BAMF - Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge - The recognition process

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The recognition process

On application, the professional qualification acquired outside Germany will be compared with the German professional qualification. In order to make an application, interested parties must contact the office responsible for their profession. Information about offices responsible for individual professions can be found on the Internet at or by calling +49 30-1815-1111.

First, the applicant must decide with which specific German professional qualification they want their qualification to be compared. The office responsible will be happy to help in this regard.

Once the documents have been submitted, they will be checked to see if there are any significant differences between the professional qualification was obtained outside Germany and the German professional qualification. If this is the case, a check will be made to see if the differences can be made up for by using other qualifications or professional experience. If the documents are inadequate for assessing the professional qualification, a qualification analysis may take place, e.g. by testing the applicant's work or carrying out professional interviews. With effect from 1 December 2012, the process should not take longer than three months as a rule if all the documents are complete.

Full equivalency will be certified if no significant differences are established between the foreign and German qualification. In the case of regulated professions, the professional accreditation will be issued. If significant differences are established between the foreign qualification and the German professional qualification, the applicant will receive an assessment for non-regulated professions in which these differences will be precisely stated. This will allow applicants to apply to employers directly or to find suitable further training. In regulated professions applicants can make adjustments to compensate for the differences. Depending on the profession, they will need to attend a course to qualify fully or sit a professional examination.

Fees are charged for this process, and these are set by the office that is responsible. Therefore applicants should find out about the likely costs in advance of making an application. If they are registered as looking for work or receive social welfare benefits, the costs can be met by state offices under certain conditions.

Date 17 December 2015

Additional Information

Questions and Answers

Who is entitled to apply?

Applications can be made by anyone who has successfully completed professional training outside Germany. Important: Your nationality is not relevant to the process. Nor do you need to have a residence permit.

Can the application be made from abroad?

You can apply if you do not live in Germany. You must simply have a professional qualification that you have gained outside Germany and prove that you intend to work in Germany.


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