary to participate in a job-related educational measure (adaptation qualification, technical language course) according to § 17 a AufenthG, may be upstream to § 17 a AufenthG first a visa according to § 16 paragraph 5 AufenthG be granted for a general language course. After successful completion of the language course, an application for § 17a AufenthG can be made in Germany without requiring an exit. The change of purpose after successful completion is already legally possible. As part of the implementation of ICT 16b paragraph 4 Residence Act clarified by a reformulation.

    • Tejas Ghetia says:

      yes, true. And still…. now, if you apply for 16b visa, they are asking for defizitbeschaid in India and some other countries. This has created a new visa hurdle for doctors.

      ”Language knowledge may also be acquired within the scope of § 17a AufenthG. If language knowledge is necessary for recognition or for authorisation to exercise a profession, the language course constitutes an educational measure pur- suant to 17a AufenthG. If this is not required, a language course may be attended alongside a training measure pursu- ant to § 17a AufenthG.” – ‘’Guide to § 17a of the German Residency Act’’ by The Network “Integration through Qualification (IQ)”

  2. Satish Anton says:

    I would like to ask a few more queries.

    1. Could you please explain the scope of applying for National Visa 16b for purposes of language proficiency. ( for applying for B2 in Germany ) without Defizitsbescheid.
    2. Documents required for application for approbation.
    3. Attestation of documents and translation of the same.
    4. Apostille of translated documents.

  3. Tejas Ghetia says:

    AbdeLaziz Elalj :- Thank you for the great post,
    1) i got a question if your degree is from a EU country, do you still need beacheid ? As The degree it’s directly recognized following the law 2005/36/EG.
    the only thing they give after Apporobation application was the Eingangsbestatigung…. and they said that im not getting Bescheid as i dont need it.

    2) And do you have any idea on how long does it take to get the 17a visa? As my fsp exam is on the 18 july and my visa appointment next month.
    Thank you

    Me:-
    1? if you want to apply gor 17a… then you need to apply approbation… they will give you confirmation… which you can use for visa application… it will be defizitbescheid/zwischenbescheid about language! if you haven’t completed it. Or Fachsprachprüfung.

    they can write in that bestätigung that you do not require any kenntnisseprüfung… and which language level or exams are needed… this zwischenbescheid can be used…

    2) no idea about timing for visa.

    • Tejas Ghetia says:

      His reply:- Hello back, first of thank for all the answers you gave to my questions so far, appreciate that.
      If you dont mind me please i just got an Email from LAGeSo Berlin saying “Da Ihre ärztliche Ausbildung in Rumänien – einem Mitgliedsstaat der EU- erworben wurde und sofern die Voraussetzungen des § 3 Abs. 1 BÄO erfüllt sind, d h. Vorlage der vollständigen Antragsunterlagen, kann eine standardisierte Erteilung der Approbation als Arzt erfolgen. In diesem Fall ist die Erteilung eines Feststellungsbescheides für die Einreise nach bzw. für den Aufenthalt in Deutschland mit einem Visum gemäß § 17a AufenthG nicht vorgesehen.
      “ wich got all confused to wich type of visa should i apply if 17a is not working for my case. Im getting so confused, this headache won’t stop.

  4. Tejas Ghetia says:

    Kishan Desai:- 1 Can we change state after getting defizitbescheid ?
    2 Is it possible to go through Gutaschen process later on.? In approbation form if we not choose Gutaschen Process in form of making process of Defizitbeschied faster

    Me:- 1) yes one can
    2) I have seen a case…. After application for Kenntnissprüfung in one state, the whole approbation application from that state (NRW) was completely withdrawn by applicant. And a new application was done in another state (Bayern) , with Gutachten process, and then he received an Approbation without exam. So yes, according to current rules, it is possible, but may depend on state rules.

  5. Shruti Andorkar says:

    Hello Sir
    I am dentist from India .I have done my german upto b2.2. And I’m planning to do hospitation in Germany.
    I had few questions for you Sir .
    Since my next step is visa I wanted to know –
    In order to do Hospitation and c1 Medizin kurs which visa should I apply for ?
    2.Is it mandatory to have deficitbescheid for Hospitation and c1 Medizin kurs?
    You have mentioned that deficitbescheid needs 5-9
    months, hence I want to do hopitation and C1 medizine during that period of time. Plz let me know is it possible??

    • Tejas Ghetia says:

      1) I don’t recommend to apply for Job Seeker visa, as it will give you only 6 months which is a short time.
      Student visa looks like a good option. 17a looks like a good option. But it will take a long time.

      2) Depends upon your visa officer. Ideally for Student visa not required. (But… as I have mentioned above. Please read links and pdfs.)
      They may ask for it. You can try to get visa after submitting Eingangsbestätigung!
      PS. For Hospitation and Medizin Kurs it will not be asked. But for your visa, they may ask!

  6. Shruti Andorkar says:

    is it necessary to have a job offer or hospitation in order to apply for defizitbescheid(Approbation) or Beruferlaubnis.It is difficult to find a job from India.

