About us

The multilingual "Recognition in Germany" portal provides information about the possibilities of having foreign vocational certificates recognised in Germany. The unique feature of the website is the "Recognition Finder": Those seeking advice only need a few clicks and this online tool will name the competent authority for their application. In addition, it presents important information about the legal foundations, the recognition procedures for individual occupations and available counselling services in a concise form.

"Recognition in Germany" is the information portal of the German federal government on the recognition of foreign professional qualifications. It is intended primarily for persons who have acquired a professional qualification abroad and want to find out whether they need an official "certificate of recognition" in order to pursue their profession in Germany. A recognition may be required in certain occupations (for example, in regulated occupations such as medical doctor, teacher or geriatric nurse), or it could improve one's chances in the German labour market. The portal is available in German and English, as well as Arabic, French, Greek, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish and Turkish. For mobile use, there is also the "Recognition in Germany" app, which offers the information in seven languages: German, English, Arabic, Dari, Farsi, Pashto, and Tigrinya.

Legal basis

The "Act to Improve the Assessment and Recognition of Professional Qualifications Acquired Abroad", known in short as the Federal Recognition Act, has entered into force on 1 April 2012. It unifies and expands the procedures for evaluating foreign professional qualifications at the federal level. The Act covers the dual training occupations, the master craftsmen occupations, other further training qualifications and additional occupations regulated by sectoral laws such as medical doctors and lawyers. At the federal state level, corresponding Länder Regulations regulate the recognition of occupations under the scope of responsibility of the state governments, such as nursery teachers, social education workers or engineers. The legal provisions simplify the recognition of foreign vocational certificates and promote the integration of qualified migrants into the German labour market and thereby make an important contribution to ensuring an adequate supply of skilled workers.

"Recognition Finder" leads to the competent authority

Anyone interested in having their qualifications recognised needs to submit an application to a body (public authority or chamber) responsible for the procedure in Germany. Just a few clicks in the "Recognition Finder" are enough to find the competent authority for the respective occupation. In Germany there is no nationwide authority responsible for processing the applications. Which body is competent depends on the place of residence, and for each occupation and each federal state the system is different.

In the "Recognition Finder", the user can enter his or her profession and use the occupational profile displayed to determine the German vocational certificate that matches the qualifications acquired abroad. In order to find the competent authority for the respective application, the user is asked for his or her (desired) place of residence in Germany. In this way, just a few clicks are sufficient to get the address where an application for an assessment of equivalence can be submitted. The database currently contains more than 1,500 different contact addresses for the recognition procedures of occupations within the remit of the states and the federal government. Additionally, all the information that is important for submitting an application is summarised – for example the documents required for an application. The "Recognition Finder" is available in English and German.

Support for counselling experts

The portal supports the staff of recognition counselling services, job centres and employment agencies in their daily work. They can use the "advanced filter" to comfortably search for competent bodies and occupations. For staff members of the "Integration through Qualification (IQ)" network the portal provides an internal forum for recognition counselling.

The portal is published by the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). "Recognition in Germany" cooperates closely with the "Integration through Qualification – IQ" funding Programme, which is financed by the Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) and the European Social Fund (ESF). Strategic partners in implementing the programme are the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal Employment Agency (BA).

The "Recognition in Germany" portal is, together with the anabin database and the BQ portal, one of the three central information portals dealing with the recognition of foreign vocational qualifications. These three portals work in close cooperation and thereby ensure a high level of uniformity and quality of content.

Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung
(Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training)
Portal "Recognition in Germany"
Robert-Schuman-Platz 3
D-53175 Bonn

Team manager
Claudia Moravek

Press and public relations, deputy team manager
Johanna Elsässer

International activities, enquiries manager
Julia Lubjuhn

Team assistant
Clarissa Rönn

Web conception
Karoline Kaibel

Specialist editor Social Media, IQ Forum
Katharina Moraht

Specialist editor
Thomas Schmitz

Specialist editor
Dr. Martin Kött

Online editor
Gabriele Causemann

Specialist editor Recognition Finder
Sven Mückenheim

Specialist editor Recognition Finder
Alexander Studthoff

Specialist editor Recognition Finder
Leonie Tillmanns

Data management
Christin Benkner

Be great at your job – in Germany, too


Why is the recognition of foreign professional and vocational qualifications necessary? How does the recognition process work? This video clip lasts for around two and a half minutes and will explain everything in a concise and clear way.

› Show subtitles

Be great at your job – in Germany, too

This is Yasmin.

Yasmin works as a doctor in Turkey and would like to train as a paediatrician in Germany.

And this is Carla.

Carla lives in Madrid and is a qualified office clerk.

Carla wants to move to Berlin soon to find an exciting job.

And here we have Samir.

Samir has been living in Germany for a few years.

Before he came to Germany he studied mechanical engineering in Cameroon and would now like to work as an engineer in Germany.

We welcome all three in Germany.

There are many employees who count on the competence of these skilled workers.

But beware!

In order for these three to achieve their goals, their professional qualifications may first have to be recognised.

That means an official document,

is required,

that states the German equivalent of their qualification.

This certificate of recognition is important, for example, for doctors or teachers.

This might not be necessary for other jobs, but it is certainly very helpful.

If German employers understand exactly what Carla learnt as an office clerk,

it may improve her chances when applying for a job.

The new Recognition Act is there to make sure that the recognition of foreign professional qualifications is simpler and quicker in the future.

But how does it work?

You can find out at recognition-in-germany.de, the official portal for the recognition of foreign professional qualifications.

With a few clicks the recognition finder guides you to a contact person in your recognition office

and tells you,for example, which documents you will have to submit for the application.

There is also information on working in Germany:

for instance, on visas and residency permits.

Let us accompany you in the recognition of your profession,

so you can also be great at your job in Germany, just like you were at home.

We look forward to helping you!

recognition-in-germany.de -

- the federal government’s information portal for the recognition of foreign professional qualifications.

› Hide subtitles

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