Information for International Applicants

If you would like to live and work in Germany as a citizen of another country, DRK Kliniken Berlin offer opportunities for you. In order to be successful with your application, please read the following instructions.

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Frequently Asked Questions by our International Applicants

Get to know Nikki (photo), Neil and Shima in our Careers Blog! They are three of many nurses, laboratory assistants and doctors from all over the world who work at DRK Kliniken Berlin. In our Careers Blog they tell you how they feel about the weather in Germany, what they do when they get homesick and how they get along in our hospital teams.

If you have questions about the migration process, you’ll find the answers in our FAQ:

Do DRK Kliniken Berlin accept applications from international applicants?

We are not equipped to assist single migrant workers – regardless of their profession – who are still situated in their home countries and haven’t started the migration process (collection of necessary documents), yet.

You are welcome to apply as a doctor, nurse, laboratory / radiology assistant or midwife if you are already relocated in Germany and can present the necessary documents (see question “Which steps are necessary…”).

Sometimes we recruit nurses from other countries in groups of 15 to 20 nurses with the help of professional recruitment service providers. So far we have recruited groups from the Philippines, Vietnam and Colombia. Since we haven’t planned another group recruitment at the moment we can’t tell you the name of the service providers we work with.

Which steps are necessary before I can apply?

The legal process is a little tricky. There are many different regulations depending on which country you come from, which job you want to take and whether you are a regular international applicant / migrant / person granted asylum or a refugee / asylum seeker. To sum up, we can say that – depending on your individual background – you might need:

– an approval of your professional qualification by LaGeSo Berlin (Landesamt für Gesundheit und Soziales, Berlin): Information for doctors by LaGeSo Berlin, Information for nurses by LaGeSo Berlin

– or (if applying for an apprenticeship) an approval of your school diploma by Senatsverwaltung für Bildung, Berlin

– a translation of your professional qualification or school diploma

– an employment contract or preliminary contract by a German employer (see question “Do you offer preliminary contracts?”)

– a general working permit from the Foreigners’ Registration Office

– a permission from our Federal Employment Agency to work in the specific position that has been offered to you

– a residence permit (visa)

Important advice: Take as many necessary steps as you can before applying at our company. Get help with the legal process by a counselling service. Try to find a German native speaker who volunteers to translate your C.V., helps you with the forms and accompanies you to appointments with the authorities. Find more information in English on this website by the German government:

Do you offer preliminary contracts?

LaGeSo Berlin might notify you that you need a preliminary contract in order for them to approve your professional qualification. We can help you with a document stating our interest in seeing your application and considering your employment. In most cases this will be sufficient for the authorities and they will process your request.

Please, ask for this document at However, this is not a firm commitment that we will offer you a job. And it is not a preliminary contract. We will still have to check and process your application.

Do you offer an “Anpassungslehrgang” (adaptation course) or “Kenntnisstandprüfung” (level of knowledge test)?

LaGeSo Berlin might notify you that in order to get your professional qualification as a nurse approved you will need to take part in an adaptation course or level of knowledge test. We do not offer level of knowledge tests. But we do offer adaptation courses of 6 months or 7 1/2 months for nurses. If you need more than that, we’re sorry, we can’t help you.

If you need max. 6 or 7 ½ months of adaptation, you can apply for a course at DRK Kliniken Berlin. The necessary steps are as follows: First, apply as an assistant nurse in one of our hospitals:

The position you will be offered is called “Pflegehelfer in Anerkennung” which shouldn’t be confused with the position of an assistant nurse with a 1 year German apprenticeship qualification.

Once you have started working as an assistant nurse (“Pflegehelfer in Anerkennung”) in one of our hospitals and can present your notification by LaGeSo Berlin (see question “Which steps are necessary?”) and a level B2 German certificate, please contact Isabell Berger at and apply for the adaptation course.

If you work as an assistant nurse for a different employer and want to take part at the adaptation course in our educational center, send your notification by LaGeSo Berlin and your level B2 German certificate to Isabell Berger. Please, also include a letter from your current employer stating that he will pay for your adaptation course and he guarantees you won’t have to work on school days.