    • Tejas Ghetia says:

      1) it is really difficult, and almost impossible to find a job from India. It was easy before 5 years. Now not possible.
      2) I have already mentioned above, for Approbation application… ”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. ” You do not require any job or hospiration.
      3) For receiving a Berufserlaubnis, most of the states ask for Job offer letter.

  7. Shruti Andorkar says:

    Thank you for the information sir.

  8. D says:

    Under Mumbai Consulate, Which Visa Category should I apply for?
    National Visa – Student or Employment Visa?

    • Tejas Ghetia says:

      Emplyment visa requires a Berufserlaubnis and an Arbeitserlaubnis!! Without them, it will never be approved!

      I don’t know your situation. One has to find a proper visa category according to own situation.

    • Tejas Ghetia says:

      Darshan: 22.01.2019:-

      Dear Sir,
      Hi Sir. My name is Dr Darshan Ranpurwala. I completed my MBBS from GMERS Medical College, Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
      I have been following your websites and posts for a while now. They have been very useful and can’t thank you enough for people like us who have no idea about medical PG process in Germany.
      I will get straight to the point. I hired this agent (Mackwins) for my Germany visa application. They told me to apply for a Masters Course in germany in Student category. Naturally, I got a visa rejection (But my friend with same visa documents for approval that too with 6 months visa!)
      Anyways, now I am in big dilemma. Should I apply for visa again with Hospitation? With Defizitbescheid? Will the German Consulate allow any of the two as I had applied before using a Masters Course?
      I am in big trouble Sir and require immediate guidance.
      Thanking you
      Darshan Ranpurwala

      Me 26.03.2019:-
      Hi,
      what happened with your situation?
      sorry for late reply.
      https://tejasghetia.com/information-medical-pg-germany/

      https://tejasghetia.com/use-comments-not-messages/

      Thanks

      Darshan: 26.03.2019:-
      Hi Sir,
      That’s okay. You must be really busy.
      I had applied for visa with A1 level, I’m attaching my Ablenungsbescheid, if you want to review.
      Anyways, I have just cleared B1 and currently doing my B2.
      I have decided to apply for Approbation in Köln/Rheinland Pfalz to receive Defizitbescheid as it would be a strong document for the visa process and they don’t ask for Job letter.
      I have collected all the required documents and will get it translated to a sworn translator in Germany in next few days.
      I’m just worried about that visa interview when they ask why did I change from Masters course (Public Health Course in HAW Hamburg) to this.
      I hope it works out.
      Thanking you,
      Darshan Ranpurwala

      Me:- 26.03.2019
      Okay. Good idea and path.
      You changed your mind. And thought about different future path, which did not work out good.
      Now you want to do this!
      No worries. Ideally, it shouldn’t matter.
      Best of luck.

      Darshan:-
      Thank you so much Sir.
      I just have one doubt regarding application of Approbation in Köln.
      Do I need to submit ONLY Beglaubigt German translated copy for documents
      OR
      One English copy with Beglaubigt German copy?
      I am still not so sure about that.
      I have attached antragsteller.
      Thanking you
      Darshan

      Me:-
      Read in detail under translation of documents
      Watch the video
      https://tejasghetia.com/information-medical-pg-germany/
      you need to submit Beglaubigt German translated copy for documents
      and
      Beglaubigt English copy for documents
      Thanks

      Darshan:-
      Okay.
      So I should ask the Translator to provide beglaubigt English copy as well?
      Thanks & Regards.

      Me:-
      Ideally. You should do it from german consulate. But easy and better to ask translator if he can do a noteriell beglaubigung of English copies as well.-

      Darshan:-
      Okay. Got it.
      Thanks a lot Sir.

      Darshan:- Today

      Hi Sir,
      In order to apply for 17a Visa.
      In Mumbai Consulate, should I apply for National Visa – Student visa or Employment visa?
      I am currently doing B2 in Ahmedabad, and will apply for B2-C1 Medizin/FSP course in Germany.
      Please guide me in this regard.
      Thanking you,
      Darshan

      Me:- Work visa requires Arbeitserlaubnis and Berufserlaubnis along with Job offer!! Student visa looks more suitable to your situation.

  9. Priyank says:

    Hello tejasbhai… I’m medical graduate from gcs medical college, Ahmedabad. I’m about to complete my internship in July. I am preparing for b1 now. As if you might know GMC takes around 5 to 6 months after internship to issue final medical license. ( though we get it online in short time). After that it would take another 3 to 4 months to get DefizitBescheid. So thing is that i do not want to waste this much time. So can I apply for DefizitBescheid without final licence( or just online copy)? And if I prove that my medical studies is not over so does Visa authorities will still ask for beschied? Pls help.

  10. Darshan says:

    Hi sir, I want to know if c1 is mandatory?
    I have done my b2 in India, and I am in Germany currently. Should I directly start Telc b2 c1, or do b2 again and gain more speaking knowledge. Kindly advice.

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