Why Germany?
September 08, 2022

Professional Recognition Germany

Working as a professional in Germany requires you to firstly get your profession recognised. This is a main requirement usually before you may enter the country for work. This article gives you a guideline on what to consider.

Sabine Schneider


Why people want to get their profession recognised

Individuals often make decisions for the betterment of their family or significant other. Growing up in a lesser-developed country does not mean that one should be forced to remain in vile conditions or deal with the lack of civil liberties. Whether you are currently working on a degree in your home country and want to emigrate when finished or have already completed your qualifications and are looking for a better life for yourself and your family, Germany may be the place to start your search.

Recognition before work

If you have completed state or state-recognised vocational training or studies abroad and would like to live and work in Germany, you will most likely need recognition of your professional qualification. If you are a nurse in Ghana, the recognition procedure checks whether the skills you acquired abroad are comparable to those of a nurse trained in Germany. Before your entry to Germany, you must apply for professional recognition in your specific field.

Professional Recognition from Non-EU Countries

Whether you require recognition of your professional qualification depends on your country of origin. If you come from a non-EU country, you will generally require professional recognition in order to enter Germany for work. Moreover, it also depends on your profession. If you have learned a regulated profession, i.e. a profession that may only be practised under certain legal conditions, such as a doctor, architect or teacher, you will always need recognition regardless of your country of origin.

“Hop on a temporary visa to Germany and brush up on your language skills.”

If your degree only partially meets the requirements for German qualification:
You can complete a qualification measure to bring your skills in line with German standards.

Note: If you need to come to Germany for this as a non-EU citizen, you can apply for a temporary visa. The visa will then be granted if your notice of recognition shows that you still lack practical or theoretical knowledge, but you have registered for a qualification measure in Germany, and you possess German language skills at a level of at least A2 and can finance your stay in Germany entirely yourself. You will be allowed to work part-time during the qualification measures up to ten hours per week and, if in your occupational field, even more under certain conditions.

Regulated and unregulated professions

Professional recognition in Germany has been around since 2012 when it was codified under the Federal Recognition Act to regulate and standardise the procedure for the recognition of foreign professional qualifications. It applies to more than 600 professions which fall under federal jurisdiction. If you have learned a non-regulated profession in a country outside the EU, you must provide proof that your foreign university degree is comparable to a German one. This applies, for example, if you studied computer science or mathematics abroad. If you fall into this category, there are two ways to go about this. Firstly, to receive a positive result via the Anabin database which provides information about the accreditation and acceptance of foreign third-level degrees. Secondly, you may receive an individual certificate evaluation from the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB).

For more detailed information on the recognition of your foreign professional qualification under "Foreign university degrees" via the following multilingual website: www.anerkennung-in-deutschland.de and via the Working and Living in Germany hotline: +49 30 1815-1111 in German and English.

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