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Certain professions such as lawyers or doctors are regulated in Germany and can only be practised with specific qualifications that are recognised in the country (often to ensure that a certain standard of knowledge or care is maintained). The Professional Qualifications Assessment Act allows you to obtain a German equivalent of your qualifications and to practice in a nationally regulated industry.

Conditions of professional recognition

In Germany, professional recognition mainly concerns regulated professions like doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers, engineers etc. It may not be necessary for other jobs, but certainly can be helpful to find a job.

To obtain recognition of your vocational qualifications, you must intend to work in Germany and you must show proves of the validation of the qualifications you acquired in your home country.

Holding German nationality or being in the country when you apply for your professional recognition isn't mandatory. You must submit your application before entering Germany.


You would be well advised to check if you are entitled to migrate to Germany before applying for your professional recognition.

 Good to know:

As far as non-regulated occupations are concerned, professional recognition is not necessary. Apply directly for the job you would like to do. However, you may want to certify your German language skills.

How to apply for a professional recognition

You are advised to go to the Federal Ministry of Education and research website Recognition in Germany to find out who the relevant authorities are that you must contact for your professional recognition. The website will advise you of the contact details of the authority in charge of the recognition procedure, and which documents will be needed. Procedures may vary depending on local laws of the Bundesländer.

Then you must submit your application with the necessary documents. Usually, this will include:

  • copies of your passport identification or ID card,
  • proof of vocational qualifications and other skills, for example, continuing training,
  • proof of relevant work experience,
  • proof of licensed practice of the profession in your home country,
  • a copy of your CV listing your education and work experience in German, and
  • certified translations.

Once the authorities concerned have received the required documents, they will be able to determine if your professional level of qualification matches with the occupation you wish to hold in Germany.
Fees applied range between 200 and 600 euros, depending on your individual case. Additional charges may arise for translations, travel expenses or notarizations.

 Useful links:

Recognition in Germany 
BQ Portal - The information portal for professional recognition in Germany

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