Professionals from third countries can apply for a residence permit for a period of 18 months while they take part in a training course in Germany for the recognition of their professional qualification acquired abroad.
If a recognition of your professional qualification is necessary depends on whether your profession is regulated or not. The application for professional recognition must be submitted to the authority responsible for your profession. Further information can be found in the section career & profession.
The relevant authority will check your qualifications. If they come to the conclusion that your foreign qualification is different from the German qualification, you must take part in a compensation measure (Qualifizierungsmaßnahme). This can either be done through an adaptation period (Anpassungslehrgang) or an examination. You can find more information about compensation measures on the BQ-Portal. If you have successfully completed the training course, your qualification can be recognised. During the training you may work up to ten hours a week.
After receiving the full equivalence of the professional qualification (volle Gleichwertigkeit der Berufsqualifikation) or the professional admission (Berufszulassung), the immigration authority can extend the residence permit for the job search. This gives skilled workers the opportunity to integrate into the German labour market.
Citizens of the member states of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland do not need a residence permit to take up employment. They enjoy unrestricted freedom of movement in Germany.Chapter overview
- Entry with a German visa for the purpose of recognition of foreign qualifications. The German Mission Abroad in your home country is responsible for issuing visas.
- Exception: Nationals of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand and the United States of America can enter without a visa.
Professional qualification acquired abroad
Notification of the determination (Feststellungsbescheid) by the authority responsible stating, that further vocational qualifications are required
Proof of participation in a suitable adaptation or qualification course
Suitable proof of German language skills - Minimum level A2, for doctors and nursing staff B1. This proof is not required if language acquisition is part of the planned qualification course.
- Proof of financing (947€ per month) or presentation of a Declaration of Commitment
- Sufficient health insurance (Annex 2)
If you want to learn more about the recognition of foreign professions, feel free to visit one of the following contact points for a consultation.
- in Hamburg: Use the services of the Counseling Centre for Recognition of Qualifications (Zentrale Anlaufstelle Anerkennung)
- in Germany: Look for facilities of the IQ funding programme, call the hotline "Working and Living in Germany" of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) and benefit from the ZAV - Zentrale Auslands- und Fachvermittlung (International Placement Services)
- abroad: In some countries there are German chambers of commerce abroad that participate in the "ProRecognition" project and advise on the recognition of professional qualifications.
- online: Find general and job-specific information on the subject of professional recognition at "Recognition in Germany", "Make-it-in-Germany" or the "BQ-Portal".