Recognition of foreign qualifications
You have a professional qualification or a university degree from abroad and are now looking to work in your profession in Rhineland-Palatinate? For this purpose, it may be necessary to have your degree or qualification recognised. A Recognition means that your foreign qualification will be evaluated. If it is decided that your degree or qualification is equivalent to a comparable German one, you will receive an official confirmation. In some professions, this recognition is a mandatory requirement for working. In addition, it depends on your nationality whether you require a recognition of your professional qualifications.
Do I need a recognition of my foreign professional qualifications?
The so-called regulated professions (reglementierte Berufe), for instance doctors, nurses, teachers or kindergarten teachers, require you to present proof of a specific professional qualification in order to be granted exercising these professions in Germany. In such cases, recognition of your foreign qualification is necessary for you to be able to work in these respective fields in Germany.
Regulated professions may be organized differently in each federal state in Germany. This means that the procedure and conditions for recognition may vary. You can find out which professions exactly are regulated in Rhineland-Palatinate with the "Profi-Filter” tool provided by the portal of the German government for recognition of foreign professional qualifications. There, you will also find the responsible authority for your profession in Rhineland-Palatinate.
For non-regulated professions, the recognition of foreign qualifications is generally not a prerequisite for practising the profession in Germany.
Most professions in Germany are not regulated, such as IT specialists, economists, plumbers, electricians, painters and varnishers.
However, in case you come from a non-EU country and need a visa or work permit for Germany, recognition is mandatory. If you have completed vocational training abroad, you are required to complete a recognition process. If you hold a university diploma, it will be necessary to prove that your qualification is equivalent to a German university degree. Information on the recognition of foreign university degrees in non-regulated professions can be found on the portal "Make it in Germany".
Video: Recognition in Germany
Advantages of the recognition of foreign qualifications
Even if you are not obligated to have your professional qualifications recognised, you can still have its equivalence with that of a German qualification evaluated. Applications for an examination of your foreign qualifications can be submitted regardless of your residence status and nationality. You can therefore submit your application already before entering Germany, in case you are still abroad. Professional recognition is in fact helpful in many professions. It makes it easier for skilled workers with a profession learned abroad to gain access to the German labour market and helps them to find an employment matching their individual qualifications. It can also help companies and employers to get a better picture of their potential employee`s qualifications.
The recognition procedure
The recognition procedure is regulated by law. During the recognition procedure, it is checked whether your vocational training is equivalent to a comparable German training. If this is the case, professional recognition can be granted. In many regulated professions, in addition, you will also need a professional licence issued by the responsible authority.
Finding the authority in charge
Before you start the procedure, you must first find out who is responsible for the recognition of your foreign professional qualifications in Rhineland-Palatinate. Which authority or chamber is responsible depends primarily on your profession and the (desired) place of employment.
- Recognition Finder: The fastest way to find the right point of contact is to use the "Recognition Finder" of the portal of the German government for the recognition of foreign professional qualifications.
- Unitary point of contact (Einheitlicher Ansprechpartner): In Rhineland-Palatinate, you also have the possibility to submit your application to our point of contact. However, the decision on the application is still made by the competent authority.
Counselling services in Rhineland-Palatinate
In Rhineland-Palatinate, you can also receive personal counselling on questions regarding the recognition of your professional qualifications. You will receive information on professional recognition, further qualification measures, if applicable, and financial support at the counselling centres. You will also be assisted in preparing your application and compiling the necessary documents.
Here you find a list of the various contact persons in Rhineland-Palatinate:
- Welcome Center Rhineland-Palatinate: The Welcome Centres Rhineland-Palatinate at the Chambers of Industry and Commerce (IHK) are a service for international qualified professionals and companies situated in Rhineland-Palatinate. They provide advice on topics such as the recognition of professional qualifications.
- IQ counselling centres in Rhineland-Palatinate: The IQ counselling centres as part of the IQ regional network Rhineland-Palatinate offer advisory services at 7 locations. They offer support on questions concerning the recognition of your qualifications and on the possibilities of further qualification in order to obtain recognition.
- Service Center for Professional Recognition (ZSBA): The Service Center for Professional Recognition (ZSBA) at the Federal Employment Agency advises you on the recognition of your foreign vocational qualification if you are still abroad. You can reach the ZSBA via the hotline "Working and Living in Germany".
Costs of the procedure
You will have to pay a fee for the recognition procedure. At present, this fee ranges from EUR 0 to EUR 600, depending on the type of degree and the responsible authority. Furthermore, additional costs may arise for certifications, translations or copies.