Here are some brief answers to frequently asked questions.

Recognition is required for regulated professions, university degrees from abroad if you wish to enter the country with a visa for employment and for vocational training from abroad if you wish to enter the country with a visa for employment.

If you want to work in Germany and you need to show your qualifications. Then a recognition test must be carried out to check whether you are really qualified for this profession with your credentials.

Via the multilingual internet portal “Anerkennung in Deutschland”, which provides information on how foreign professional qualifications can be recognised in Germany.

The Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge (BAMF) will inform you via telephone in German and English about the Recognition Act and the procedures.

As part of the funding programme “Integration durch Qualifizierung-IQ”, nationwide advice centres are available to inform you about the procedure and legal basis and to refer those interested in recognition to the relevant offices. If required, the advice centres will also support you in the recognition procedure.

The requirements for applying for an equivalency test are as follows: If you come from abroad, have completed a foreign vocational training programme and are now looking for a job in Germany and want to pursue it.

You must present the following documents:
  • Graduation certificate including list of subjects
  • Proof of your professional experience (e.g. job references, work books)
  • Other certificates of qualification (e.g. courses, retraining, further training)
  • Proof of identity (e.g. identity card, passport, change of name))
Please present these documents already translated into German!

You can either present documents at a later date or, if you are unable to present the documents (e.g. because you have fled and were unable to take them with you), you can undergo a qualification analysis to prove your qualifications, e.g. by providing a work trial.

If no documents can be provided, no equivalency test can be carried out

It is best to apply for an equivalence test before you arrive in Germany. You can apply to the IHK-Fosa, for example, or to other chambers of crafts and trades.

Application for equivalence assessment

Yes, you can also apply for recognition of your foreign qualifications from abroad if you intend to work in Germany.

No, your residence permit is not relevant for the procedure

No, your nationality is not decisive, except for a few professions such as judges. Everyone is entitled to an individual assessment of the equivalence of their professional qualifications, including people who come from a country that does not belong to the European Union.

At the end of the recognition test, you will receive a certificate of professional equivalence. A certificate stating that there are no significant differences between your professional qualification and the German reference qualification.

No, the certificate of equivalence is only a document that confirms that your qualifications are equivalent to the German qualifications and is therefore not a German degree.

Generally, the procedure does not take longer than 3 months if all documents are available. If this is not the case and a qualification analysis is carried out, the procedure will take longer than 3 months.

Notice: The 3-month period only begins when all the necessary documents have been submitted.
As the procedure is subject to a fee, costs of between 200 and 600 euros are involved. There might also be additional costs for the qualification analysis.

Yes, there is. Costs for recognition procedures, a certificate evaluation by the ZAB and translations, notarisation of certificates can be funded.

If you have received financial support, you don’t have to pay this money back.

If the differences are too great and not comparable, the recognition procedure will be rejected. In the case of regulated professions, this means that it is not possible to work in this profession in Germany or to undergo further training. It is possible to work in non-regulated professions without an equivalence assessment.

If there are both differences and comparable things in the profession, you can, if it is a regulated profession, take a compensation measure so that you achieve equivalence between your qualifications and the German reference profession. However, if it is not a regulated profession, then the differences are presented and summarised. This helps skilled workers on the labour market and with qualified professional training.

No knowledge of German is required to apply for an equivalence assessment. In order to be recognised in the end, language skills may have to be proven if they are necessary for practising the profession. This applies in particular to some of the regulated professions, such as healthcare professions or teaching. You will only be authorised to work in these professions if you have the required proficiency in the German language.

Note: There is currently no standardised nationwide regulation with regard to the required language skills and mandatory certificates.

You do not need a visa for the recognition procedure. However, if you wish to enter the country to look for or take up a job, you will need a visa.

You should have already applied for and received your visa before travelling to/entering Germany. You should be aware of the long waiting time.

You must apply for a visa at the relevant immigration authority at your intended place of residence in Germany.

If the equivalence of your foreign qualification has already been positively determined in a recognition procedure, a new application would be generally possible, but the competent authority will reject the new application. These include procedures in accordance with the Berufsqualifikationsfeststellungsgesetz (BQFG) as well as according to the  Bundesvertriebenengesetz (BVFG) or according to other legal provisions, e.g. regulations on the equivalence of Austrian or French examination certificates.

If no equivalence could be established in a recognition procedure, a new application is only possible if your situation has changed, e.g. by compensating for the differences identified through qualifications or by gaining professional experience.
You come from abroad, looking for a job in Germany and have not acquired your professional qualification in Germany, but now want to practise your acquired profession in Germany? Or have you already found a job but are unable to explain your qualifications acquired abroad to your employer? Then in many cases you can or must have your foreign qualification checked. The Berufsqualifikationsfeststellungsgesetz  (BQFG) provides you with the right to a recognition procedure, also known as an equivalence assessment.
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