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Legal basis

The entitlement to a recognition procedure is regulated by law. This also applies to the processing of a recognition procedure.

Here you can find answers to the questions:

  • What is the legal basis of recognition?

  • Which statutory regulations apply to which professions?

In Germany, laws and regulations of the federal government and the federal states govern the recognition of professional qualifications. his means: For certain professions, federal laws and regulations apply to recognition. For the recognition of other professions, the laws and regulations of the federal states apply. The legal basis is: the federal government's Professional Qualifications Assessment Act, the respective professional qualification assessment acts of the federal states as well as the regulations of the federal government and the federal state sectoral laws for occupations. This legal basis in each case contains the regulations for the recognition procedure.

Federal Recognition Act

he German Federal Recognition Act is a so-called omnibus bill. This means that it comprises several laws or amendments to laws. The Professional Qualifications Assessment Act (BQFG) and amendments of several sectoral laws for occupations are part of the Federal Recognition Act

The Federal Recognition Act has been in force since 1 April 2012. Regulations relating to recognition have been provided by the EU Directive on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications since 2005. The EU Directive on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications governs recognition in regulated professions for citizens of the EU/EEA/Switzerland.

The Federal Recognition Act extends beyond this. It governs 

The BQFG contains the regulations for the recognition procedure , e.g. information about the necessary documents and duration of the procedure. For the recognition procedure under the BQFG, your professional qualification is always compared with a current German reference occupation. Your professional experience is also taken into account. You may be able to use your professional experience to compensate for substantial differences between your foreign professional qualification and the German reference occupation. 

The BQFG applies unless the sectoral laws under legislation relating to occupations contain different regulations. 
Sectoral laws under legislation relating to occupations also govern the recognition of professional qualifications in regulated professions. This includes, for example, the Federal Medical Code. 
The entitlement to a recognition procedure applies regardless of nationality or place of residence. You can therefore also make the application from abroad. 

Recognition legislation of the federal states

Certain occupations are governed by the laws and regulations of the 16 federal states in Germany. All federal states have their own professional qualifications assessment laws and sectoral laws. The following occupations are governed by legislation in the respective federal states: teacher and engineer

Legal regulations for ethnic German resettlers

Ethnic German resettlers have had a legal entitlement to a professional recognition procedure under the Federal Expellees Act (BVFG) since 1953. The Professional Qualifications Assessment Act (BQFG) has also applied to them since 2012. Ethnic German resettlers therefore have a choice of two processes for the recognition procedure: The Federal Expellees Act (BVFG) or the Professional Qualifications Assessment Act (BQFG).

The recognition procedure under the BVFG is conducted on the basis of a current or previously applicable reference occupation However, the recognition procedure under the BQFG is always conducted on the basis of a current German reference occupation. In the case of a recognition procedure under the BQFG professional experience can also be taken into account.The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) explains both recognition procedures for ethnic German resettlers in a flyer. The link is available at the bottom of this page.

Which statutory regulations apply to recognition, and when?

 

Ist Ihr Beruf reglementiert?

Berufsqualifikation aus der EU/EWR/Schweiz

Berufsqualifikation aus anderem Land/Drittstaat

Ist Ihr Beruf reglementiert?

Reglementierter Beruf
(z. B. Ärztin, Pflegefachkraft,  Friseurmeister)

Berufsqualifikation aus der EU/EWR/Schweiz

EU-Berufsanerkennungsrichtlinie, Fachgesetze, BQFG Bund und Bundesländer, Bundesvertriebenengesetz

Berufsqualifikation aus anderem Land/Drittstaat

Fachgesetze, BQFG Bund und Bundesländer, Bundesvertriebenengesetz

Ist Ihr Beruf reglementiert?

Nicht reglementierter Beruf
(z. B. Kfz-Mechatroniker, Köchin)

oder Beruf ohne fachgesetzliche Regelung zur Anerkennung

Berufsqualifikation aus der EU/EWR/Schweiz

BQFG Bund und Bundesländer, Bundesvertriebenengesetz

Berufsqualifikation aus anderem Land/Drittstaat

BQFG Bund und Bundesländer, Bundesvertriebenengesetz

 

Who makes the decision about my recognition?

The competent authority makes the decision about your recognition. The competent authority is guided by your place of work and the reference occupation. You will find your competent authority and the legal basis for your recognition procedure in the Recognition Finder.

Skilled Immigration Act and recognition

Since 1 March 2020, the Skilled Immigration Act has made immigration easier for qualified skilled workers from third countries. 

Who is regarded as a qualified skilled worker?

  • You have recognised vocational training which has taken at least two years. 
  • You have a recognised higher education qualification. 

Exception

Under certain conditions, IT skilled workers are able to immigrate without a formal professional qualification and without recognition.

Regulations under the Skilled Immigration Act also include the following relating to recognition.

  • You are able to immigrate to Germany for work with a recognised professional qualification and commence qualified employment.
  • Under certain conditions you are already permitted to work in your profession while completing a qualification measure for the recognition.

A summary of the key changes under the Skilled Immigration Act is available on the “Make it in Germany” website. The link is available below.