Professional recognition for refugees

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Refugees may also find it important to gain recognition of the professional or vocational qualifications they hold in order to gain entry to the German labour market. In some cases, recognition is a mandatory prerequisite to work in certain professions. “Recognition in Germany” has collated the relevant information and services relating to how such professional recognition can be obtained.

Over the past few months, Germany has received a large number of refugees from countries such as Syria. Many are permitted to work in Germany and have already acquired a professional or vocational qualification in their homeland. The question they face is whether they are able to work in Germany in the profession or occupation in which they have trained. In some professions (such as doctor, teacher or nurse), recognition of the foreign professional qualification is a mandatory requirement. Recognition can also increase labour market opportunities in other occupations since employers are better able to evaluate what an applicant has learned.

Please note

Asylum seekers may submit an application for recognition of a professional or vocational qualification irrespective of nationality or residence status.

The multilingual information portal “Recognition in Germany” provides answers to all important questions relating to the recognition of a foreign professional or vocational qualification. Persons interested in seeking recognition can use the site to carry out their own research and gain an initial overview of the topic. Alongside German, the portal is also available in English, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Polish, Turkish, Greek and Arabic.


  • The „Recognition in Germany“ app is – in addition to German and English – also available in the five most common languages spoken by refugees (Arabic, Dari, Farsi, Tigrinya and Paschtu). You can download the App for Android, iOS and Windows-Phone.
  • We have put together initial information on the recognition procedure for foreign professional and vocational qualifications in a video available in seven languages.
  • The Recognition Finder tool enables potential applicants to check whether recognition is necessary or helpful in their own specific case. Users can obtain information on how they can apply for recognition of their qualification via a few clicks of the mouse. A summary of all the important information for making an application, such as what documentation is needed, is also provided on the results page.
  • The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) have issued a general information flyer in 15 languages (including Arabic), which provides basic details of the law and procedure. The flyer can also be ordered in hard-copy form from the BAMF.
    A flyer entitled "Recognition procedure for healthcare professionals", specifically covering the healthcare professions in which academic qualifications are required, is also available in five languages, including Arabic.
  • If the documents normally required for recognition cannot be submitted or if it is only possible to provide such documentation in incomplete form, a skills analysis may be conducted as part of the recognition procedure. Compact information on this topic is contained within the Flyer on skills analyses (featuring information sheets in 15 languages).
  • Individual recognition guidance and support can also be obtained from the regional advisory bodies organised within the "Integration through Training" (IQ) Network.
  • The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees continues to offer a hotline, which is able to respond in English and German to questions relating to recognition, finding a job, entry to and residence in Germany and learning German. The hotline is available at +49 30 1815 - 1111 (Monday to Friday, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm).
  • The qualiboXX online portal has collated further information on the labour market integration of refugees in Germany in its Dossier "Flüchtlinge - Qualifizierung und Arbeitsmarktintegration" ("Refugees – training and labour market integration") (only available in German).
  • The Federal Agency for Civic Education has released a new "Guide for Orientation and Communication in Germany". The guide provides information about living in Germany and gives a first orientation for refugees.
  • Refugees interested in studying in Germany find helpful information on the website of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD):
  • The information portal "Refugees and Training" of the Coordination Office for Vocational Training and Migration (KAUSA) provides basic and easy-to-understand information on the asylum procedure and the preconditions for the entry of refugees into dual training.

Updated 02.09.2019

Coronavirus: Fewer recognition services

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, some services for the recognition of foreign professional qualifications in Germany are currently not available.

You can learn more about recognition from us whenever you like. Take some time to read our information, available in 11 languages! Then you will be well informed for the next steps.

Via the Recognition Finder you can find out everything about the recognition procedure for your occupation, which documents you need and where you should send your application: › To the Recognition Finder

Our FAQ provide answers to the most common questions about recognition:  › To the FAQs

You can find out which services are not available or only available to a limited extent by checking our information page on the current situation: › To the information page