An offer from the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training

Recog­ni­tion grant and train­ing costs fund­ing

If you want to ap­ply for recog­ni­tion or a state­ment of com­pa­ra­bil­i­ty and are on a low in­come, you can re­ceive fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance through the recog­ni­tion grant. Un­der cer­tain con­di­tions fi­nan­cial sup­port for train­ing is al­so avail­able.

Two funding instruments

The recognition grant and the training costs funding are two independent instruments and must be applied for separately. You can find out more under the respective section.

Recognition grant

What is the federal government's recognition grant?

The recognition grant is a federal government funding instrument. It is aimed at employed people whose income falls below a certain level. Costs from €100 to a maximum of €600 can be reimbursed for the Recognition procedure or a statement of comparability. Costs of  skills analyses can also be funded. The recognition grant is awarded by the Research Institute for Vocational education and training (f-bb). The funding is provided by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).


Those interested in recognition should apply for financial support before they apply for recognition. Costs cannot be covered retrospectively.

Who can receive support?

Interested parties can apply for the Recognition grant if they meet the following requirements:

  • They have gained a professional or Vocational qualification abroad and want to start the Recognition procedure in Germany.
  • Or, they have a foreign higher education qualification and would like to apply for a statement of comparability from the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB).
  • Eligible persons are those who have their habitual residence or main residence in Germany, regardless of their nationality, residence status or the state in which their education was completed.
  • Their financial means are limited: Single persons must not earn more than €26,000 gross, married couples and civil partnerships must not earn more than €40,000 gross (total of positive incomes minus allowances for children).

What can be funded?

  • Costs of fees and expenses relating to the recognition procedure.
  • Costs of a statement of comparability from the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB)
  • Costs of translations, verification of certificates and qualifications, and reports.
  • Costs of skills analyses (under Section 14 of the Professional qualifications Assessment Act, BQFG and Section 50b of the Crafts and Trades Regulation Code, HwO).

What cannot be funded?

  • Learning materials, Examination fees, costs of living, support costs or Compensation measures (see “Training costs funding” below)
  • Language courses and relevant examination fees
  • Costs and fees for authorisation to practise an occupation or profession (Approbation (licence to practise medicine in Germany), use of an occupational title), such as the issuing of a Certificate of good conduct or a medical certificate
  • Services already provided as part of active Employment promotion under Book III of the German Social Code (SGB III) or for integration in employment under Book II of the German Social Code (SGB II).
  • Services already provided by other funding instruments relating to professional recognition such as federal state funding programmes.
  • Costs of sourcing required evidence
  • Travel expenses

Contact and further information

Forschungsinstitut Betriebliche Bildung (f-bb) gGmbH
Mühlenstr. 34
09111 Chemnitz

Telefon: 0371 / 43 31 12 - 22

Flyer lying opened on a table.
pdf, 186 KB
BMBF, 2023

The recognition grant

The flyer explains who can apply for financial support and which costs are reimbursed.

Frequently asked questions - the recognition grant

The recognition grant can be applied for from authorities which provide advice on recognition. These include Chambers, federations, associations, migrant organisations, IQ counselling centres and competent authorities supporting the recognition procedure. They forward the application to the central funding authority—the Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (f-bb).

The following outcomes are possible:

  • Funding is confirmed: The funding requirements are met. The application for recognition can now be submitted to the competent authority, or a statement of comparability can be applied for from the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB).
  • Procedure suspended. The basic funding requirements are met at the time of verification (stay, income limit, reference occupation), Confirmation, however, cannot be issued because funding is being provided by other authorities (in most cases employment agency or the job centre) The application for the recognition grant can be restarted once the other funding finishes.
  • Funding application rejected: The funding requirements are not met. It may be possible to apply again for the recognition grant depending on which conditions are not met. If, for example, residency does not meet the requirement when making the application, the funding application will be rejected. In this case, submitting the application again at a later point is recommended.


Those in receipt of social benefits under Book II or III of the German Social Code can apply for the recognition grant. In this case Annex B must be completed in addition to the general form. It also applies to individuals registered as unemployed or seeking work who do not receive benefits or are in marginal employment.
Financial funding from the employment agency or the job centre takes precedence over the recognition grant. This means that if the recognition procedure is already being funded by the employment agency or the job centre, then funding is not normally possible through the recognition grant.

The recognition grant is awarded independently of the residence permit. However, applicants must have been resident in Germany for at least three months on a regular and not just on a temporary basis. The most appropriate form of evidence is the certificate of registration from the Residents’ Registration Office (Einwohnermelderamt). It is not possible to apply from abroad.

The recognition grant enables costs to be funded which are directly associated with the recognition procedure or the statement of comparability. This also applies to costs incurred on an ongoing procedure such as fees incurred for a follow-up application.
In principle, financial assistance is only available for costs arising after submission of the application Costs incurred before cannot be retrospectively funded. This means, the date the application was received must be before the date on the calculation of costs. Applying for the recognition grant before the start of a recognition procedure is therefore strongly recommended.
Following the funding confirmation, the application for recognition can be submitted to the competent authority, or a statement of comparability can be applied for from the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB).

Generally speaking, fees and costs incurred in obtaining the authorisation to practise a profession or occupation (e.g. approbation) are not eligible for funding. This includes, for example, fees for issuing the approbation certificate, fees for the aptitude test and the knowledge test, and the costs of issuing a certificate of good conduct from the police.
Costs incurred for authorisation to use a professional title, such as engineer or architect, are only eligible for funding if they are incurred during the equivalence assessment. Costs incurred in the registration of the title of the professional title are not funded.
In principle, costs for the translation and certification of school-leaving certificates are not eligible for funding. Exception: If the competent authority specifically requests these documents in a procedure for professional recognition. When applying for payment, the applicant should use one copy of the letter from the competent authority to provide evidence of this.

Training costs funding

What is training costs funding?

Since February 2020, it has also been possible to fund the costs of job training schemes which lead to full Equivalence as part of Recognition. Substantial differences compared to the German professional or Vocational qualification which can be compensated for with the help of training, must have been established beforehand in the Recognition procedure. The job training scheme should have a certification under the Accreditation and Approval for Employment Promotion (AZAV) or a comparable external confirmation of quality assurance. The maximum funding amount is €3,000 per person.

The financial support for training is being initially trialled in selected occupations, professions and vocational areas. These include electronics technician, mechanic, mechatronics technician, information technology specialist, general nurses and similar occupations such as nursery school teacher, social education worker and social worker. Training costs funding is a separate pilot project which is independent of the recognition grant for funding the costs of procedures. The training funding flyer provides further information on the requirements for financial support with job training schemes.

Contact and further information

Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (f-bb) gGmbH
Telephone: 0371 / 43 31 12 - 20

Training funding flyer

Training funding application form