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Foreign vocational qualifications: recognition

You can apply for recognition and evaluation by the competent authority of the country in which you live for your professional qualification obtained abroad, if you have not yet submitted such an application to any other authority in Germany. The recognition and evaluation of foreign professional qualifications is based on various legal bases. Examples are:

  • The recognition or equivalence of professional qualifications of applicants who are entitled under the Federal Expellees Act is carried out on the basis of the Federal Expellees Act.
  • The recognition of professional qualifications acquired in the EU, EEA or Switzerland is regulated under Community law for nationals of the EU, EEA and Switzerland by EU Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications. The Directive has been transposed into national law in the Member States of the EU, the EEA and Switzerland. It is applicable when it comes to access to a profession regulated in the Member State of destination, i.e. when access to or pursuit of a professional activity is linked to possession of a specific professional qualification.
  • The recognition of vocational qualifications as a German assistant profession or as a German technical college qualification is regulated in some Länder in the corresponding school regulations.

Who should I contact?

The responsibility lies with the body that is also responsible for the corresponding German vocational qualification.

This can be:

  • the Chamber of Crafts (HWK) for vocational training in occupations covered by the Crafts Code,
  • the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) for vocational training in non-craft trades,
  • the Chamber of Agriculture for vocational training in agricultural and rural home economics occupations,
  • the Chamber of Lawyers, Patent Attorneys and Notaries as well as the Notarial Fund for the vocational training of specialists in the field of administration of justice,
  • the Chamber of Auditors and the Chamber of Tax Consultants for the vocational training of specialists in the field of auditing and tax consulting,
  • the Chamber of Doctors, Dentists, Veterinarians and Pharmacists for the vocational training of specialists in the health professions.

Further responsibilities, e.g. for positions in the public service as well as churches and other religious communities, are regulated in §§ 72 - 75 of the Federal Education Act (BBiG).

Which documents are required?

The specific application requirements depend on the respective professional qualifications, nationality and individual case. Please contact the competent authority.

What are the fees?

As a rule, the applicant is charged administrative costs for the recognition of the foreign professional qualification. An exception is the recognition of the professional qualifications of entitled persons under the Federal Expellees Act (e.g. ethnic German repatriates). This is free of charge if the application is made within three years from the date of permanent residence in Germany.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

Deadlines may have to be observed. Please contact the competent authority.

What else should I know?

There is a notification procedure for citizens of the EU, the EEA and Switzerland who only work temporarily and occasionally in Germany to provide services in the field of regulated professions.

Technically approved by

Chamber of handicrafts


The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)