There have been changes to the visa process!!! Language course visas will not be issued anymore!

There is a new visa type “recognition of foreign documents” which is given to our scholarship holders.

Due to these changes, new procedures were implemented. (check also https://saudiarabien.diplo.de/ksa-en/visa-service/national-visas/recognition-of-foreign-professional-qualifications/2195236

Please send us the following documents:

  • A letter of motivation (not more than one page)
  • A detailed CV with a photograph. Please consider that in Germany, you are not allowed to use the title “Dr.” as a medical graduate!
  • Your graduation document (please check the application requirements of your grades and GPA on our website)
  • Your internship certificate (Please make sure to have it approved by your university in case you did your internship in a different country than your university degree)
  • Your academic transcript
  • Letters of recommendation documenting your work experience after your internship. These documents should give information about your skills and knowledge, best would be a log book. Letters of good standing are not needed.
  • Please be frugal with certificates of conferences, trainings etc. Only send the ones that are meaningful with regard to the specialization you apply for.
  • A copy of your passport
  • A copy of your ID card

Important notes:

  • Please send us ALL these documents in the order mentioned above within ONE PDF-file (as email attachment). Make sure your documents are complete. The file should not exceed 30 pages and 3 MB as otherwise they might get rejected.
  • The documents have to be in either English or German. Documents in Arabic are needless.
  • Please let us have a copy of the financial guarantee from your sponsor.
  • Please indicate clearly your preferred specialization.
  • If you strongly prefer to go to a specific city/region/hospital, please mention this in your application. However, please note that your chances will increase if you are not confined to an area.
  • Please communicate with us in English to avoid delays.
  • Do not forget to bring all original documents with you once you come to Germany.
  • Please pay attention to the minimum requirements in some specializations, as indicated at our website!


*** Changes of the hospital or city are usually not possible after you arrive in Germany! ***

Please send your complete application (one PDF-file!) to our admission department: admission@sacuof.eu

No. You can generally apply anytime. We have four application periods (January-March; April-June; July-September; October-December). All applications in these periods will be collected and at the end of each period the best candidates will be selected.

Please note that due to the high number of applications and the limited number of vacancies in German hospitals we can only consider candidates with very good credentials.

In Germany, there are two different kinds of training:

  • Residency programme (Facharzt): German specialist training; minimum duration 5-6 years (depending on the specialization). If you complete it successfully and pass the final exams, you will get an official certificate from the German Board (“Facharzt”) at the end.
  • Fellowship in a particular medical field: Duration 1 to 3 years. At the end of it, you can receive a certificate from the hospital, but not from the German Board. This kind of training may be interesting for you if you already have lots of experience or if you would like to deepen your knowledge in a specific medical field. The curriculum is usually more flexible than that of the “Facharzt” training and you can discuss the details with your hospital.

Yes you can but we strongly advise you to gain some work experience first. Even for experienced physicians with high marks the training in Germany is a challenge because the standards and the work load are very high and it is fully conducted in German. Previous professional experience will help you to master the programme.

Yes, in order to work in a German hospital it is mandatory for you to learn the German language fluently. Therefore, you will have to attend intensive language courses before you can start your training. Due to state regulations and hospital requirements you will have to complete the level of B2 (CEFR) in general language and the level C1 (CEFR) in medical terminology.  It is not possible to do a training in Germany without a very good command of German.

What do the levels of the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) mean?

B2: You are at ‘Vantage’ Upper intermediate level if you can…

  • Understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in your field of specialisation
  • Interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party
  • Produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options

C1: You are at ‘Effective operational proficiency’ Advanced level if you …

  • Understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning
  • Express yourself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions
  • Use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes
  • Produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices

This depends on many factors, such as your chosen specialization, your qualifications and the hospitals themselves. We will send your application to two different hospitals in Germany. If those hospitals cannot offer you a place, we will prepare two more applications. Usually, it should be possible to get an acceptance within two or three months. However, in some cases it can take more than six months. Please be patient because the cultural office and the hospitals are very busy and many people can be involved in the decision making processes.

Please do not call us on the phone to ask about the status of your application. You can send an email if you are worried. We will inform you as soon as we have any news.

Yes, you can. In fact, we encourage you to do so, as it leaves a good impression on the hospitals if you get active yourself and you should be able to get an acceptance much faster. From our experience, the most successful and fastest strategy is contacting the hospital personally, but also explaining that you are a fully sponsored scholarship holder and that the cultural office will take care of all the bureaucratic procedures. If the hospital expresses a general interest or after a successful interview we will take care of all the details, getting the official letter of acceptance, etc.

The acceptance letter from the hospital has to include certain information in order to be valid. We will inform you about the details if you ask about it.

