Recognition of qualifications
Some occupations require that a foreign university degree or professional qualification be formally recognised in Germany. These include occupations in the medical, social and security sectors, for example. Many professional titles ─ such as that of engineer ─ also can only be used if they are formally recognised in Germany.
Good to know: If you immigrate to Germany from a country that is not included in the European Union or European Economic Area (including Switzerland), you will generally need to have your profession formally recognised. This is a prerequisite for a residence title.
If you are looking to have your professional qualification formally recognised in Germany or you are required by law to do so, the first step is to choose your reference occupation. To this end, ask yourself the following question: What German profession most closely comes to the one I learned? You of course do not need to be familiar with the German occupational landscape all by yourself as you can also take advantage of a range of counselling services.
Once you have found “your” reference occupation, carry out a quick check: Do I have all of the qualifications I would have obtained in Germany when learning this profession?
If you can answer with a “Yes”, you can start the recognition process. To do so, you need to submit all relevant formal evidence, certificates and qualification notices. As soon as your qualifications have been officially assessed, you will be provided with a certificate of recognition. Congratulations ─ your professional qualification is now formally recognised in Germany, and you can show employers how good you are!
Are you still lacking specific qualifications? You can catch up on these at a later point. For example, you can complete an internship at a German company or engage in further training. After you have acquired the additional qualifications you need, you can start the recognition process.
It is of course sometimes also the case that individuals practise a profession ─ i.e. have the knowledge required to pursue it ─ but do not have any official certificate or other means of proof to validate this. If this applies to you, you can demonstrate your skills during a trial period.
As formally recognising your university degree or professional qualification can be a complex process, we generally recommend that you collaborate with a counselling centre.
Go to the linked website to learn more about this process and view the nearest counselling centre in your area.