What’s the difference between an „Anpassungskurs“ and an apprenticeship for nurses?

An „Anpassungslehrgang“, also called „Anpassungskurs“ oder „Anpassungsqualifizierung“, is a relatively short adaptation course in which international qualified nurses learn missing skills. LaGeSo Berlin will tell your how long your Anpassungskurs will have to be. It may, for example, take 6, 7 1/2 or 13 months, depending on the country you come from and the kind of skills and qualification you bring from your home country.

An Anpassungskurs is the quickest way to get fully approved as a nurse in Germany. But there are not many adaptation courses offered in Germany, so it is kind of hard to find one (see question “Do you offer an Anpassungslehrgang?”).

Another opportunity is to apply for the regular apprenticeship for people who want to become nurses in Germany. That way you acquire a German qualification as a nurse at an educational center with German trainees. Nurses in Germany don’t go to university but take part in an apprenticeship.

An apprenticeship for an assistant nurse takes 1 year, an apprenticeship for a professional nurse takes 3 years. There are also short forms of German qualification for example called “Pflegebasiskurs” which take only a few weeks or months. These are not the qualifications you need, if you want to work in our hospitals! You need at least the 1 year apprenticeship or the adaptation course for international nurses.

How can I apply for an apprenticeship / trainee position?

If you would like to apply for an apprenticeship and learn how to become an assistant nurse, a professional nurse or a surgical assistant in Germany, you can do so at our educational center (“biz Bildungszentrum”). Please, upload your application here.

Please, include the following documents:

  • a residence permit (visa)
  • a working permit by the Foreigners’ Registration Office
  • a German language certificate (level B2 is legally required, but we ask for level C1 or a middle school / 10th grade diploma German class finished with grade B / II or better
  • approval of your middle school graduation certificate by “Senatsverwaltung für Bildung, Berlin”
  • a letter of motivation in German
  • a C.V. / resumée in German
  • copies of the original documents, translated

Can I work as an assistant nurse while I am waiting for the approval of my qualification as a nurse?

Yes, but you must already have requested the approval of your professional qualification and received your notification by LaGeSo Berlin. If you can present your notification by LaGeSo Berlin (see question “Which steps are necessary?”) and a level B2 German certificate, you may apply as an assistant nurse in our hospitals. The position you will be offered is called “Pflegehelfer in Anerkennung” which shouldn’t be confused with the position of an assistant nurse with a 1 year German apprenticeship qualification.

Can I apply if I don’t speak German?

Please do not apply before you speak at least level B2 German and can present a certificate. Since you will work with people in need, you will have to be able to talk to them. Applicants who don’t speak German at all, don’t have a certificate or send resumées and letters of motivation in English or any other language than German are unlikely to be accepted.

If you wish to take part in a German apprenticeship we even ask for a level C1 certificate (although legally, level B2 would be sufficient) because our experiences are that B2 is not sufficient to follow the classes.

Applicants for (assistant) doctor positions need a C1 certificate.

Can I apply as a doctor / physician / medical practitioner with a qualification from a foreign country?

If you are still located in your home country and haven’t started the migration process (collection of necessary documents), we can’t accept your application. In order to process your application we need:

  • German language skills level C1 German with a certificate
  • Letter of motivation and c.v. / resumée in German
  • Approval of your professional qualification (“Approbation”) by LaGeSo Berlin (Information for doctors by LaGeSo Berlin)

Please, upload your application via online form on our jobboard. Just type the word „arzt“ or „assistenzarzt“ into the search function and you will find job offers as well as talentpools („Initiativbewerbung“) for unsolicited / speculative / spontaneous applications.

We do not offer jobs or paid internships (“Hospitation”) for doctors from foreign countries who are waiting for their approval (German “Approbation”).

What’s special about working for DRK Kliniken Berlin in a nutshell?

Our company consists of four hospitals, a nursing home and a hospice in four different locations in Berlin. The company belongs to DRK-Schwesternschaft Berlin e.V., which is a non-religious sisterhood within the international Red Cross / Red Crescent movement. Please, do not confuse DRK Kliniken Berlin with national or regional Red Cross / DRK organizations. We are part of the same movement but not connected in business.

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