If you have a foreign vocational certificate that cannot be allocated to a corresponding regulated profession in Germany, this means that your profession is not regulated in Germany.
The following questions are designed to give you an overview of the most important information.
To find out if your profession is regulated in Germany, refer to the directories available for download here and the list of all dual education professions in Germany that are not regulated.
- Regulated professions under national or regional responsibility (download - only in German language)
- Regulated professions under national or regional responsibility (including review) (Download - only in German language)
- List of unregulated apprenticed trades (status 01 August 2015) (only in German language)
If you have found your profession among the regulated professions, please switch to the section on regulated professions now.
Non-regulated professions do not require recognition of your foreign degree to practice your profession in Germany. You can, however, apply for a verification of equivalency that can increase your chances on the German job market.
Send your application for verification of equivalency and the related documents to the responsible office. To find the responsible office you can use the recognition finder of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB).
You can file your application for verification of equivalency of your professional qualifications from another country even before entering Germany. German citizenship or a residence permit are not required to file the application.
However, a positive result of the verification of equivalency does not give you the right to stay in Germany. Before you begin a verification of equivalency process from another country, you should therefore find out if you are allowed to migrate to Germany and work here. The job migration quick check will help you.
Both the procedure of recognition (regulated professions) and the verification of equivalency (non-regulated professions) are subject to fees. The fees are set by the corresponding office and are based on the requirements of the Directive on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications. According to previous experience fees range between €100 and €600.
Your application for verification of equivalency can only be processed if you have filed a complete application including all documents with the responsible office. A complete application includes:
- Completed application form of the responsible office
- Proof of identity (identity card of passport)
- Evidence of completed vocational training
- CV in German
- Evidence of professional experience, if applicable
- Evidence of other skills, if applicable
- Evidence of language skills, if applicable
- Declaration stating whether this is the first application filed in Germany
- Declaration stating whether you are planning to commence work in Germany
Please do not send any originals, only copies, or certified copies, if requested by the responsible office. Any documents that are not written in German must usually be translated at your own expense by a sworn, publically appointed interpreter. Click on the link below to search a database of publically appointed interpreters and translators.
to interpreter and translator database
If you are missing part of or all of the documents verifying your completed foreign vocational training, you can ask for a skills analysis to determine whether your skills can be compared to the relevant professional skills, knowledge and abilities taught during the German vocational training programme. There are different ways to perform a skills analysis - for example by means of work samples or professional discussions. The following institutions provide additional information on the skills analysis:
You will generally receive notice regarding you application from the responsible office for verification of equivalency within a period of 3 months after submission of the complete documents.
- If there are no major differences between your foreign vocational certificate and the corresponding German qualifications (reference qualification), your foreign vocational certificate will be recognised as equivalent.
- In the case of non-regulated professions, if the responsible body does not recognise your vocational certificate as equivalent, it will notify you of the existing qualifications and the differences to the German reference qualifications in the case of non-regulated professions.