You may hear about some agencies/private persons helping Saudi physicians to get acceptances. However, we strongly advise you not to engage an agent, as they are often not familiar with the rules and regulations in Germany and we do not cooperate with them. It may happen that you pay a large amount of money for an acceptance letter which is invalid and cannot be certified by our office. As mentioned before, in many federal states there are preconditions for getting the working permit, which is necessary for your training and if you do not meet them, you will not be able to get it. Even the hospitals themselves are often not familiar with all the rules and regulations in their federal state, as they frequently change. Therefore, they may offer you a place even if you wouldn’t be able to get the working permit.

As soon as we receive a valid acceptance paper from a hospital and you fulfill all requirements (good GPA, a financial guarantee from your sponsor, etc.) we will certify it, translate it into Arabic and send it to you via email so that you can apply for your scholarship.

Please inform the Approbation department (approbation@sacuof.org) immediately, as you have to apply for the German medical licence. They will guide you through the process. 

Important notes:

If there are any delays in the scholarship or visa process, please inform us.

Please legalize your graduation documents at the Saudi Foreign Ministry and the German Embassy in Riyadh before coming to Germany! If you do not have them, you will have to travel back to Saudi Arabia to get them.

There have been changes to the visa process during the last year!!! Language course visas will not be issued anymore! There is a new visa type “recognition of foreign documents” which is given to our scholarship holders (see also https://saudiarabien.diplo.de/ksa-en/visa-service/national-visas/recognition-of-foreign-professional-qualifications/2195236)

Due to these changes, new procedures were implemented 

When applying for a visa you must hand in a so called “Defizitbescheid”, which proves that you have applied for and are eligible to receive an Approbation (unlimited licence to practice medicine). This means you will have to apply for the Approbation before entering Germany. We will guide you through this process. Please send us an email to the approbation department: approbation@sacuof.org and please attach the power of attorney (see below)

As soon as you received your final scholarship approval, we will issue you a paper stating that you are a scholarship holder and a confirmation that you have been registered for language courses. You will also have to hand in the letter of acceptance from the hospital. With these documents, you can apply for your visa.

Please check the website of the German Embassy in Saudi Arabia in order to find out about further documents you have to hand in. We cannot give you any information on the procedure, as we are not involved in the visa issuing process. 

The following documents must be legalized by the MOFA and the German Embassy in Riyadh or the Consulate in Jeddah:

– Graduation certificate (bachelor degree)

– Certificate of completion of the internship year

– transcript/student academic record

– proof that you are registered at the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties

You also need the following documents: 

– either official birth certificate from Saudi Arabia or, in case you do not have a birth certificate, an excerpt from family register/book (e.g. from your parents)

– Certificate of good standing from the police station in the area in Saudi-Arabia where you live

If you can provide: 

– Certificates that document the work experience after the internship (please make sure they give information about from when to when you worked in what position; your work experience has to be documented completely).

If you want us to check your documents and tell you if anything is missing, contact us at approbation@sacuof.org

Please get translations of these documents (after the legalization) from a translator who is accredited by the German Embassy. Please make sure you get only translations of the documents in the list. We cannot pay later on for translations of documents that are not on the list. 

The original translations must be sent to the German authorities when applying for the Approbation. It is very important that to every original translation there is a copy of the original document attached that has been translated. One of the corners has to be folded and the translator has to make his seal on the folded corner as a sign that the copy of the original and the translation belong together.

Regarding the expertise (Gutachten) please note the following:  In case you would like to get translations of your syllabus/curriculum or other documents for the Gutachten please contact us in advance. We will send you then a written confirmation that the translation is required. Please understand that without a written confirmation we cannot refund the payments.

Having studied in the EU doesn’t prevent you from applying for the Approbation, but there will be different procedures, whether you have done also your internship in the country where you studied or in Saudi.

1) university degree in the EU, internship in the EU: your study will be fully recognized by the German authorities and you will need to pass just the Medical terminology exam (Fachschprachprüfung). The authorities will issue a letter which you can submit when applying for the visa.

2) university degree in the EU, internship in Saudi: you will be treated as a non-EU student, unless you do have a unlimited licence to work as a physicianfrom the country where you have studied in  or an official document stating that you fulfilled all requirements to work as a physician (statement of conformity). 

It is not sufficient that the university states that the content of medical education is similar to studies in other European countries!!

Yes, please bring with you:

– “certificate of good standing” from the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties

– “certificate of good standing” from the police

Both shouldn’t be older than one month when entering Germany!

Make sure you check your emails regularly before you come to Germany in case there is anything else we will need.

Please open your file through the academic system. If you encounter problems, please contact Mr Ahmed Elmounir (amounir@de.moe.gov.sa).

Please contact your hospital and inform your Professor about your arrival. This is very important. If you do not contact him, you may lose your position, as he may think you are not coming. We do not inform the hospitals about your arrival!

