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Recognition of professional qualifications

Have you already obtained a degree in your home country? Then have it recognized in Germany. This is a requirement in Germany in order to be able to work in certain professions in Germany or to become self-employed.
Find out more about processes such as the recognition procedure, costs or duration on the following pages. We are on hand to advise you on all topics and help you through the process! 

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Foreign professional qualifications - what you need to know

If you want to work in a "regulated profession" such as medicine, nursing or pharmacy, you will need recognition of your foreign professional qualification. For other professions, recognition is voluntary, but recommended in order to start your new job quickly! The procedure takes up to three months and is subject to a fee, regardless of your residence permit.

You can find lots of additional information on the subject of recognition in seven languages on the "Recognition in Germany" website, which is provided by the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training. Here you will also find the Recognition Finder, which you can use to check in advance whether the qualification you have obtained can be assigned to a German profession, and if so, which one. You can also find out the relevant office to contact here. 

You are also welcome to contact us and we will help you start the process. Get in touch with us!

The Chambers of Crafts and Trades (HWK) are responsible for skilled trades professions, while the IHK FOSA is responsible for industry, commerce, gastronomy and services. You can submit the application for an equivalence assessment to the IHK FOSA. The procedure costs up to 600 euros. In certain cases, you can also apply for a recognition grant!

If you have any further questions, the local Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) is usually available for an individual initial consultation.

We will be happy to help you on your way to having your qualifications recognized in Germany!

Checklist for submitting an application to the HWK

If you wish to exercise a skilled trade or regulated skilled trade, please contact the Chamber of Skilled Crafts for recognition. You will need the following documents for the application:

  • Application form (available from the HWK)
  • A curriculum vitae in tabular form
  • for applicants residing abroad, proof that they will take up gainful employment in Germany
  • Officially certified color copies of the original documents and the German translations of:
    • all certificates / diplomas relating to the professional qualification obtained
    • the grade lists of the examinations / vocational schools
    • all documents from which the acquired knowledge and skills can be seen, e.g. curricula, training regulations, etc.
    • Employment references from the country of origin / from Germany or the work book, if available
    • Identity card or passport

Contact HWK Karlsruhe:

Karlsruhe Chamber of Crafts
Haus des Handwerks
Friedrichsplatz 4-5
76133 Karlsruhe

Checklist for applications to the IHK FOSA

The IHK FOSA (Foreign Skills Approval) is responsible for testing and recognition in the areas of industry, trade, gastronomy and services. Citizens of the EU/EEA/Switzerland are exempt from this.

  • Completed application form
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Tabular list of training courses completed and employment held
  • Proof of identity (identity card or passport) as a single copy
  • Proof of the professional qualification obtained abroad (training certificate)
  • Proof of relevant professional experience
  • Other certificates of competence (e.g. further training, retraining)
  • Proof that the applicant wants to work in Germany (e.g. proof of contact with potential employers, application for an entry visa, business concept)

As a rule, all documents must be translated into German; certified copies of certificates are usually required.

Contact IHK

Ulmenstraße 52g
D - 90443 Nuremberg
Phone +49 (0)911 81506-0
Fax +49 (0)911 81506-100
E-mail: [email protected]

IQ network: Advice on the recognition of professional qualifications

In Baden-Württemberg, the IQ network 's advice center for the recognition of foreign professional qualifications offers you personal advice on the recognition procedure in Germany. The first point of contact in Mannheim is responsible for the Karlsruhe TechnologyRegion. It also offers counseling sessions in Karlsruhe.

The Advice Center for the Recognition of Foreign Professional Qualifications in Mannheim offers you:

  • Information on the topic of "Recognition of foreign qualifications"
  • Referral advice and support for international professionals in the recognition process (researching the relevant recognition bodies, support in compiling the documents, further support in the recognition process if required)
  • Advice on professional orientation (possibilities for adaptation and post-qualification as well as labor market-related funding opportunities, referral to other advisory services)

Contact IQ Network

Interkulturelles Bildungszentrum Mannheim gGmbH
N 4, 1
68161 Mannheim
Phone +49 (0)621 437 731 13
[email protected]

Recognizing foreign university degrees

Have you successfully completed a degree in your home country and now want to work in Germany? Then you have two options for checking whether your university degree is recognized in Germany. We will show you the two alternatives in this section.

Comparability of university degrees (recognition of certificates)

As a rule, foreign university degrees can only be considered recognized in Germany if they were obtained at a state or state-recognized institution. The anabin database of the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) offers you the opportunity to check whether the university in your home country is also positively assessed in Germany. In the case of no or negative evaluation, the certificate evaluation is necessary.

Explanatory video: Compare university degrees via anabin

Certificate valuation

You can apply for a certificate evaluation. A certificate evaluation is an official document issued by the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) which describes a foreign higher education qualification and certifies your professional and academic opportunities. A certificate evaluation from the ZAB is intended to facilitate your access to the German labor market with a foreign higher education qualification.

Attention: Both procedures are not a recognition, but a comparative classification!

Recognize university degrees

  • A certificate assessment simplifies the path into the German labor market.
  • However, the certificate evaluation and comparability of the university degree are NOT recognition.
  • For regulated professions, recognition of the university degree / diploma is a mandatory requirement in order to be able to work in the profession in Germany.

Procedure for requesting a certificate valuation

To apply for a certificate evaluation, the ZAB offers you the opportunity to complete an online application form.

  • Complete the application form on your PC and send it back to the ZAB online. If you would like to have several higher education qualifications assessed, please download a separate application form for each qualification.
  • Then print out the application and send it together with the documents to be submitted to the Central Office for Foreign Education ZAB in Bonn.

Costs of a certificate evaluation for a foreign university qualification:

  • 200 euros for the issue of a (first) certificate
  • 100 euros for the issue of each additional certificate if you wish to have several qualifications assessed
  • 100 euros for the reissue of a certificate (for example in the event of loss)

Fee waivers are generally not granted.
The Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) is responsible for evaluating certificates.

Contact ZAB:

Central Office for
Foreign Education (ZAB)
P.O. Box 2240
D - 53012 Bonn
Tel. +49 (0)228 501 664
[email protected]

Recognition of doctors

The professional recognition of doctors is regulated at state level and therefore varies from state to state. In Baden-Württemberg, responsibility lies with the State Office for Medicine and Pharmacy. Since 2012, any doctor can apply for a German license to practice, i.e. the right to practice the profession in full.

Note: Language skills

From now on, general German language skills according to the European Framework of Reference for Languages at level B2 and specialist language skills at level C1 must be proven.
The responsible recognition office in Baden-Württemberg accepts language tests from recognized language institutes.

Are you a doctor who has completed your studies in a non-EU country and would like to work in your specialty in the Karlsruhe TechnologyRegion? Then you must submit the Application for a license to practice medicine with a professional qualification obtained abroad fill in.

As the medical profession is one of the regulated professions in Germany, EU citizens who wish to work as a doctor in the Karlsruhe TechnologyRegion must also apply for a license to practice medicine.

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