As a veterinary student you are allowed to work as a veterinarian under certain circumstances. If you have passed all theoretical and practical courses and only your final thesis remain, you can apply for a special permit to practice as a veterinarian.
Special permit for students
When studying veterinary medicine at a university in an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, you have the possibility to apply for a special permit to practice the veterinary profession before you graduate. To be able to do so, you need to have studied for at least five years and all courses and exams must be completed, without any exceptions. This also includes selectable courses. You are however allowed to have a written final thesis remaining. When sending your application, please attach a certificate which clearly states that you have completed all courses and exams which are included in the Veterinary Medicine Degree, with the exception of the written final thesis.
In addition to the completed courses and exams, it is also necessary to have satisfying knowledge of the Swedish language, indicating that you should be able to communicate with animal owners, keep journals in Swedish and understand the legislation related to your profession. Danish and Norwegian are considered equated to the Swedish language. A proof that you have satisfying knowledge of the Swedish language could be:
- A copy of a certificate from SFI or similar education.
- A copy of a certificate confirming that you have studied in Swedish. The education should cover at least one year. There is no requirement what subject was studied.
- A copy of a certificate confirming that you have satisfying knowledge in the Swedish language, such as a university degree or a taken test in Swedish for university studies (Tisus).
- Proof of at least one year of professional experience in Sweden where the working language is Swedish.
The limitation when working on a special permit is that you have to work in a business for which a veterinarian with a Swedish license is responsible.
As a principle, when you have a special permit to practice the veterinary profession, you have the formal qualification to do the same treatments as a licensed veterinarian. It is however of importance that you have the actual qualifications (skills) to perform the treatments you do. The actual qualifications is what treatments you are skilled to perform, while the formal qualification is the theoretical knowledge you gained during your education. You are personally responsible for how you perform the treatments.
You can also be reported to the authority Ansvarsnämnden för djurens hälso- och sjukvård (Veterinary Disciplinary Board for Animal health staff). Your personal responsibility is also applicable when a colleague or a superior orders you to perform the treatment. Other requirements are keeping journals, issue certificates, confidentiality and duty of notification. Please note that you will not be able to work as an Official Veterinarian when having a special permit to work as a veterinarian.
How to apply for a special permit
The application for a special permit to practice the veterinary profession should be done using our E-service.
The E-service is only available in Swedish. Please note that the assessment process takes at least two weeks from the time when we have received a complete application. You are not allowed to start working until you have received the decision from us. You are however allowed to be introduced to your work, but without the possibility to perform the veterinary profession. The decision is valid for 16 months and cannot be renewed.
In order for the Swedish Board of Agriculture to assess your application, you have to pay an application fee of 320 SEK. If you cannot use the E-service you should use the application form. Please note that it is of importance to fill in the order number on the application form to be able to trace your payment.
Please ensure that all documents are readable. In case we would consider the application documents as not readable, you will have to send new copies of the documents, resulting in a longer time for the assessment process.
The application should include the following:
- a certificate from the university which clearly states that you are studying Veterinary Medicine at a university complying with requirements in Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications and which additionally clearly states that you have completed all courses and exams which are included in the Veterinary Medicine Degree,
- a proof that you have satisfying knowledge of the Swedish language, please find information above,
- a copy of your passport in case you are not registered in Sweden.
If you do not have the right to practice veterinary medicine/the veterinary profession in Sweden
Without the right to practice veterinary medicine/the veterinary profession in Sweden you are not allowed to claim to be a veterinarian in case you examine or treat animals for money. You are also not allowed to use a title or professional designation that gives the impression that you have a Swedish veterinary license or are in any other way authorised to perform the veterinary profession. If you violate this rule, you could be fined.
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Revision date: 2023-06-20