Migration in the European Union (EU+EFTA)

The promotion of free movement and the right of establishment of physiotherapists in the EU is one of the priorities in the European Region of WCPT.

There should be a Competent Authority appointed in each Member State to establish and apply procedures for migrant physiotherapists seeking registration. These procedures do vary from country to country and details can be noted in the Member State information.

Applications should be dealt with within a four-month period and there is the right of appeal. There may be different competent authorities for applications under different directives and this should be noted in particular by German physiotherapists.

Where there are difficulties with applications to the competent authorities, information and assistance should be requested from the national physiotherapy association.

The applicant has the responsibility to find suitable employment, and care should be taken to satisfy all national registration and licensing requirements. Some Member States charge a fee for administration of procedures, and this is in addition to a fee for registration. Provision of aptitude tests and adaptation periods usually implies separate and additional costs.

Member States cannot discriminate on the basis of language, but the EU Commission has stated that ' it is appropriate that community nationals wishing to pursue their profession in another Member State under Directive 89/48/EEC should possess the linguistic knowledge necessary to do so.'

Physiotherapists should be able to demonstrate the use of the language required in the host Member State since communication skills are an important element of healthcare practice.

Most applications have to be submitted in the language of the host Member State as well as any additional procedures if these prove necessary.