Recognition of Foreign Qualifications
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Anyone who has studied abroad or has been trained in a profession and wants to work in that same field in Berlin must, in certain cases, have their professional qualifications accredited. There is a specific procedure for this, whereby the foreign professional qualification is considered equivalent to a corresponding German professional qualification.
Regulated and Non-Regulated Professions
In Germany, a distinction is made between regulated and non-regulated professions. In the regulated professions, recognition of professional qualifications is a mandatory requirement for practicing the profession or using the professional title. This applies to the following professions, among others:
- medical staff
- lawyers and judges
- and many more
For mathematicians, economists, journalists, locksmiths and general office professions, it is possible to work in those professions even without accreditation.
However, it is also advantageous to have your professional qualification accredited for non-regulated professions. This makes it easier for potential employers to evaluate your knowledge and skills, and accreditation can also be an advantage in salary negotiations.
If you are moving to Berlin from abroad, find out in advance whether your profession is recognized in Germany, or which German qualification your degree is equivalent to. The Regulated Professions Database of regulated professions will provide you with information.
Professional Accreditation Before Moving to Berlin
You can have the qualifications that you acquired outside of Germany accredited, even if you are neither residing in Germany nor have German citizenship or a German residence permit. This is even mandatory if you want to enter Germany from a third country in order to work – i.e., one that isn’t in the European Union, the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
If you come from an EU country, your degree will, in most cases, be recognized without an individual equivalence assessment if the degree certificate was issued after the EU entry date for the country where the education or training took place. Degrees issued before the relevant date of EU entry are automatically recognized if the applicant provides a certificate from the competent authority in the country where the education or training took place that confirms that the training was completed before entry and meets the minimum standards of Directive 36/2005/EG.
Application for Professional Accreditation in Berlin
In Germany, you have a right to an accreditation procedure if you want to work in Germany, have a foreign state or state-recognized professional qualification, and can prove this by means of a degree certificate. You can submit the application to a competent counselling center with the following documents.
- Completed application form or informal application
- Proof of identity
- Proof of professional qualification
- Confirmation of the content and the period of validity of the above-mentioned documentary proof
If you wish to apply for professional accreditation in writing, all copies of the certificates and diplomas must be officially certified by a German authority (e.g., Bürgeramt, German embassy, German consulate). If you apply in person and present the original documents for inspection, official certification is not required – simple photocopies are sufficient in this case.
Recognition of Foreign Professional Qualifications: Costs and Procedures
As a general rule, the recognition procedure costs €400. For some professions, such as doctors, you must expect higher charges.
You will receive notification of the outcome of your accreditation procedure by letter. For regulated professions, the decision regarding professional accreditation is either positive or negative.
If no accreditation was granted, this is either because your professional qualification is not equivalent to the German benchmark profession or because other requirements have not been met.
In the case of non-regulated professions, partial recognition of your professional qualifications may also be granted, for example if only part of your qualifications are equivalent to the benchmark profession. In this case, it is possible to obtain full accreditation for the professional qualification by completing remedial education or training.
If you have problems classifying your qualification and therefore do not know whether accreditation is necessary, the Datenbank der Europäischen Union database can help, as it maintains a Regulated Professions Database.
Information on the recognition of foreign professional qualifications
- Information on occupational recognition
- More information on occupational recognition
- Were you unable to find your particular degree? Click here for the Accreditation Finder.
- Information about foreign professional qualifications (German only)
- Information portal for accreditation of foreign educational credentials (German only)
- Clarification of the Federal Accreditation Act (German only)
- Information on the accreditation of school credentials (German only)
- Accreditation of foreign professional qualifications (German only)
Information on the recognition of regulated professions
Doctors, medical nurses & health care professionals
State Office for Health and Social Affairs (LAGeSo)
Turmstraße 21/House A
Advice center veterinary
Veterinary Chamber Berlin
Consulting office for pharmaceutical and commercial assistants
Brandenburg State Chamber of Pharmacists
Am Buchhorst 18
Recognition medical specialties
Medical Association Berlin
Phone: +49 (0) 30 40806 1101
Recognition office for specialist dentists
Chamber of Dentists Berlin
Phone: +49 (0) 30 34 80 80
What do I have to do?
- On the LAGeSo site, search for the profession for which you want to have the foreign qualification recognized.
- Find out in advance about the fees you will have to pay.
- If necessary, obtain a certificate from the competent authority in your country of training (for training prior to EU accession).
