Recognition of a professional qualification
In January 2016, the Point of Single Contact Berlin (Einheitlicher Ansprechpartner Berlin) also became an advice and support office for all matters related to recognition of regulated professions. This is very useful if you want to prove a qualification acquired abroad in a regulated profession in order to work in this profession in Berlin.
What does professional recognition mean?
Professional recognition means evaluation and – assuming a positive decision – confirmation that a professional and vocational qualification acquired abroad is equivalent to a German qualification. In a procedure that is regulated by law, an examination is carried out to determine whether or not your training is equal to comparable German training and whether professional recognition can be granted.
When do you need professional recognition?
Professional recognition is helpful in many occupations. In Germany, there are certain professions where it is even mandatory.
This depends on the profession:
In regulated professions, recognition of your professional qualifications is a mandatory requirement for pursuing the profession or using the professional title. Without recognition, you will not be permitted to work in the regulated profession in Germany with your professional qualifications acquired abroad.
Regulated professions in Germany include, for instance, doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers, educators and engineers.
In non-regulated professions, recognition is not a mandatory requirement for pursuing the profession. In professions like these, you can apply directly for a position on the labour market and work in the profession. It may, however, be useful to have your qualification evaluated so that employers and companies can better understand your foreign qualifications.
In Germany, all so-called apprenticeship occupations, i.e. occupations that are trained in the dual education system are non-regulated professions.
Comprehensive information about professional recognition is available in several languages on the “Recognition in Germany” portal. Using the “Recognition Finder” provided there, you can find your reference profession in Germany, who to contact regarding recognition, information about recognition procedures, moving to Germany and much more. We expressly recommend that you find out more there before submitting an application for professional recognition.
How can you acquire professional recognition?
Via EA Berlin
You can submit an application for professional recognition of your regulated profession via the online portal of EA Berlin if you wish to work in this profession in Berlin. EA Berlin will assist you in selecting the office in charge of recognition for your professional qualifications and will forward your documents directly to this office.
The service provided by EA Berlin is free. All you will have to pay are the customary administration fees at the office in charge of recognition.
Via the office in charge
You can also contact the office in charge of your professional qualification (a public authority or chamber) directly without involving EA Berlin. However, this means that you will first have to find and select the right office. That is why we have compiled an overview of the offices in Berlin in charge of recognition of regulated professions.
You can submit an application to one of these offices via the EA Berlin online portal without involving EA Berlin.
Other advisory support
“Hotline Working and Living in Germany”
The “Hotline Working and Living in Germany” operated by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) can answer your questions regarding recognition of foreign qualifications – in German and English – on weekdays from 9am to 3pm.
IQ Landesnetzwerk Berlin
Would you like to talk to someone in person? The IQ advisory offices in Berlin provide information about the procedures for professional recognition and will direct you to the right office for your matter: