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Recognition of Foreign Professional Qualifications

Are you a trained professional from abroad? You may need to get your qualifications recognised to practice your profession in Germany.

Qualifications from other countries can be recognised for many professional fields. This may include, for example, certificates received upon completion of school, academic degrees, and professional training. Most professions in Germany are officially regulated, which means that you need professional training and credit to be able to practice them. As such, the exact scope of what you may be able to do in Germany will depend on how your qualification compare to the German standards.

We recommend applying for professional recognition in any case. If you can provide a formal recognition, it will be much easier for employers to assess your professional qualification. This may speed up the process and improve your chances of finding a job on the German job market.

If you are unsure what job best matches your professional qualification, you may find useful advice on BERUFENET (German only), the official job search website from the German Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit).

There are two kinds of professions in Germany: regulated and non-regulated professions.

Regulated professions

Regulated professions require official recognition to be able to practice them.

You can use the Anerkennungs-Finder (lit.: ‘Recognition Search’) to see whether or not the job you want is regulated. You can also find a list of regulated professions in Germany on the website of the European Commission. In addition, the Profi-Filter will help you find the local authority responsible for any job: Profi-Filter (

Some examples of regulated professions are those in the medical field ('Heilberufe') with academic training, healthcare professions ('Gesundheitsfachberufe'), youth and childcare professions ('Erzieher'), social professions ('Sozialberufe'), and teaching positions at public schools (Lehramt an staatlichen Schulen).

Central online platform for recognition of professional qualification
If you wish to work in a regulated profession in Hamburg, you may need to apply for the recognition of your qualification at the respective local authority. This central online platform (German only) provides information on where to send your application. Here you can also file a request for recognition of your foreign professional qualification for a regulated profession or in a skilled trade. The service also enables you to submit all relevant documents directly to the respective local authority in Hamburg.

The online platform also provides you with all relevant information on:

  • fees
  • the respective local authority, including contact information
  • due documents

Non-regulated professions

Most professions in Germany are not regulated.

If you are from an EU or EEA country or Switzerland, or if you already have a residence permit, recognition of your qualifications is not necessary just to have a non-regulated job. In this case, you can start your job without any formal recognition. You can use the Anerkennungs-Finder to find out whether you need a recognition of your qualifications or not.

Even in such cases, we still recommend applying for formal recognition of your professional qualification, because this may improve your performance on the job market and result in higher salaries.

If you have a university degree from abroad and wish to take on a non-regulated job, you can find information on how to apply for a statement of comparability for foreign higher education qualifications here:

Recognition of Foreign Academic Degrees

Find advice on determining the German equivalent of your foreign academic degree.



Consultation on recognition

You can find information on this in our article.