Please stay in touch with your Professor while you are doing your language courses and update him regularly (at least every 2-3 months) about your progress. Make sure he knows when you expect to finish your language courses and when you could start working in the hospital.

We suggest to introduce yourself personally to your Professor to show your strong motivation and interest. This is a good chance for you to learn more about your new working place and meet your future colleagues. It is also a good opportunity to check your language skills and to see if your German is good enough or if you will need extra lessons.

In case you need to extend your language courses, please contact your supervisor.

When you have finished the B1 level, please contact the Approbation department again (approbation@sacuof.org).

There are several exams now before you can do your training

a) Language Exams

Yes, you will have to pass a language exam (we highly recommend to obtain a “Certificate C1” although sometimes a “Certificate B 2” will still be sufficient) in order to prove that your German is good enough for working in a hospital. This exam is not easy, so study hard. To pass it, you have to be able to communicate in German language both orally and in written form. If you fail the first time, you can repeat it, but you will lose time.

Nearly all federal states have been introducing an additional medical language examination (“Fachsprachenprüfung”) with the German Medical Association (“Ärztekammer”) on the level of C1 to assure your ability to communicate with patients and their families and to write medical reports.

b) Medical Exam

Furthermore, you will have to pass a medical exam in order to prove that your medical skills are equal to those of a German doctor (“Gleichwertigkeitsprüfung”). This is mandatory in all Federal States though there are still some differences in the implementation. The Gleichwertigkeitsprüfung is fully conducted in German language and you will have to know the medical terms in order to pass it. It is not easy, so you will have to prepare for it very well. If you fail the first time, you can repeat the exam and you can get advice from the hospital how to improve.

The cultural office organizes preparation courses for the medical language examination and the approbation exam. The courses take between several weeks and six months. Please note that a B2 certificate is needed for the preparation course for the medical language examination; a C1 certificate or a successfully passed medical language examination is the prerequisite for attending the approbation course. Special courses for dentists are offered at the institutes in Cologne and Freiburg.

Please see also our information sheet: http://sacuof.org/faq/information-sheet-preparation-courses-nov-2017/


When you start working in the hospital, observe the others well and try to get a feeling for the way they act and behave. Try to adapt as much as you can and if you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask. Your colleagues and supervisors will answer your questions happily if they can and give you hints on cultural matters. However, they will also expect you to watch and learn by yourself, so don’t expect that everything will be served for you readily on a table. Keep your eyes open and pay attention to detail. Try to take care of things on your own and ask for help only if needed.

The more respect you show to others, the more they will respect you; the more open minded you are, the more approachable your colleagues will be and the easier it will be for you to become a full member of the team. So try to be flexible and don’t insist that things should go your way. Things that appear to you as normal may be regarded as very strange by members of another culture and vice versa. Your expectations regarding human relationships will probably be very different from the people around you. For example, people in Germany are much more direct than in Saudi Arabia. Their behavior may sometimes seem rude to you, but it is completely normal for them and they may even expect you to behave in the same way so that there are no misunderstandings.

As a visiting doctor, you are there to learn and gain experience. From the hospital’s point of view, you are there also to support the work of the hospital, especially if there is a lot of work to be done but not enough doctors. So try to help wherever you can and keep in mind that you will not do interesting or demanding things only.

You will be involved in all the daily missions and routines of an assistant doctor working in a German hospital. You will get the chance to gain experience in all the fields required to receive your aimed certificate at the end and become a highly qualified specialist in your field.

However, you will also have to do a lot of routine work and you may have to do some things that you would normally not have to do in Saudi Arabia. Please do not feel offended if this happens. The hospital system in Germany is very different from the one in Saudi Arabia and it is based on close cooperation between doctors and nurses. There is much less hierarchy, but there is still a clear division of tasks.

Some of your daily tasks may seem boring to you, others too hard. You may get the impression that you are not learning enough or you may feel overwhelmed because nobody is there to explain things in detail. However, keep in mind that this is quite normal, especially in the beginning. It takes time to become acquainted to your new surroundings and tasks. Be sure that you are continuously learning things even if you are not aware of it. You will see that as time passes and you learn to communicate better, things will improve, you will be more integrated and get more chances to prove yourself according to your abilities. Keep in mind that the better you are, the more chances you will get.

In many situations, you will experience that there will be no one in the hospital explaining to you things in detail. So you will have to find out by yourself, by observation, asking and trying. This concept is called learning by doing and it is very common in Germany. You may be expected to work independently and manage things on your own very early. If you feel that this is too hard for you and you need help, do not be afraid to say so and ask questions. Your colleagues and supervisors will understand that you cannot know everything from the very beginning and will surely help you whenever they can.

Published on: Sep 10, 2015
last update: August 11, 2020 .