Working in Germany: the official website
for qualified professionals

Visa for the recognition of professional qualifications

Have you applied for recognition of your professional qualification and the outcome was not what you wished? What can you do if the competent authority in Germany decides that you are not qualified for full recognition?

No need to panic! You can participate in qualification programmes in Germany to acquire the theoretical or practical skills you lack. These provide the possibility of training in a company, or doing a technical training course, preparatory course or a vocational German course, for example.

If you come from a non-EU country, you generally need a residence permit for recognition of professional qualifications (Section17a of the Residence Act, or Aufenthaltsgesetz). To obtain this, you must meet the following requirements:

  • In its assessment notice (Anerkennungsbescheid), the competent authority states that you must complete further theoretical or practical training to receive full recognition of your qualification.
  • To apply for a visa, you have to provide proof that you have successfully applied for a course. If the course consists primarily of practical training in a company, the company must draw up a professional training plan setting out how you can acquire the skills required for recognition. Also, the training plan must set out how much the company will be paying you during the practical training period.
  • To obtain a visa, you have to prove that you have sufficient financial means to support yourself while in Germany. You can find out how much the required financial means are and what proof you have to provide on the German embassy Web site of your home country. You will find the address of the competent German embassy on our local contacts' world map.

Once you have all the documents, you can apply for the visa to the German mission abroad in your area. After you arrive, you will receive your residence permit from the foreign nationals' registration authority for the entire duration of the course, including the examination, but for no longer than 18 months.

If you wish to work at the same time as doing your qualification course, that is perfectly possible: in your own professional field this can be for more than 10 hours a week, but no more than 10 hours in any other. For example, while doing a qualification course in nursing, you can work for more than ten hours a week for your future employer by working as a carer.

If you wish to work, please specify this when applying for the visa so that the required permit can be issued. If you are only offered a job after entering Germany, enquire at your local foreign nationals' registration authority.

You have passed the examination after completing your qualification course? Now there is no further obstacle to getting full recognition for your foreign professional qualification. Your residence permit can be extended by up to a year under Section17a (4) of the Residence Act to allow you to find a job that corresponds to the recognised professional qualification. During this time, you may take up any kind of employment.

Visa for taking an examination

Has the competent authority found that you need to take an additional examination before your qualification can be recognised? In that case, you can apply for a visa to be able to take the examination in Germany. The requirement is that your future employer has made a firm job offer to you if you pass the exam. You can find out more about the visa procedure from the German embassy in your home country. There, you can get more information about how to apply for the visa.

You will find further advice on getting your foreign Professional qualification recognised in the section to "Jobs".

Information on the internet

Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF)

Important information about residence and settlement permits in Germany (German, English, Turkish)

Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF)

Flyer "The EU Blue Card" (German, English)

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