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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everybody,

I've just registered on this forum with an attempt to find some assistance regarding the situation i'm facing - I will summarize as brief as possible:

I am an Israeli Veterinarian, age 30, currently working as a Clinical Vet in Israel. I have graduated from the Szent Istvan Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Budapest, Hungary (November 2012). My diploma is a European Union recognized diploma and allows for work in all EU countries.

I am engaged to a French national, currently still in Budapest, doing her final year of Veterinary studies at the same university as I had. Prior to leaving Budapest we have spend 2 years of living together. We are planning on getting married in France on February 2014.

I understand that under EU laws, as the non European spouse of a European citizen, I will be entitled for a work and residence permit if I'm living with her in an EU country. Since she still has about a year to finish her studies, I plan on moving back to Budapest to live with her for that period (after we get married). After inquiring for my possibilities of registering at the Hungarian Veterinary Association (for the purpose of practicing my profession in Hungary) I was told flat out that since I do not have a European Citizenship I could not practice as a Vet in Hungary - and that is despite being a graduate of an EU (actually Hungarian!) university, and despite being entitle for a work permit in the EU.

When asking in France (for future plans of moving there after my fiance finishes her studies) I was given the same answer - for the 5 years I have to wait before getting my French nationality through marriage I would not be able to practice as a Veterinarian - and this is again despite having a fully legal work and residence permit in the country on account of our marriage, and despite being fully qualified from an EU recognized University.

I've tried contacting several European Union bodies with help on this matter as I feel it is highly discriminatory but have had no luck so far (and in fact most answers were pretty shameful I have to say, with no explanation or regards to what I wrote). Is it really reasonable that they will force me to quit my profession despite having the proper professional diploma and being married to an EU citizen? does it make sense that my fiance will have to leave her country (France) because her husband would not be able to work?

I just find it hard to believe that this is the case, but everywhere I've turned I have received the same answers.

Hope I could get some help or at least an explanation on this matter, should I even continue perusing answers or just give it up and change my whole life plan completely?

Thanks a lot for anybody reading this and answering,

Lior
 

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Took a quick look at the website for the Conseil Supérieur de l'Ordre des Vétérinaires and it appears that there actually is a law here in France that, in order to be a veterinarian you have to have French or EU (including the EEA states like Switzerland and Iceland) citizenship.

Conseil Supérieur de l'Ordre des Vétérinaire - L'inscription à l'Ordre

Download the information sheet for the requirements to practice as a vet in France, and they give you the precise name and number of the law involved.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Bev and thanks for your reply!

Yes, I am aware of all the relevant national laws as I have already gone through the rounds of asking the relevant authorities. I understand that in EU countries (at least the ones i've checked, which are relevant for me) one is required to have a European diploma (which I hold) and also a European citizenship in order to practice Veterinary Medicine.

However, EU laws (DIRECTIVE 2004/38/EC) state that as a non European spouse of a European Citizen I will be entitled for a work permit and enjoy "The same rights as nationals" with regards to occupation. I wanted to post the link to the relevant information but since I'm a new user I can still not add hyperlinks. You can find that information by googling "rights of non eu spouse", first result. There is even a specific part regarding Equal treatment:

"During their stay, your parents, other relatives and non registered partner should be treated as nationals of the country, notably as regards access to employment, pay, benefits facilitating access to work, enrolment in schools etc."


In addition, under EU directive 2006/123/EC article 14 (again, unable to post the direct link) it states clearly (I'm quoting):

"Article 14
Prohibited requirements

Member States shall not make access to, or the exercise of, a service activity in their territory
subject to compliance with any of the following:

1. discriminatory requirements based directly or indirectly on nationality or, in the case
of companies, the location of the registered office, including in particular:
a. nationality requirements for the provider, his staff, persons holding the share
capital or members of the provider’s management or supervisory bodies;
b. a requirement that the provider, his staff, persons holding the share capital or
members of the provider’s management or supervisory bodies be resident
within the territory; "


So if I have the proper professional qualifications, and if I am entitled to a work permit and the same rights as national with regards to occupation, how is it possible that a nation can decide that for one particular profession I would not be able to practice? this seems to me like a huge injustice and discrimination...

It basically means that in order for me to live with my wife I will have to leave the profession for which I've studied so hard, for 7 years. The French embassy in Israel actually told me to find another job... :O

Anyway, sorry for the rant, I'm just so fed up with this situation, I was really hoping to find somebody in my situation or somebody who knows why things are the way they are. I'm not even hoping at changing anything at this time, after so many disappointing answers I've received from different authorities...

Anyway thanks for the help!

Lior
 

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I don't contend that the laws as they are written are fair or just or anything of the sort. I turned up here in France just about the time that they were starting to hash out some of these EU-wide regulations - and it seemed to me at the time (still does, as a matter of fact) that most of the EU regulations that prohibit discrimination based on "nationality" only seem to apply to those of EU nationalities, not to those from outside the EU.

Not sure what you can do about it, though.

Would you be able to practice as a vet back in your own country with a degree from the EU? It could have something to do with reciprocity. But other than that, I'm at a loss to explain.

Still, even within the EU there is an "exception" for the "medical professions." Not sure if it's still around, but there was an association here in France for non-EU (at the time mostly American) medical practitioners (primarily nurses) who were not able to practice in France due to the legal restrictions. If they are still around, perhaps someone from that group might have some information for you.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Directive 2005/36/EC provides for reciprocity in the treatment of professional veterinary (and other medical) credentials. Unfortunately the scope section of that directive clearly states that it only applies to EU/EEA citizens, and I've found some evidence that the European Commission thinks this limitation is a present (and still legal) defect/omission which they'd like to correct since it's clearly inconsistent with EU principles.

There seem to be several EU/EEA countries that treat employment eligible non-citizens on an equal basis in terms of medical credentials. For example, the U.K. apparently has removed any previous barriers. Finland looks fine, too. From what I can tell you have to check each country's national laws and regulations to see which ones do not discriminate.

Last month (October, 2013) the EU released a proposed new directive which should cure this problem among countries that do not go beyond the scope in the 2005 directive. The 2005 directive had many other problems, too. It'll take at least a couple more years to fix this mess, so you probably still have a problem in 2014. If France remains hostile to an EU qualified employment eligible non-citizen (you) then I'd recommend choosing another EU country for the time being, perhaps one that's close to France (e.g. the U.K.) Yes, this is obviously suboptimal, but the EU is still very much a work in progress.
 

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Hi lior
I sympathise with you as I am also an Israeli vet which graduated in Slovakia and married to a French vet school student on her last year. Like you I tried endlessly to be registered as a vet in the French Ordre and failled. I have tried in Belgium too and was was answered that I need to pass a French language test in order to be registered there. I currently resides in France and although I hold a working visa (visa de long sejour) I cannot practice here and so I do an externship program at the vet university in Nantes, waiting for my wife to gtaduate and then the plan is to try and go to the UK where at least "on paper" it is possible though full of birocracy. In any case stay strong and if you want to consult ill be happy to assist.
Yair
 
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