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Apply for recognition of a foreign professional qualification for training or further training in the field of judicial professions

You can have a training qualification or further education qualification from abroad officially recognised in Germany. The procedure for recognition is called: Determination of equivalence.

Please note: Your degree must be state-recognized in the state of your education. Informal or non-formal qualifications cannot be officially recognised in Germany.

Training occupations in Germany in the field of the administration of justice are:

  • Notary clerk or notary assistant
  • Patent paralegal or patent paralegal
  • Legal and notary assistant or legal and notary assistant
  • Paralegal or paralegal
  • Legal Specialist

You can apply for recognition at the competent authority in the federal state in which you would like to work. In the area of the administration of justice, the bar associations, patent attorney associations and the chambers of notaries are normally responsible.

In order to apply for a determination of equivalence, you must identify a German training qualification or further training qualification. This is the so-called reference profession. It must match your foreign professional qualification. Therefore, you should seek advice before applying.

When determining equivalence, the competent authority compares your degree with a specific German degree. 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 decision mentions existing and possibly still missing professional qualifications. The decision allows employers to better assess your professional qualifications. For skilled workers from third countries, a recognition procedure is usually a prerequisite for the issuance of a visa. Third countries are all countries outside the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

You can also apply for a determination of equivalence from abroad.

Process flow


They shall submit an application for a determination of equivalence to the competent authority.
Perhaps you can send the application electronically. The competent authority will inform you. You can also submit the application with the documents to the competent authority or send it by post. Do not send originals.

Examination of equivalence

The competent authority then checks: Is your professional qualification equivalent to the German professional qualification? In doing so, the competent authority compares the qualifications with the help of certain criteria. Important criteria are the content and duration of the training. The competent authority shall also take into account your professional experience, other qualifications and qualifications in the equivalence test.

Possible results of the test

You will receive a notification with the result of the procedure. You will receive recognition if your professional qualification and the German professional qualification are equivalent.

Sometimes there are significant differences between professional qualifications. The differences are listed in your notification. With this decision, you can further qualify yourself in a targeted manner and later submit a new application for equivalence determination.

If your professional qualification is not equivalent, you will not receive recognition.


  • You have a state-recognized professional qualification from abroad.
  • Your degree must match a German training qualification in the field of judicial professions.
  • They want to work in Germany.

Which documents are required?

The competent authority will tell you which documents you need to submit. Important documents are generally:

  • Proof of identity (ID card or passport)
  • Marriage certificate (if your name has changed due to marriage)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Proof of your professional qualification (e.g. certificates, professional certificate)
  • Proof of training
  • Proof of your relevant work experience
  • Proof of further relevant knowledge for the work
  • Have you ever submitted an application for a determination of equivalence? Then indicate to which office you submitted the application.
  • Perhaps: You don't live or work in the EU, the EEA or Switzerland yet? Then you have to prove that you want to work in the profession in Germany. Proof includes, for example, applications for a job, invitations to job interviews or a location note from the Central Service Centre for Professional Recognition (ZSBA).

The competent authority will tell you which documents you need to submit as a simple copy, as a certified copy or in the original.

If your documents are not available in German, you must submit German translations of your documents. Translations must be carried out by translators who are publicly appointed or authorised.

You may need to submit additional documents in the course of the recognition process. The competent authority will inform you.

What are the fees?

The costs generally depend on the effort required for processing.

In addition, additional costs may arise (e.g. for translations or certifications). These costs vary from person to person.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

Sometimes documents are still missing in the procedure. The competent authority will then inform you by when you have to submit the documents.

Processing duration

Processing Time: 3 Months
The competent authority will inform you if documents are missing. If the documents are complete, the procedure will take a maximum of 3 months.

What else should I know?

Procedure for ethnic German repatriates

As a late repatriate, you can go through the recognition procedure either according to the laws mentioned here or according to the Federal Expellees Act. You can decide for yourself. The competent authority will advise you on which procedure is right for you.

Skills analysis

You no longer have all the necessary documents for the application? In this case, recognition is still possible. You can prove your professional qualification with a qualification analysis, for example through a technical interview or a work sample.

Technically approved by

Federal Ministry of Education and Research and

Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training

Professionally released on



The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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