Recognition of Qualifications

Recognition of Qualifications

Recognition of Foreign Qualifications

Learn where and how to get your foreign qualifications formally recognized by the Hamburg authorities.

Recognition of Foreign Qualifications

Whether it's necessary to get your foreign qualification officially recognised in Germany, depends on several factors.

Academic qualifications

Foreign academic degrees generally don't need to be officially recognised in Germany if the home qualification was fully completed including a final exam, and if the qualification is legally recognised, and was properly awarded in the home country.  It is not possible to convert a foreign academic degree or title into a German academic degree or title.

Professional qualifications

If you've had a professional education, you should check whether or not your profession is regulated in Germany. If it is, then you will need to have your qualification recognised, for instance by the Chamber of Crafts. A good first step is to contact the Counselling Centre for the Recognition of Qualifications (ZAA) where you will be advised on your personal situation.


It may be necessary to present a transcript of subjects and grades and a certificate authenticating the foreign university, along with the qualification certificate,. All of this should be presented in its original form and, if necessary, with a translation by a sworn German legal translator. Some professional qualification can't be immediately converted: i.e. as a sports teacher, more training would be necessary. Bought qualifications can not be recognised.


If your qualification is in a foreign script (for example, Cyrillic or Arabic), it is possible to transfer it letter for letter into Latin script (transliteration). Alternatively, a literal translation can be added, normally in brackets ─ however, this is only to explain the foreign qualification and must be accompanied by the original. A literal translation is not always required, though, and professional regulations may actually require something different. Translation of abbreviations, even generally recognised ones, should be carried out.