An offer from the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training

Service Center for Professional Recognition

The Service Center for Professional Recognition counsels skilled workers abroad and supports them in the recognition procedure.

Here you can find answers to the questions:

  • What is the Service Center for Professional Recognition (ZSBA)?
  • What are the tasks of the ZSBA?


What is the Service Center for Professional Recognition (ZSBA)?

The ZSBA was established with the Skilled Immigration Act. It supplements the existing counselling offer and is aimed at Skilled workers who are living abroad and applying for recognition from there. The role of the ZSBA primarily fulfils three functions:

  • It serves as a central point of contact for applicants throughout the entire Recognition procedure.
  • It reduces pressure on the competent authorities in terms of counselling before and during the recognition procedure.
  • It makes the recognition procedure more transparent and efficient for applicants.

The ZSBA is a service without obligation and is not an intermediary or Competent authority. This means the ZSBA makes no decisions regarding recognition, and does not trigger any deadlines if they accept documents for a preliminary check.


What are the tasks of the Service Center for Professional Recognition (ZSBA)?

The ZSBA supplements the information provided by “Anerkennung in Deutschland” and explores in greater depth the initial counselling provided by the hotline “Working and Living in Germany”. The ZSBA undertakes, for example, the following tasks in particular:

  • It advises on the process of the recognition procedure.
  • It supports applicants in determining the appropriate Reference occupation.
  • It clarifies with the applicants the federal state in which they want to work and apply (Location Counselling).
  • It helps applicants to put together the necessary documents.
  • It checks in advance whether the documents are complete and forwards them with the Application for recognition to the competent authority.
  • In provides information on Residence permits in connection with the recognition procedure.

The ZSBA supports applications throughout the entire recognition procedure. For the purpose of exchanging information, the ZSBA works with the competent authorities and where required with the immigration authorities. The ZSBA also provides information regarding counselling provision in Germany, opportunities relating to training and about the prospects on the German labour market. For this, it works together with the counselling centres in the Network “Integration through Qualification” (IQ).

The ZSBA is based at the Federal Employment Agency's (BA) Centre for International Migration and Development (ZAV) in Bonn. It is being funded for an initial phase of four years by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).


Skilled workers from abroad can reach the ZSBA under the following address.


ZSBA: Service Center for Professional Recognition