An offer from the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training

Advantages of recognition

Official recognition of your foreign qualification is necessary for some professions. But even if recognition is not required, it may still bring advantages for your professional future in Germany.

You will need formal recognition of your foreign qualification if you wish to work in a regulated profession in Germany, such as doctor or teacher. In the case of non-regulated professions, recognition may be necessary in some circumstances for entry to Germany from a third country. A recognition procedure takes time and costs money. However, a recognition procedure or an assessment of your higher education qualification may bring advantages for your future in Germany.

What advantages can recognition bring for me?

  • Genuine equivalence: Recognition always takes place for a particular German occupation, the so-called reference occupation. Recognition offers you the same professional opportunities as a person who has completed their training in Germany.
  • Greater esteem: The recognition procedure checks whether your training is equivalent to a German training programme. At the end of the process, you will be issued with a German language notice representing official confirmation of your vocational skills. This is important because official documents play a major role in Germany. Even partial equivalence validates the qualifications you have already achieved.
  • More transparency: Your recognition notice is issued to you personally. You should always retain the original and enclose a copy with your applications. Some employees will expressly request the recognition notice. This enables them to identify your professional skills and knowledge faster.
  • Better entry to the labour market: Recognition may make it quicker for you to find a job appropriate to your qualification and which meets your salary expectations. Even if your qualification is only partially equivalent, you may still find this helpful in terms of starting your professional career in Germany.
  • Compensating for differences: You can still work in Germany even if you have only gained partial equivalence. A recognition notice sets out precise information regarding which knowledge and skills are lacking in comparison to the German reference occupation. If you wish, you can take refresher training to compensate for the differences and obtain full recognition.
  • Better career opportunities: Your personal recognition notice will accompany you throughout your career in Germany. Recognition will make it easier for you to move up the ladder at a company. And it is important to remember that you will retain your recognition if you wish to or have to change employers.
  • Achieving a master craftsman qualification: After obtaining full equivalence, you will be able to take part in advanced vocational training leading to the qualification of master craftsman in the crafts and trades sector, industrial or agricultural sectors and later may even proceed to becoming your own boss. By the way: you may also apply directly for recognition in a master craftsman occupation!
  • Option for work permit and job search: Are you still abroad? If you are coming from a third country, formal recognition is necessary in some cases for entry to Germany and for a work permit. It may also bring advantages. If you have full recognition and a relevant job offer, you may immediately enter Germany as a recognised skilled worker and perform any kind of qualified work. The same applies if your foreign higher education qualification is demonstrably comparable to a German higher education qualification. Recognition may also be helpful if you wish to enter Germany for the purpose of looking for a job. Full recognition means that you will receive the so-called opportunity card and will be able to enter Germany immediately. The opportunity card also brings advantages to those with partial recognition.

Where can I find out more about recognition in my profession?

Find out about professional recognition here on the “Anerkennung in Deutschland” portal! Specific information on your profession and details regarding the recognition procedure are available via the Recognition Finder. If you are unsure, then seek advice on your personal options! Information on advisory services may be found on the Counselling guidance page.