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 surgeon profession before you graduate. To be able to do so, you have 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 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 veterinary surgeon with a Swedish license is responsible.
As a principle, when you have a special permit to practice the veterinary surgeon profession, you have the formal qualification to do the same treatments as a licensed veterinary surgeon. It is however of importance that you have the actual qualification for the treatments you do. The actual qualification is what treatments you are capable of performing, 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 veterinary surgeon.
How to apply for a veterinary license
The application for a special permit to practice the veterinary surgeon profession should be done using the application form ”Särskilt tillstånd att utöva veterinäryrket respektive djursjukskötaryrket”, which is found in the column to the right. The form 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 surgeon profession. The decision will be sent to the address provided in the application form. 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 250 SEK. This should be done through the web shop using the application form ”Avgift ansökan om särskilt tillstånd att arbeta som veterinär respektive djursjukskötare", which is found in the column to the right. Please note that it is of importance to fill in the order number on the application form to be able to trace your payment.
Send your application to Jordbruksverket, International Affairs and Animal Health Staff Unit, 551 82 Jönköping or by e-mail to the Swedish Board of Agriculture. Please ensure that the application form and 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 completed application form. Remember to include the order number from the web shop that shows that you have paid the application fee,
- 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 veterinary surgeon 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 surgeon profession. If you violate this rule, you could be fined.