Life in Germany
September 08, 2022

Five steps to recognition professional qualification Germany

If you are a foreign worker coming to work in Germany, you must first get your skills recognised. This short read will give you the top 5 things you must know.

Sabine Schneider



1. Find your reference profession
First, search for your profession under the so-called Recognition Finder here.

This portal is in German and English, so that searchers who are not yet sufficiently proficient in German have an alternative option with English. Here you will find extensive information on German occupations. Select your reference occupation, i.e. the German occupational title that most closely corresponds to your occupation. Whether recognition is required for your professional qualification depends on your profession as well as your country of origin.

The Recognition Finder will also provide you with contact details for the office responsible for your application or also for a counselling centre that can assist you with valuable information on the recognition process and possible financial aid.

Please note that the counselling centres are often multilingual, while communication with the office responsible for the application is usually only in German.

2. Make your request
To apply, you need to have completed vocational training or a degree. Submit your application to the office responsible for you. You can find information on which office is responsible and which documents you need to submit in the Recognition Finder. As a rule, the following documents must be submitted:

  • Application form from the competent authority or informal application
  • Identity document (passport, identity card)
  • Marriage certificate (if your name has changed due to marriage)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Proof of your professional qualification (e.g. certificates, vocational qualifications)
  • Proof of the content and duration of your education (e.g. diploma supplements, transcript)
  • Work certificates or work references
  • Information on an application for recognition that has already been submitted. Name the office to which you have presented yourself.
  • If you do not come from a country of the European Union or Switzerland, you must provide further proof, such as:
    • Your application for a job in Germany and invitations to interviews.
    • Proof of your application for an entry visa for gainful employment
    • Personal statement and your goals

Other documents to be submitted:

  • Certificate of good conduct not older than 3 months at the time of application (police certificate of good conduct, certificate of good character)
  • Medical certificate as proof of health suitability from Germany and your country of origin not older than 3 months at the time of application.
  • Language certificate as proof of your German language skills

There are costs for the recognition of your professional qualification. The amount of the costs depends on the profession as well as the federal state in which you want to submit your application. The competent office can inform you about this more in detail.

3. Have your documents checked by the competent body
Your application will be checked by the competent office. After about four weeks, you will receive a notification that either your documents are complete or that any documents still need to be submitted. If the documents are complete, the recognition procedure will be initiated.

4. Receive your decision
After about 3 to 4 months, you will receive the recognition certificate you have been waiting for.

With full recognition, your professional qualification is equivalent to the German qualification. You will also receive permission to use the professional title and receive a corresponding certificate. You can work in your profession in Germany and have the same professional rights as people with a German professional qualification.

If the recognition decision does not show the desired result, i.e. you are informed that your professional qualification is not or only partially recognised (no recognition or partial recognition), this means that either your professional qualification is not equivalent, i.e. there are substantial differences between your professional qualification and the German professional qualification and these differences could not be compensated for by professional experience and other knowledge in the profession, or you do not meet all the requirements for permission to use the professional title. You may also have to prove that you are personally suitable and that you have sufficient knowledge of German. In these cases, you can consider qualification options. The competent office will advise you on your options.

5. The job search in Germany can begin
With your notification of recognition, you can now start looking for a job in Germany. Information on living and working in Germany is available at:

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