Recognition of qualifications with a view to employment in another Member State

Information about Rights & Duties

Recognition of qualifications with a view to employment in another Member State

Did you acquire your professional qualification in a country other than Germany?

Would you like to work in Germany long-term and potentially on a self-employed basis in your profession?

Depending on the profession you may be able to or may have to apply for recognition of your professional qualification.

You always need recognition for regulated professions.

Examples of regulated professions: doctor, pharmacist, midwife, nurse, teacher.

For non-regulated professions, you only require recognition if you are applying for a residence permit to work in Germany.

Examples of non-regulated professions: computer scientist, bank clerk, business economist.

However, you always have a legal right to a recognition procedure. Your nationality and your current place of residence are irrelevant for this. You can apply for recognition of your professional qualifications even if you are not resident in Germany.

For the recognition procedure, the competent authority in Germany will check whether:  your foreign qualification is equivalent to a German qualification. This check is based on the documents about your education and is carried out according to fixed formal criteria. Some examples of these criteria are the content and duration of your education. Your professional experience is also taken into account.

The recognition procedure varies depending on the profession. Different procedures and applications are therefore required for different professions. Different authorities are responsible for the procedure in each case.

You can obtain the application for the procedure directly from the competent authority or from a Point of Single Contact. The Point of Single Contact will forward your documents to the competent authority and assist you with the procedure.

Note : Before you submit an application, you need to find out your reference occupation in Germany. During the recognition procedure, your professional qualification will be compared against the reference occupation.

In Germany, the IQ counselling centres will advise you which reference occupation is appropriate for your qualification.

You can find all the necessary information on the Recognition in Germany website. On this website, you can quickly and easily find answers in 11 languages to your questions concerning recognition:

  • Do I need to have my professional qualification recognised?
  • Is recognition worthwhile for me?
  • Can I apply? Am I entitled to this?
  • Who do I need to contact?
  • What does the recognition procedure involve?
  • What documents are required?
  • What form should the documents be in?
  • How long does the procedure take?
  • What does the procedure cost?
  • What legislation is relevant for my case?

Recognition in Germany is also the German Assistance Centre (in accordance with Article 57b of EU Directive 2005/36/EC). This means that: We provide citizens from the Member States of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland with individual advice on issues relating to recognition.

Further information

Recognition in Germany

German Assistance Centre

Points of Single Contact in Germany

IQ counselling centres

Responsible for the content
Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training

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