An offer from the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training
Recognition Finder
Recognition Finder

Would you like to work in your profession in Germany?

Get your qualification recognised! Here you can find out what you need to do and who can help you.

Select your profession from the A–Z list


Video, 02:31

Success Story - Olga Trukhanova

Olga Trukhanova came to Germany from Ukraine. Today, thanks to recognition as a master hairdresser, she runs her own hair salon.

Textversion lesen Textversion ausblenden

My name is Olga Trukhanova. I am 45 years old.

I came to Germany nine years ago. I came from eastern Ukraine.

I am a master craftswoman hairdresser.

I now have my own hair studio. I'm self-employed.

I came for personal reasons to start a family here.

At first I wanted to return to Ukraine all the time. That was in the first year.

But then this conflict began. In eastern Ukraine. The economic situation wasn't great.

I therefore decided to integrate myself as quickly as possible here in Germany and to officially get going with my profession.

The first time I felt like I had properly arrived in Germany was when I was working in a large salon here in Mannheim, as a salaried employee.

I really enjoyed that. 

And the second time I had this feeling was when I opened my own hair studio.

In Baden-Württemberg, I found out about the right to have your foreign professional qualification checked for equivalence.

Step number 1, and this is very important, is good advice.

For me, that was mainly the Chamber of Crafts and Trades.

Step number 2 involved me showing them all my documents.

They then checked whether my documents were recognised by the state.

I feel like I not only have my professional recognition.

This is also recognition of me personally, recognition of my creativity.

I can develop here professionally.

I felt like a winner.

Starten Sie Ihre eigene Erfolgsgeschichte und erzählen Sie davon.

Anerkennung in Deutschland

Mehr Erfahrungsberichte und Informationen auf

Cover IQ dossier for nursery school teachers
Förderprogramm „Integration durch Qualifizierung (IQ)“, 2022

IQ dossier for nursery school teachers

The IQ dossier on professional recognition offers valuable tips for entering the occupation.

Show dossier

Frequently asked questions

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?

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

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.

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

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

Recognising a profession

Recog­nis­ing a pro­fes­sion

Would you like to work in your learned profession? In the Recognition Finder you will find out how and where you can have your foreign profession recognised.

To the Recognition Finder


Here you will find frequently asked questions about professional recognition in Germany. Take a look, maybe your question has already been answered.

To the FAQ


Find the nearest counselling centre in Germany or other countries!

To the counselling centres


Do you have any questions about recognition or suggestions about the portal? Write to us!

To the contact