With regulated professions - i.e. professions that are regulated by state or federal law - your qualifications must be recognized in Germany if you want to practise your profession here.
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:
Regulated professions under federal state or state responsibility
Regulated professions under federal state or state responsibility (including review)
Send your application for recognition and the related documents to the relevant office.
Alternatively, you can send your application for recognition along with the relevant documents to the competent authority.
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 recognition 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 your application for recognition or verification of equivalency does not give you the right to stay in Germany. Before you begin a recognition 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 recognition 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 for recognition from the responsible office 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 regulated professions, if the responsible body does not recognise your vocational certificate as equivalent, it will inform you which measures you can take to compensate these differences before you file a new application for recognition.