Recognition of Professional Qualifications Acquired Abroad

Mehrere Menschen drehen gemeinsam an Zahnrädern

Have you learned a trade abroad and would like to work in Germany? A formal recognition procedure is necessary for a large number of so-called regulated professions. On this page you will find links to the competent professional associations and Senate Departments.

Regulated and non-regulated professions

What are regulated professions?

Regulated professions are for example doctor, nurse, lawyer, architect, teacher, baker or metalworker. The use of such a professional title is restricted by legal or administrative regulations to persons who have certain professional qualifications. In regulated professions, recognition is a prerequisite for practising the profession in Germany. The examination is carried out by the professional association or Senate Department responsible for the professional field.

What are non-regulated professions?

Access to or the practise of the profession is not linked to state requirements for non-regulated professions. This applies in particular to training occupations in the dual system. If the profession in Germany is not regulated by the state, you can apply directly to the German job market with a foreign qualification or you can become self-employed.

The Recognition Act

On 1 April 2012 the Law to improve the identification and recognition of professional qualifications acquired abroad entered into force. According to this, all persons with a professional qualification acquired abroad have a legal right to an examination of the equivalence of their professional qualification acquired abroad to a corresponding German reference occupation. The law creates procedures that are as uniform and transparent as possible for all professions regulated by federal law.

The portal for recognition procedures in Germany is the official information portal on the Federal Recognition Act. With the recognition finder, you can find the office that is responsible for your concern with just a few clicks. You will also receive all the important information about the procedure.

Counselling services

Hotline of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees

The telephone hotline of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) will answer your questions about professional recognition in German and English.

The hotline can be reached Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at:

Counselling services

Integration through qualification network (IQ)

The contact points for the “Integration through Qualification (IQ)” funding program provide information on the professional recognition procedures and refer those interested in recognition to the office responsible for their concerns.

There are two contact points in Berlin:

List of links to recognition offices according to occupations or occupational groups

Recognition of late repatriation certificates (BVFG) as well as degrees from the GDR (unification contract) in the field of dual vocational training and professional development

Senatsverwaltung für Integration, Arbeit und Soziales
Oranienstraße 106
10969 Berlin

Name Phone Office hours
Katja Seyfarth +49 30 9028-1069 after agreement by telephone
Konstanze Mühleck-Zwahr +49 30 9028-1177 after agreement by telephone

Further information