An offer from the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training Further info

Professional recognition for refugees

Did you have to leave your country and are you seeking refuge in Germany? Recognition of your professional qualification may be helpful or even necessary for your professional future.

Answers to the following questions are provided here:

  • Is professional recognition possible for refugees?
  • Do I need professional recognition to be able to work in Germany?
  • Where can I find information and advice on professional recognition?

Latest: War in Ukraine

The help portal “Germany4Ukraine” provides refugees from Ukraine with information about residence, work, accommodation, and medical care. The information is provided in Ukrainian, German, English and Russian.

Germany4Ukraine

Is professional recognition possible for refugees?

Yes. If you are a refugee in Germany, you can apply for recognition of your vocational qualification. This is because professional recognition has nothing to do with residence status or nationality.

However, specific documents are needed for the application for recognition, e.g., the qualification certificate. If these documents are missing, you can also provide practical proof of your vocational skills in many cases. Depending on the profession, this is possible by means of a skills analysis, an adaptation period or a knowledge test

 

Do I need professional recognition to be able to work in Germany?

This depends on your residence permit, on the work permit associated with this, and on your profession.

The official name for the work permit is permission to commence gainful employment. This permission is granted by the Immigration Office by means of a note in the residence permit. Individuals from third countries require this note in the residence permit in order to be allowed to work in Germany. Recognition of the foreign professional qualification is not necessary for this permission.

You do need recognition however if you would like to work in a regulated occupation. Regulated occupations are legally protected occupations, for example in the nursing, health and education sectors. Recognition is not needed for non-regulated professions such as motor vehicle mechatronics technician or office manager. However, it is helpful for applications or in salary negotiations. This is because employers are able to immediately identify your vocational skills and knowledge in the official notice of recognition.

 

Where can I find information and advice on professional recognition?

Information on the recognition of foreign professional qualifications is available here at “Recognition in Germany” in 11 languages. We recommend this page to start with: What is professional recognition?

In the Recognition Finder, you can obtain information in German and English about German occupations and about the recognition procedure.

The “Working and Living in Germany” hotline answers questions about entry, residence, looking for a job and learning German. It also offers an initial advisory session on professional recognition.

You can also receive advice in-person and get help with recognition. An advisory centre local to you can be found via the advice search.

Man holding out a clipboard
pdf, 1.9 MB
Anerkennung in Deutschland, 2022

Recognition of foreign professional or vocational qualifications in Germany

The current flyer describes important stages on the way to recognition and lists free sources of information and advice.

Download flyer
Young team in a workshop building a bicycle frame out of wood.
pdf, 430 KB
Skills Analysis Network, 2021

Fre­quent­ly asked ques­tions about the skills analy­sis

In certain cases, recognition is possible with a skills analysis. The applicants’ brochure provides answers to frequently asked questions.

Further information for refugees

Refugees are able to study in Germany. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) provides information in German and English on its page “Study opportunities for refugees”.

DAAD: Study opportunities for refugees