Recognition Procedure

Recognition Procedure

For interested parties abroad
Please clarify whether you are entitled to migrate to Germany and work here before you initiate a recognition procedure from abroad. You can use the Migration Check service to verify your status. Further information on starting work in Germany is available here.

In the recognition procedure, the relevant competent authority will check whether your foreign professional or vocational qualification is equivalent to a German qualification. The equivalence check takes place on the basis of stipulated formal criteria such as content and duration of training. Any relevant occupational experience you may have is also taken into account.

Preconditions for a recognition procedure

You must be able to show that you have completed a professional or vocational qualification which was not obtained in Germany. You must also intend to work in Germany.

It is not necessary to hold German citizenship or a residence permit for Germany in order to obtain recognition of your professional or vocational qualification. There is also no need for you to be resident in Germany at the time when you apply. You may submit your application before entering the country from abroad. Prior to initiating a recognition procedure, you should, however, clarify whether you are entitled to migrate to Germany in order to work here.

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Stage 1: Advice

Seek advice before submitting your application. A full range of information on advisory services is available here.  

Stage 2: Find the competent authority

Identify the competent authority to which you can submit an application for a recognition procedure. The Recognition Finder will  help you in this process.

Stage 3: Submit your application

Collate all the necessary documentation (identity document, curriculum vitae, evidence of training, evidence of occupational experience, other qualifications). Important: do not send any original documents!

Ask the responsible authority which documents you need to have translated. Submit your application on the form provided by the respective responible authority. Once all documents have been received in completed form, the responsible authority will examine whether there is any essential difference between your qualification and the German reference occupation.

Stage 4: Receive your assessment notice

The responsible authority will issue you with an official assessment notice stating the result of the investigation. Equivalence will be ascertained if there are no material differences between your professional or vocational qualification and the relevant German training. In the event that the responsible authority does not ascertain equivalence, it will, in the case of regulated occupations, state specific measures via which you will be able to compensate for the differences identified. In the case of non-regulated occupations, the assessment notice will present both your existing qualifications and the differences to the German reference qualification. This will assist both you and potential employers to evaluate your qualification correctly.

Details regarding occupations

In non-regulated initial and advanced training occupations, the recognition procedure takes place in accordance with the Vocational Qualifications Assessment Law (BQFG)

In regulated occupations, the recognition procedure is based on the law governing the respective occupation.

There are also differences with regard to occupations which are regulated by the federal states:

Further information on the special recognition procedures in the federal states is available here.

The Internet portal (German) provides information about preconditions and fields of work in the health sector. The information is intended to allow university graduates with degrees acquired abroad to enter this sector and is also of interest to career changers such as engineers, economists and educators.

Updated 06.10.2015