Aiming to work in Germany?


You’ve made a good choice. Germany is looking for skilled and qualified professionals, so you will be welcomed. Prior to initiating your job applications, however, you should, clarify whether you are entitled to migrate to Germany in order to work here. Next step is to check if you need to get your professional and vocational qualifications recognized in Germany and whether you need an official Certificate of Recognition.

What is recognition of qualifications?

  • The classic recognition is basically evaluation of your professional degree gained in any other country than Germany in comparison to Germany
  • Checking if there is a significant difference between your professional qualifications and German professional qualifications. 
  • and – in the event of a positive decision – confirmation of the equivalence of foreign professional and vocational qualifications with German qualifications.

The classic recognition procedure works as per the Recognition Act of 2012 and the subsequent Vocational Qualification Assessment Law (BQFG). You will find more information on this in the section on the Legal Background of recognition of qualifications

Who can apply for recognition of qualifications?

Official recognition is mandatory for certain regulated occupations while for other occupations from the dual training system it is helpful and in any event, it can improve your chances in the German job market. No particular recognition is required for academic qualifications and education qualifications which do not lead to a particular profession. For these qualifications, it is however possible to get an individual certificate evaluation called Statement of Comparability.

See the Recognition Finder to check in which category does your profession fall into.

Regulated professions

These are all the professions for which the laws are governed by legal or administrative provisions of the Federal Government of Germany. To be able to work in these professions you need license for practising the profession. Recognition is a precondition for access to the profession as well as for using the job title. Examples of these professions include medical practitioners, independent contractors, nurses, lawyers, teachers etc. Recognition of these professions is done by associations and chambers responsible for each of these professions. 

Non-regulated occupations

For these professions people can work in these professions without having gained a licence for practice and apply for jobs directly. An evaluation may, however, be helpful in order to provide employers and companies with a better understanding of your qualification. A recognition may also open access to advanced vocational training. All so-called training occupations, i.e. occupations for which training takes place within the dual system, are non-regulated in Germany. Examples include occupations in the Dual System like Mechatronics Engineer, IT specialist, Baker etc 

A list of all training occupations in Germany is available here

Academic/ University Degrees

Recognition is not required for foreign university degrees or generally academic which do not lead to a regulated profession. However, you may have your degree evaluated in order to improve your chances of employment by the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB)

For recognition of school qualification for the purpose of higher studies you can approach the institute of higher education where you plan to study. A formal recognition is not required however a notice of equivalence issued by the relevant certificate recognition body may, however, may be obtained in certain cases. Check the Anabin database for further information. 

Advantages of recognition

For individuals

  • Bridge to employment in Germany
  • Easy application of qualifications on the German labour market
  • Greater incentive to come to Germany
  • Same rights as someone who has taken German examinations, equivalent status at work and thereby security
  • Fosters the integration of migrants into the German labour market 

For companies:


  • Bridging the shortage of skilled labour-Hire qualified staff from abroad
  • Reliable assessment of qualifications
  • Providing better work conditions = retention

Recognition: A bridge to employment