© Thaut Images / Fotolia.com

© Thaut Images / Fotolia.com

The profession is crucial

Recognition is not always necessary. Comparison and recognition of training completed abroad are particularly important in the so-called regulated professions.

In non-regulated professions, recognition of the professional qualification is not absolutely necessary in order to be able to work. In these occupations, the employer decides whether the qualifications acquired abroad match the requirements of a vacancy. In many cases, however, it is helpful for the employer if a neutral body (competent body) has previously compared the foreign vocational training with the corresponding German vocational training. The chances of a good job can increase as a result.





An application is necessary

All persons wishing to establish their foreign professional qualifications and have them recognised in regulated professions must submit an application. This initiates an administrative procedure, which usually involves fees and costs for translations. The application must relate to a German occupation. This profession is also called the reference profession. The application must be submitted to the competent body responsible for the reference profession. The application can also be submitted to the Point of Single Contact. The decision on the application shall be taken by the competent authority. As a rule, it has up to three months to do so.

Citizenship and residence status are not decisive

The possibility of having foreign professional qualifications determined and recognised does not depend on nationality. As a rule, you only need German citizenship or citizenship of a state of the European Union for activities that are carried out as an official.

The possibility is not tied to a residence title or a work permit. This means that recognised refugees, asylum seekers and tolerated persons can also submit an application.

However, persons not resident in the European Union or the European Economic Area or Switzerland must submit additional documents for numerous professions. These must show that they want to work in the profession they have learned. For this purpose, for example, one of the following documents can be submitted:

  • Proof of an applied entry visa for gainful employment
  • Proof of contact with potential employers
  • Business concept, if an entrepreneurial activity is planned
Personal consultation is possible

You can get personal and free advice on questions of determination and recognition as well as qualification. This advice is helpful if you are not sure which reference profession corresponds to or comes close to your professional qualifications. Please contact the recognition and qualification consultancy of the IQ-Network Rhineland-Palatinate.

Fees and other costs may apply

In almost all professions, fees are charged for the procedures for determining and recognising professional qualifications acquired abroad. The fees are based on the fee law of the competent body and often depend on the individual effort required to carry out the procedure.

Further costs may arise because, as a rule, translations of the documents to be submitted must be submitted. The translation must have been produced by publicly appointed or sworn translators or interpreters.

Some professions require proof of language skills. In these cases, costs for language courses or language examinations may arise.

If your professional qualifications differ significantly from the professional qualifications required in Germany and you wish to pursue a regulated profession, you may incur costs for adaptation courses or knowledge tests.

For non-regulated professions: If you do not have or do not have complete documentation of your professional qualifications, it is generally possible to prove your professional qualifications through technical discussions and work samples. This can also incur costs.

You as the applicant must bear the costs. In individual cases, the employment agencies or job centres will cover the costs. Please clarify this at the beginning. Persons with insufficient financial resources and in particular employees who work below their completed qualification can apply for a recognition grant for certain costs.

The fees can be demanded subsequently, after the end of the procedure or as an advance at the beginning of the procedure.

In principle, it is possible to claim the fees as business expenses/advertising costs in the tax return. This is because they have a direct economic connection with income after starting work in the profession they have learned.

Recognition of school reports

For the recognition of school certificates, please contact the Directorate of Supervision and Services.

Evaluation of foreign university degrees

If you have a foreign university degree and do not want to work in a regulated profession, you can have your university certificate assessed. An assessment is a comparative classification, but no recognition of your professional qualifications. Further information can be found on the website of the Central Office for Foreign Education.