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

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The Profi-Filter provides you with a quick overview of occupations, competent authorities and regulations.

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Cover BIBB Discussion Paper
BIBB, 2022

Recognition of Ukrainian professional qualifications

Educational level and labour market participation of Ukrainians living in Ukraine or Germany, recognition of professional qualifications and potential for improvement of the recognition process.

Cover BIBB Data Report
BIBB, 2022

Recognition trends in BIBB 2022 Data Report

Current data on recognition and the recognition portal is being provided in the data report in chapter D4.

Cover of the engineers situation analysis
IQ Competence Centre for Counselling and Job Training of Migrants, 2022

Engineers situation analysis

The study examines the experiences and challenges of professional recognition of engineers from the perspective of Network IQ.

Show study

FAQ - Frequently asked questions submitted by skilled workers

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. The recognition of your vocational qualification can be helpful or even necessary for your professional future.

Professional recognition for refugees

What is professional recognition?

No. The recognition procedure and the granting of a visa are two separate procedures.

Are you from a third country and want to work in Germany? If so, in most cases you need to apply for a visa. You need recognition for a visa. Have you received a notice showing partial recognition? And are you able to compensate for the substantial differences in Germany? If so, then you require a visa for entry into Germany. When you apply for a visa you must submit the notice.

You can apply for a visa to a German mission abroad in your country of origin.

Following entry into Germany, you must have the visa re-registered into a residence permit at the relevant immigration office. You are then permitted to live and work in Germany for an extended period.

Further information about the granting of visas is available from our online portal on the “Immigration” page.


In Germany and in some other countries, counselling on the recognition of professional qualifications is available free of charge. You can find the right counselling offer for you on our online portal via the Recognition Finder.

An overview of all provision is available on the counselling page on this portal.

You must submit your application for recognition to the competent authority in Germany. You can find the competent authority in the Recognition Finder.

Recognition Finder

The recognition procedure checks whether your qualification can be recognised. For this, the competent authority compares your professional qualification against the German reference occupation.

The requirements for a recognition procedure are:

You receive a recognition notice following the check. The notice informs you of the result of the recognition procedure. There are various results: The professional qualification is recognised, there are substantial differences compared to the reference occupation or the professional qualification is not recognised. In most cases substantial differences can be compensated for by participating in training.

Are you not able to provide a final certificate? If so, for non-regulated professions you may be able to complete a skills analysis. This also applies to a master craftsperson qualification in the trades or crafts that require a licence. There are also options for regulated professions. For example you can complete an adaptation period or take a test.

You will find your reference occupation in the Recognition Finder. There you will also find information about counselling offers and about the competent authority for your application for recognition.

Recognition Finder


How do I get recognition?

That depends on whether your profession is regulated. And it depends on your country of origin.

Regulated professions

In order to be allowed to work in Germany, recognition is essential for regulated professions. Regulated professions are legally protected occupations, for example in the security and healthcare sectors.

Exception: You come from the EU/EEA/Switzerland and you only occasionally practice your occupation in Germany. In this case you must register with the competent authority. Recognition however is not necessary.

Non-regulated professions

Non-regulated professions are not legally protected. Do you want to work in a non-regulated profession? In this case you do not require recognition. Do you want to immigrate to Germany from a third country? In this case recognition is generally required for a residence permit.

What is vocational recognition?

Immigration and residence

Do you come from the EU/EEA/Switzerland? If so, you need recognition for a regulated profession. This applies for example to medical practitioners and pharmacists. A higher education qualification enables you to apply directly to the job market for non-regulated professions. This applies, for example, to mathematicians and sociologists.

Do you want to immigrate to Germany from a third country? If so, you need recognition for a regulated profession. For a higher education qualification in a non-regulated profession you need a statement of comparability from the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB). The recognition or the statement of comparability is a requirement for your entry into Germany. The recognition or the statement of comparability is also a requirement for a work permit.

Please note: Subject to specific conditions, IT workers may immigrate to Germany for work without recognition and without a formal qualification. 

What is vocational recognition?


University/university of applied sciences