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Visa for employment within the framework of a recognition partnership

Within a recognition partnership, you can complete the recognition procedure with the support of your employer after entering Germany and start working at the same time.

Are you interested in working in Germany and need to get your foreign qualification recognised? A recognition partnership gives you the opportunity to go through the recognition procedure after you arrive in Germany, while working in your profession at the same time. For this purpose, you need a residence permit under Section 16d (3) of the Residence Act (AufenthG).

To find out if you need a visa to enter Germany, see the “Do I need a visa?” section.

What are the requirements for a visa for employment within the framework of a recognition partnership?

  • Qualification: You have a foreign higher education degree or a professional qualification requiring at least two years of full-time training. Your higher education degree or professional qualification must be recognised by the government of the country in which you obtained it. For your visa application, you need evidence of positive information regarding your professional qualification or a digital Statement of Comparability regarding your higher education degree. You can submit an application to the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) to receive either of those documents.
  • Concrete job offer: You have a concrete job offer from an employer in Germany. It will usually be qualified employment. This means that you will need a higher education degree or qualified vocational training to do this work. Auxiliary tasks will not be sufficient for this purpose. There is an exception for employment in regulated professions where a licence to practise is required (e.g. doctor, health professionals in nursing). In this case, you can work as an assistant until you obtain your licence to practise.
  • Recognition partnership agreement: You have signed a written agreement with your future employer stating that you will have the opportunity to complete the recognition procedure as part of your employment relationship. This agreement may also be included in your employment contract.
  • Proof of language proficiency: You have German language skills at level A2 or above of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Please note that, depending on the profession, a higher level of German may be required for participation in qualification measures in Germany.
  • Suitable employer: Your employer must be suitable for a recognition partnership. This means that the company already has experience in providing vocational training or post-qualification skills development. The competent authority will check the suitability of your employer during the visa process. No action is required on your part, in the role of the skilled worker

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Your conditions of employment (salary, working hours, etc.) must correspond to those of domestic employees. As part of the visa process, this will be assessed by the Federal Employment Agency (BA), which must approve your employment.

Do you meet the above requirements? Then find out about the entry and visa process.
To find out how the recognition procedure for foreign qualifications works, see the “Recognition”.

Explainer Video: How to Achieve Full Recognition in Germany through the Recognition Partnership

What opportunities does a visa for employment within the framework of a recognition partnership offer?

The residence title for a recognition procedure with accompanying employment is initially issued for up to 12 months. It can be extended by one year at a time up to a maximum of three years. This residence title allows you to work up to 20 hours a week in secondary employment in addition to the job for which you have a recognition partnership.


You should apply for recognition as soon as you arrive in Germany. Use the Recognition Finder to find out which office to contact.

Options after successful completion of the recognition procedure

  • The recognition procedure was successful: You have received full recognition of your professional qualification. For your further stay in Germany, you can now apply to the competent foreigners authority in Germany for a residence permit for skilled workers or an EU Blue Card. To do this, you must either remain employed by your current employer or provide evidence of another offer of qualified employment. If you do not have a job offer, you have the option of staying in Germany for up to 12 months to find a suitable job. For this purpose, you need to apply to the competent foreigners authority for a residence permit for jobseekers (Section 20 (3) No. 4 of the Residence Act [AufenthG]). While you are looking for a job, you are entitled to take up any form of employment.
  • Your qualification received partial recognition in the recognition procedure: partial recognition means that you lack the theoretical or practical skills or knowledge required for full recognition. In this case, your residence permit for a recognition partnership will be renewed for up to two years. Renewal requires that you participate in the necessary qualification measures to achieve full equivalence. Examples of qualification measures include a language course or a work placement. As part of the recognition partnership, your employer is required to give you the opportunity to address any identified skills gaps. Information on qualification measures for people with foreign professional qualifications can be found, for example, on the Federal Employment Agency (BA) website, the information portal “Anerkennung in Deutschland” and the Network “IQ – Integration through Qualification”.


If the maximum duration of your residence permit is about to expire and you have not received a positive result in the recognition procedure, check whether you can still change to another residence title. Enquire well in advance via the “Working and Living in Germany” hotline.

Visa for employment within the framework of a recognition partnership

From the preparatory stage to completing the application forms: this step-by-step guide shows you how to obtain a visa for employment within a recognition partnership.

Do you have any questions?

Let us advise you on your opportunities to work and live in Germany. Our experts will support you with questions regarding job search, visa, recognition and learning German. 

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