Training professions under the jurisdiction of the Chambers of Industry and Commerce (IHK), have foreign professional qualifications recognized
You can have a training qualification from abroad officially recognized in Germany by the Chambers of Industry and Commerce (IHK). The procedure for recognition is called: Gleichwertigkeitsfeststellung (BQFG).
Please note: Your training qualification must be state-recognized in the state where you trained. Informal or non-formal qualifications cannot be officially recognized in Germany.
In the equivalence assessment, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) compares your training qualification with a specific German training qualification. The German training qualification must match your training qualification. Important criteria in the comparison are the content and duration of the training.
You will receive a notification of the result of the procedure. The notification will list any existing vocational qualifications and any qualifications that may still be lacking.
The certificate makes your foreign training qualification transparent for employers and thus increases your chances on the labor market. For skilled workers abroad outside the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, a recognition procedure is usually a prerequisite for the issuance of a visa.
There are around 350 different training qualifications within the scope of the Chambers of Industry and Commerce (IHK) in Germany. A list of training qualifications can be found, for example, on the website of the IHK FOSA. To apply for an equivalence determination, you must identify a German training qualification. This German training qualification must match your training qualification. That is why it is important to get detailed advice before you submit an application.
You can get individual initial advice on the application, procedure, costs and duration as well as possibilities for financial support from the local Chambers of Industry and Commerce (IHK). The counseling centers of the IQ network ("Integration through Qualification"), the labor administration and other municipal offices also provide information on the recognition of foreign qualifications.
You submit the application to the responsible Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK). There are 79 IHKs in Germany. For 76 IHK in Germany, the IHK FOSA in Nuremberg is centrally responsible for determining the equivalence. Exceptions are the IHK Hannover, the IHK Braunschweig and the IHK Wuppertal-Solingen-Remscheid.
You can also apply for an equivalence determination from abroad.
For degrees from Austria and France, there is the possibility of a simplified equivalence determination, as special agreements exist with these countries. To do this, you must contact your local IHK. You can find out which IHK is responsible for you under "Further information".
As an employer in Germany, you can apply for an accelerated skilled worker procedure for skilled workers from third countries. You apply for the procedure with the power of attorney of the skilled worker at the responsible foreigners authority at your company headquarters in Germany. In this accelerated procedure for skilled workers, among other things, the determination of equivalence at the IHK is accelerated. There are additional fees for the accelerated skilled worker procedure.
The application for equivalence determination together with all necessary documents is received by the responsible Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) and the IHK checks the equivalence of the training qualification:
- The IHK compares your foreign training qualification with the German training qualification.
- If your training qualification is equivalent, it will be recognized. You will receive the notification of equivalence (notification of recognition).
- If there are significant differences to the German training qualification, the proven work experience or other relevant evidence (e.g. further training) will also be examined. In this way, full equivalence can be established in many cases.
- If full equivalence cannot be established, the educational qualification will not be recognized. You will receive a notice about the differences to the German training qualification. You can use this notice to obtain further qualifications and later submit a new application for an equivalence determination.
- If your training qualification is not equivalent at all, the application will be rejected.
Who should I contact?
If you are abroad: You can also reach the Central Service Point for Professional Recognition (ZSBA) via the "Working and Living in Germany" hotline.
The ZSBA offers you in-depth advice and support in the recognition process and provides location advice.
- You have a state-recognized training qualification from abroad. The training qualification must be attributable to a German training qualification in the area of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce.
- You want to work in Germany.
Which documents are required?
For the standard procedure:
- Proof of identity (identity card, passport, change of name).
- Curriculum vitae
- Certificate of graduation including list of subjects
- Proof of relevant work experience (work certificates, work books)
- Other proof of qualifications (courses, retraining, further training)
- Contents of the training (especially framework curriculum)
- Information on any application for equivalence that may already have been submitted. Then state the office to which you have submitted the application.
- You do not yet live or work in the EU, the EEA or Switzerland? Then you must provide evidence: You want to work in Germany in the profession. Evidence can be, for example: Applications for jobs and invitations to interviews, a personal statement about your intention, proof of a location consultation from the Central Service Office for Professional Recognition (ZSBA).
For the accelerated skilled worker procedure:
- Documents for the standard procedure
- additionally a power of attorney according to § 81a AufenthG
Additional documents may be requested by the IHK during the course of the recognition procedure. This is usually done because of country-specific features of your training.
The IHK will inform you in which form you have to submit the documents in each case. In most cases, you will have to submit simple copies.
If your documents are not in German, you must submit German translations of your documents. The translations must be made by translators who are publicly appointed or sworn.
What are the fees?
For the standard procedure:
- Cost range: EUR 100 - 600
For the accelerated skilled worker procedure:
- Cost range: EUR 500 - 1,200
In addition, you personally may incur further costs (e.g. for translations or certifications). These costs vary individually.
Fee: 100,00 - 600,00 EURPayment in advance: NoFor the standard procedure. In addition, you may incur additional personal costs (e.g. for translations or certifications). These costs vary from person to person.
Fee: 500,00 - 1200,00 EURPayment in advance: NoFor the accelerated skilled worker procedure.
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
- Sometimes documents are still missing in the procedure. The IHK will then inform you by when you have to submit the documents.
- If you want to take legal action against the decision of the IHK: You can file an appeal in writing within 4 weeks after receiving the decision
In the standard procedure:
The IHK confirms after a maximum of one month that your documents have arrived. At the same time, the responsible office will inform you whether any documents are missing and, if so, which ones. The letter is also accompanied by the fee notice with the necessary payment information.
If all the required documents are available, the procedure should take a maximum of 3 months. In individual cases, the procedure may be extended once.
In the accelerated skilled worker procedure:
The IHK will confirm after a maximum of 2 weeks that your documents have arrived. The IHK will inform you whether any documents are missing and, if so, which ones. The letter is also accompanied by the fee notice with the necessary payment information.
If all required documents are available, the procedure should take a maximum of 2 months. In individual cases, the procedure may be extended once. In the accelerated skilled worker procedure, all communication takes place via the responsible foreigners authority.
Applications / forms
- Written form required: no
- Personal appearance required: no
- Administrative court action
You can take legal action against the decision of the IHK. The decision will then be reviewed. We recommend that you first talk to the IHK before taking legal action against the decision.
Technically approved by
Federal Ministry of Education and Research
Professionally released on
The text was automatically translated based on the German content.