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On March 1, 2020, the Immigration Act for Skilled Workers (Fachkräfteinwanderungsgesetz - FEG) came into force in Germany, making it easier for workers from so-called third countries that have a recognized qualification to access the German labor market.
Recognition of qualification - Anerkennung in German - means: A professional qualification acquired outside Germany is legally equivalent to a German professional qualification. For that to happen, one has to go through the recognition process. At the end of that process, you will receive an official decision (in German: Bescheid) stating if your professional qualification is recognized in Germany.
The process of recognition is always carried out for a specific occupation in Germany, the so-called reference occupation (in German: Referenzberuf).
Regulated occupations are occupations that are specifically regulated by law and for which the recognition procedure is mandatory. For these professions, one must have a certain professional qualification and possibly meet other requirements. This is especially valid for professions in the fields of health, safety and social affairs. Regulated professions are e.g. doctor, social worker or teacher. Protected professional titles such as, for example, engineers, are also a type of regulation.
Recognition of qualifications is usually not necessary for work in non-regulated professions. However, if you do not yet have a residence permit in Germany and you are coming, for instance from one of the countries of the Western Balkans, then proof of a recognized qualification is a requirement for issuing a work visa pursuant to the Immigration Act for Skilled Workers in Germany. Non-regulated professions include trades, technical professions, but also many academic professions such as lawyers, economists, chemists, etc.
There are different types of visas for working in Germany, but a prerequisite for each of them is a signed employment contract with an employer in Germany.
In order to get a professional work visa, one must meet one of the following conditions:
For non-qualified workers from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia, the so-called Legislation for the Western Balkans (in German: Westbalkanregelung) is in force, on basis of which workers for jobs that do not require a diploma or professional qualification are provided with easier access to the German labor market. A prerequisite, apart from the employment contract, is also the Employment Statement filled out by the employer. Find more information about this on the website of the German Embassy in your country.
ProRecognition is a project of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK), funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
We provide free consulting services on the recognition of qualifications and prerequisites for work in Germany, to professionals of all academic and professional profiles. The seat of the advisory center for the Western Balkans is in Sarajevo at the Delegation of German Economic Affairs in Bosnia and Herzegovina.