Recognition of qualifications in Germany

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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 the so-called third countries, who have a recognized qualification, to access the German labor market.

Recognition of qualifications in Germany Recognition of qualifications in Germany Recognition of qualifications in Germany Recognition of qualifications in Germany Recognition of qualifications in Germany

What is Anerkennung?

What is Anerkennung?

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).

The recognition procedure can be initiated from abroad. The conditions for starting the procedure are:

  • You intend to work in Germany.
  • You obtained a professional qualification at a state or state-recognized institution.
  • You have obtained a qualification for which regular education lasts a minimum of 2 years.
  • You have a diploma for your professional qualification.

Types of occupations

Types of occupations
Types of occupations

Regulated occupations

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.

Non-regulated occupations

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.

Work visas in Germany

Recognition of academic qualifications in Germany

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.

Work visas in Germany Work visas in Germany

Qualified workforce

In order to get a professional work visa, one must meet one of the following conditions:

  • After the procedure, you received a decision on the recognition of your professional qualification.
  • Your university degree is recognized as "comparable" in Germany.
  • You have completed an individual assessment of your university degree.

Non-qualified workers

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.

About us

This website was established as part of the ProRecognition project.

ProRecognition is a project of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), the main objective of which is the establishment of centers for consultation and providing support and information on the recognition of qualifications in Germany. The project is financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Science. The headquarters of the advisory center for the Western Balkans was in Sarajevo at the Representative Office of the German Economy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the project was implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2020 to 2023.