Recognition of foreign certificates

If a person has obtained an academic or professional qualification (in their home country or elsewhere outside Germany), they can often obtain recognition of their degree in Germany. In the recognition process, the certificate a person is with is compared with a similar German degree - when his qualifications are verified as equivalent to the corresponding German degree, they are recognized and the holder will have better chances in the labor market. All persons with a qualification from a foreign country have the right to this recognition process. Neither place of residence nor nationality plays a role in this.

Do certificates issued outside Germany always have to be recognized?

In some cases, it is not necessary to acknowledge the certificate. But some professions need recognition, such as medicine, law, nursing, and engineering. These professions are called “regulated professions.”reglementierte Berufe”, and those who wish to work in these fields must have a recognized certificate.


Also, professional qualifications must be recognized in the case of work for the so-called “handicrafts”zulassungspflichtigten Handwerk.” If a person's work cannot be regulated, they do not need to have their certificate recognized. However, recognition of certificates improves the chances of finding a foothold in the German labor market.

on the recruitment agency websiteArbeitsagentur) and the English), it is possible to check whether the degree we hold is on the list of regulated professions in Germany.

Note: Those who wish to come to Germany on a visa to search for a job or a job, need to acknowledge their qualifications in advance.


Where can I get a consultation for the recognition of certificates?

It is always worth seeking advice regarding the recognition process in advance. Counseling center staff can direct a person to the body responsible for recognizing their certificates, what are the next steps they should take, and how they can finance the recognition process.


The best place to seek help is. Counseling CentersIQ Netzwerk. The staff there can assist with every step of the recognition process. You can find a counseling center on the website


You can also contact IQ Netzwerk by phone or email via the helpline” Arbeiten und Leben in Deutschland The helpline is also responsible for those still abroad. Staff speak German and English and can be reached by phone (+49 30 30 1811). The consultation is free, but the normal telephone fee must be paid to call. A message can also be written using the contact form.Kontaktformular by hotline.

Where can the certification process be performed?

Depending on whether it is a school certificate, an academic certificate, or a professional certificate, the different bodies responsible for the recognition procedure are identified.

School Certificate: School certificates are recognized by the certificate acknowledgment offices"Zeugnisanerkennungsstelle" for each federal state. The responsible office can be found in the database anabin. Those who wish to obtain recognition of their school certificate for their desire to complete their studies in Germany can also contact the relevant university regarding recognition.

Undergraduate degree: Undergraduate degrees can be recognized by the Central Office of Foreign Education (“Central Office of Foreign Education”).Zenteralstelle für auländisches Bildungswesen" or ZAB). ZAB maintains a database (anabin) where it is possible to find out if the certificate is recognized in Germany. You can apply directly for recognition of the certificate at ZAB. For more information, visit the ZAB website.

Professional qualifications: You can use the site"Anerkennungs-Finder" To know the authority responsible for recognizing professional certificates. There you can either enter the job title directly or choose a category"Wählen Sie Ihren Beruf aus der AZ list" Then find the name of the profession in the list. The second step is to enter the name of the city. Then the office responsible for the recognition process for the selected certificate will be displayed.

If a person is not sure what their professional name is in German, they can search the site BQ For the exact name (English and German).

Note: The offices responsible for applications for recognition are the same as for people inside or outside Germany. Those outside Germany can submit an application to the district office in which they wish to live later.

How can I submit an application for recognition of qualifications?

After finding the appropriate recognition office, an application for recognition of the certificate can be submitted directly. But first, you must:

Clarify how the recognition process will be financed. You can read more in this regard in the section "Where can I get financial assistance to pay for the recognition process?"

Collect all relevant certificates and documents in advance. In principle, originals and certified copies must be submitted. In most cases, the translation of the papers must be done by a sworn translator. You can ask the recognition office or a counseling center about the specific documents that need to be translated. Staff can also provide contact information for sworn translators. If the person does not have any documents proving the qualifications obtained.

After examining the certificate, the person concerned will be notified whether or not his certificate has been recognized. Once the certificate is recognized, the person will receive what is called an “equivalency certificate.”Gleichwertigkeitsbescheinigung.” This means that his certificate is equal to that of someone who has the same degree in Germany.


What if our degrees are not recognized (or only partially recognized)?

If the certificate is not accepted on an equal footing with a similar German certificate, the application will be rejected. If this is the case, a test can be done on the To know the profession that best suits the person's skills and knowledge. The staff can be asked in the labor office "Jobcentre” or the recruitment agency for more information about my skills. Test results can help find a suitable job offer and may translate into other qualifications. A pre-test at home can also be taken in advance on the website exam can be given in different languages.


If the certification is only partially recognized, then under certain conditions a person may be eligible for further education/training or an examination to achieve full recognition. Counseling centers can offer IQ Netzwerk advice on these qualifying measures. A counseling center can be found on the website Arranged by the federal state.

How long does the recognition procedure take?

The recognition procedure should normally not take more than three months, which begins once the competent authority has obtained all the necessary documents. For more complex custom procedures, this period can be extended once.


How much does the recognition procedure cost?

The costs of the recognition procedure may vary depending on each case. In addition to the fee for the recognition procedure (100 to 600 euros), the translation and issuance of the document must also be paid.

Where can I request financial assistance for the recognition procedure?


If the person is registered with a labor office or employment agency, the responsible employee can be asked for financial support for the recognition procedure. The incumbent and the recruitment agency can cover the costs of the recognition procedure as well as further training. if he refusesJobcentre or the employment agency of the application, be sure to send a written notice of refusal.


In this case, an application may be submitted for a so-called “recognition grant” (“recognition grant”). Anerkennungszuschuss”). Low-income people are entitled to recognition grants. You can apply for this grant at one of the counseling centers of IQ Network. Before applying, advice can be requested in advance by phone or email. Staff (who speak German perfectly) can be reached essential) on the phone (+49 371 433 11 222) or by email [email protected].

Those who live in Berlin or Hamburg also have an alternative way to financially support the recognition process. To learn more about the “Hardship Fund” for professional recognition in Berlin, visit the website For those who live in Hamburg, they can visit the website diakonie-hamburg.deFor more information about scholarship programs that can be used to fund recognition procedures.

not to benefits from the financial aid mentioned above, you must apply for it before submitting an application for recognition. Otherwise, it will not be possible to receive any financial support for the recognition procedure.



For regulated professions, the holder must have a work permit to practice them and therefore needs to apply for recognition of his qualifications. No one can work in these professions without a work permit.


Information about recognition procedures: Here there is information from the employment agency about the recognition of foreign qualifications.


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