Recognition of professional qualifications in another EU country

Information about Rights & Duties

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

Recognition of a professional qualification

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 your professional qualification to be recognised.
  • You always need recognition for what are known as regulated professions (reglementierte Berufe).
  • Examples of regulated professions include doctors, pharmacists, midwives, care workers and teachers.
  • 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 include computer scientists, bank clerks and business economists.

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 qualification even if you are not in Germany.

Recognition procedure

For the recognition procedure, the competent authority in Germany will run a check:

  • It will consider whether your foreign qualification is equivalent to a German qualification.
  • This check will be based on the documents about your training and will be carried out according to fixed formal criteria.
  • Among other things, these criteria include the content and duration of your training. Your professional experience will also be 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 submit the application for the procedure directly to the competent authority. The contact details for the competent authority can be found on the Anerkennung in Deutschland (Recognition in Germany) website.

You can also submit your application to a Single Point of Contact. The Single Point of Contact will forward your documents to the competent authority and will assist you in the procedure.

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

There are many advisory services in Germany. Get personalised advice on the reference profession for your qualification, for example from an IQ advisory service.

You can find all the necessary information on the Anerkennung in Deutschland website. There, you can quickly and easily find answers in 11 languages to your questions on recognition:

  • Do I need to have my professional qualification recognised?
  • Is it worth obtaining recognition in my case?
  • Can I apply? Am I entitled to it?
  • Who do I need to contact?
  • What does the recognition procedure involve?
  • What documents are needed?
  • What format must the documents be in?
  • How long will the procedure take?
  • What will the procedure cost?
  • What legislation is relevant in my particular case?

The Anerkennung in Deutschland website is also the German contact point in accordance with Article 57(b) of EU Directive 2005/36/EC. This means that citizens of the Member States of the European Union or the European Economic Area or Switzerland who have questions about recognition are provided with specific advice.

Responsible for the content
Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung - BiBB)

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