Recognition of school qualifications

Foreign student
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The Federal Government's Recognition Act does not cover the assessment of general school qualifications. In addition to professional qualifications, however, school-leaving qualifications are often also important for work or training in Germany.

Career prospects in Germany may be limited for candidates without recognized school-leaving qualifications. Recognition of foreign school qualifications is not only required for training but is also crucial for work in regulated professions. As a rule, applications for recognition of school qualifications in Germany can be submitted irrespective of nationality.

Responsibility for the recognition of school qualifications

The recognition of school qualifications obtained abroad is limited to school-leaving certificates. These can be considered equivalent to a German school-leaving certificate under certain conditions. The Länder offices for certificate recognition establish equivalence with German school-leaving qualifications at lower or upper secondary level for professional purposes, for example for vocational training. The competent authorities are listed in the anabin database. The institutes of higher education are generally responsible for the recognition of school qualifications for the purpose of admission to an institute of higher education. A notice of equivalence issued by the relevant certificate recognition body may, however, also be used to apply for a study place.

Procedure in case of uncompleted schooling

Credits earned by individuals who have not yet completed their schooling will not be subject to an official recognition procedure. Decisions about school credits earned by young people who have not yet completed their schooling and want to transfer to a German school are taken by the head teacher of the respective school in consultation with the responsible education authority, usually after the candidate has participated in testing and trial lessons.

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