Professions in the trade, recognize foreign professional qualifications

There are around 200 different trades in Germany.
For many trades you need a certain professional qualification if you want to become self-employed.
No specific professional qualification is required for all other trades in the skilled trades.
But you have the right to a procedure for the recognition of a foreign professional qualification in the craft if you have a state-regulated training.
The procedure is called "equivalency determination".
An equivalency assessment improves the chances on the German labor market.

It is recommended to seek advice in advance or to clarify which documents or whether originals or certified copies are to be submitted.

Important documents are generally:
  • Proof of identity (passport or identity card)
  • List in tabular form with training and professional experience (curriculum vitae)
  • Proof of training (diploma, certificate)
  • Certificate of the type and duration of the relevant professional experience
  • a declaration that no application for an equivalence assessment has yet been submitted
  • possibly curriculum (detailed content of the training).
The documents must be submitted in German. The translations must be done by publicly appointed or authorized translators.


You have state-regulated training in the craft from abroad.
You would like to work in the relevant profession in Germany.


You can only have your training recognized if it is regulated by the state.

For applicants who have achieved partial equivalence of their professional qualification, there is the possibility of an adaptation qualification.
Sections 40a, 50b, 51e Crafts Code
ยงยง 4 ff., 14 ff. Professional Qualification Assessment Act
Section 10 Federal Expellees Act

Related Links

  • Recognition in Germany
  • IQ network Hamburg
  • Craft regulations
  • Professional Qualifications Act
  • Federal Expellees Act
You submit a written "application for equivalence assessment" with the necessary documents.
For professional qualifications from the EU / EEA / Switzerland: You can submit the application and the documents directly or to the point of single contact in Hamburg (see link). You can also submit the application electronically via the point of single contact.
The competent authority then compares your professional qualification from abroad with the German professional qualification and checks the equivalence. If your professional qualification is equivalent, it will be recognized. You will receive the notification of equivalence (notification of recognition) by post.
If your professional qualification is not equivalent, it will not be recognized. You will receive a notification about the differences in your foreign professional qualifications. With this notification, you can further qualify yourself in a targeted manner and later submit a new application for an equivalency assessment.
You can take legal action against the decision of the competent authority. The decision is then reviewed. We recommend that you first speak to the competent authority before taking legal action against the decision.

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