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Who needs recognition?

Do I need recognition? Depending on your profession and country of origin, you may need to get your qualifications recognised. Find out more below.

Regulated professions require recognition 

You can only work in regulated professions in Germany if you have certain qualifications. This applies to many professions in the fields of health care, legal advice, teaching in state schools and engineering. There are also regulations for certain master craftworkers who run a business. If you want to work in one of these regulated professions in full capacity, your professional qualification will generally need to be recognised, regardless of your country of origin. In the case of regulated professions, a decision on recognition is usually taken as part of the procedure for granting authorisation to practise a profession.

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Immigration from the EU/EEA/Switzerland

If you want to work in a regulated profession in Germany, in almost all cases, you will need to get your foreign professional qualification recognised. If you have settled in another EU country, you can work occasionally in Germany without requiring recognition. However, you must first inform the competent authority in Germany that you are a resident in another EU country.

To find out whether your profession is regulated, use the “Recognition Finder” on the “Anerkennung in Deutschland” portal.

Some non-regulated professions may also require recognition

Most professions in Germany are non-regulated. These include occupations requiring qualifications earned in the dual system of vocational training and many professions requiring a higher education degree. For example, to work in Germany as a business economist, computer scientist or baker, you do not need to have your foreign qualifications recognised.

In some cases, the recognition of foreign professional qualifications or the comparability of a higher education degree may be a condition for granting a visa to third-country nationals. This is the case, for example, with the EU Blue Card and the visa for qualified professionals. Countries outside the EU, EEA and Switzerland are considered third countries.

There is no recognition procedure for higher education qualifications that do not lead to a regulated profession, such as biologist, physicist or linguist, as there is for regulated professions or the skilled trades and crafts. In order to obtain a residence title, third-country nationals with such qualifications must prove that their foreign higher education qualification is recognised as comparable to a higher education qualification in Germany. For more information, see the anabin database of the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB). See our “Academic qualifications” section for more information.

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Even where recognition is not compulsory, it can be useful. Recognised qualifications can be advantageous when applying for a job, changing jobs or negotiating salaries. Recognition notices written in German enable employers to recognise the skills and knowledge of skilled foreign workers immediately. For more information, visit the “Anerkennung in Deutschland” portal.

Please beware

The equivalence assessment (recognition) procedure should not be confused with the digital information procedure for professional qualifications at the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB). The latter only serves to check whether your foreign qualification is recognised by the state in the country where you obtained it. For more information visit the ZAB website.

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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