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Foreign academic qualifications

In general, your university degree does not have to be recognised to allow you to work in a non regulated profession (e.g. computer scientist, mathematicians, economist) in Germany. If you are a citizen of a non EU-country and you need a visa – for example the EU Blue Card – for Germany, then you will have to proof your university degree to be recognised or comparable with the German qualification. You have three options of verification:

Positive results in the database anabin

This database documents information on foreign universities and degrees. This includes degrees rated by the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) at an earlier date. Unfortunately, the database is only available in German.

You have to find your university and your precise university degree in the database anabin:
Step 1: The university can be searched for here. If it is rated with the status “H+”, this means that the university is recognised.                                                                          
Step 2: The academic degree can be found here. It is equivalent to a German degree, if it is listed as “gleichwertig” or “entspricht” (German for “equivalent” or “corresponding”).

Please note:

  • It is necessary to search separately for the university and the degree, because it is possible that the degree is listed without reference to the university.
  • To get the complete search result in the detail window, please click on the purple icon with the white “+” sign.
  • The two print-outs of the positive results for the university and the degree can then be used together as proof of equivalency.
  • Please note that many degrees are not listed in the database yet. In this case, or if anabin print-outs are not sufficient for the intended purpose, it is necessary to apply for a Statement of Comparability.

Statement of Comparability

You can only apply for an evaluation of your foreign degree at the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) located in Bonn, if your university is rated with an “H+” in anabin. This evaluation is called the Statement of Comparability and it is an official document which states the obtained qualifications. It can be used in applications for jobs in Germany or when applying for a visa.
Information concerning the evaluation procedure, including a list of required documents and costs, can be found here.
Please note that the processing time can take up to three months. If you apply for an evaluation in order to receive an EU Blue Card, the processing time will take up to two weeks. Please attach a copy of your work contract in this case.
For evaluations of several degrees, please fill out the initial form for each degree separately. Every additional statement contains additional fees.
For further questions concerning the evaluation please contact the Central Office of Foreign Education (ZAB):

Holding the professional title “engineer”

If you want to work as an engineer and hold the occupational title “engineer”, the recognition of your foreign qualification is mandatory. You can only be granted a full recognition, if your foreign qualification is recognized as equivalent to the corresponding German one.
The corresponding office for the recognition depends on your residence or place of work in Germany. You can find the corresponding office here. You just have to enter the occupation “engineer” and the region you want to work in.
You can find general information on the recognition procedure here.

Information on the internet

Federal Office for Migration and Refugees

Hotline on “Recognition of foreign professional qualifications” (German, English)

Recognition of qualifications in Germany

How to have your professional qualifications recognised and where to find your local contact centre (i.a. German, English, Spanish, Italian, Polish)


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