Is my profession regulated in Germany?

As the first step for your recognition process you need to know which German profession could be equivalent to yours and if this is a regulated one. 


Where can I get advice on the recognition process?

If you want to apply from abroad you should get information on make-it-in-germany or via the „Arbeiten und Leben in Deutschland“ hotline (+49 30 1815 1111), where you will be advised in English or German. The staff will help you find the office responsible for the recognition procedure in your profession.

If you already live in Germany or know where you will live you can also directly consult a local IQ advice centre (Netzwerk IQ - Integration through qualifications).

The information portal of the Federal Government „Anerkennung in Deutschland" provides information on the recognition of foreign professional qualifications in eight languages.

Which recognition centre is responsible for my qualification?

Which recognition centre is responsible depends on the kind of your profession. There is three kinds of qualifications: school, academic and vocational.

Recognition process of vocational qualifications

The first step for your recognition process is to know which German profession could be equivalent to yours and if this is a regulated one. 

For the recognition on vocational qualifications it is helpful to consult the website "Anerkennung in Deutschland" and write your profession in the “recognition finder”. As a result, you will get information on the profession, which may be equivalent to yours in Germany. As a second step you can enter the name of the city, where you live and will find the responsible recognition centre. Depending on the federal state and profession, different centers are responsible for checking equivalence. You can also find descriptions of the vocational training system in different countries, like Syria or Afghanistan on BQ-Portal.

As this is a lot of things to consider and not always easy to find a German reference profession, it can help to consult an IQ advice centre (Netzwerk IQ). They support you step-by-step during the recognition process.

After you have found the recognition centre responsible for your qualification you can apply for recognition. They compare your qualification with the German reference profession. 

What will be the result of the recognition process?

Several results are possible:

Duration and Costs

The process should usually not take more than three months. You must pay the fees for the process yourself or if you receive financial support from job centres or Agencies for employment (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) it might be refunded.

How much you have to pay is based on the fee regulations of the recognition centres and depends on the individual complexity of the process. Usually you have to pay the fees in advance. If you need to do any necessary harmonization training schemes the costs can also be assumed. Discuss the funding with the person responsible for you at the agency for employment or job centre. Since 2015 it has also been possible to avail yourself of a harmonization training scheme free of charge via the IQ support programme.