What do I need?
The documents required on the LaGeSo site for your occupation and the fees requested.
Teachers, Educators & Pedagogues
infoPunkt of the Senate Department for Education, Youth and Family
Consulting center for social pedagogues, educators, childhood and special pedagogues
Recognition Office for State-Certified Music Teachers (Technical College Level)
The Governing Mayor of Berlin
Senate Chancellery Berlin - Cultural Affairs -
Brunnenstraße 188 – 190
Contact person: Mr. Sandhop
Phone: +49 (0) 30 90228 755
Recognition office for foreign teaching degrees
Renate Pfitzinger, Room 2 B 07
Phone: +49 (0) 30 90227 – 5724
Esther Krüger, Room 2 B 07
Phone: +49 (0) 30 90227 – 6146
Katja Bartel, Room 2 B 05
Phone: + 49 (0) 30 90227 – 6241
Office hours by telephone:
Monday: 2 – 3 p.m.
Wednesday: from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Thursday: 2 – 3 p.m.
Personal office hours:
Monday: 9 – 12 a.m.
Thursday: 4 – 6 p.m.
What do I have to do?
Find out which office is responsible for the recognition of your degree on the page of the Senate Department for Education, Youth and Family (SenBJF).
Find out in advance about the fees to be paid. If necessary, obtain a certificate from the competent authority in your country of training (for training prior to EU accession). If you do not know the name of the German occupation that corresponds to your vocational qualification, or if you have further questions, take advantage of the advice offered at the infoPunkt of the Senate Department.
Sales, skilled trades and service professions
Consulting Center Commercial and Service Professions
Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK)
Advisory service for skilled trades
Chamber of Crafts
What do I have to do?
- Check with your future employer ahead of time to determine if recognition is necessary.
- For crafts professions: Contact the Berlin Chamber of Skilled Crafts and clarify all further necessary steps.
- For trade and service professions: Contact the Berlin Chamber of Industry and Commerce and clarify all further necessary steps.
What do I need?
- Copy of passport or ID card
- Certified copy of the proof of education (diploma, certificate, testimonial)
- Copies of proof of work (certificate, work book, certificate)
- Copies of continuing education certificates, if applicable
- You may need further documents
Lawyers, judges, paralegals and notary clerks
Recognition Office for Law Degrees
Senate Department for Justice, Consumer Protection and Anti-Discrimination
Salzburger Straße 21 – 25
Consultation office legal and notary clerks
Berlin Bar Association
Contact person: Mr. Ehrig
Phone: +49 (0) 30 30 69 31 27
Recognition office for specialist lawyers
Berlin Bar Association
Phone: +49 (0) 30 30 69 31 0
Skilled worker and journeyman apprenticeships, advanced training qualifications
Professions of agriculture
Foreign university degrees
Advisory office administrative assistant
Administration Academy Berlin
Recognition office architects, urban planners
Chamber of Architects
Alte Jakobstraße 149
Contact person: Mr. Jakob
Phone: +49 (0) 30 2933 0715
Recognition body engineers
Chamber of the Construction Industry
Phone: +49 (0) 30 7974 4300
Recognition office auditors
Chamber of Public Accountants
Phone: +49 (0) 30 7261 610
Recognition Office Career Qualification, Civil Service
Phone: +49 (0) 30 90223 2285
Advice on recognition for all other professions:
Central initial contact point for occupational recognition
Otto Benecke Foundation e.V.
Consultation in German, English, Spanish, Russian, Polish and Turkish
- Independent and multilingual expert advice on the recognition of professional qualifications acquired abroad (information on legal basis, procedure, costs and duration of the procedure)
- Consulting on qualification possibilities within the framework of the recognition procedure
- Consulting on employment or internships in order to obtain full equivalence with a German training occupation
- Support in the ongoing process
- Information on funding and support for recognition procedures and adaptation qualifications
- Information on contact persons for related topics (e.g. residence permits, language support, etc.)
Turkish Federation Berlin Brandenburg e. V.: Recognition and qualification consulting
Contact persons: Lale Yıldırım, Ümit Akyü, Laura Pannasch und Majd Agha-Ali
Phone: +49 30 23 62 33 25
(Appointment Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.)
Club Dialog: Consultations on the recognition procedure for vocational qualifications in German, English, French, Arabic, and Turkish
Roadmap Recognition of Vocational Qualifications
Supporting institution: Club Dialog e. V.
Contact persons: Julia Merian, Iwona Bossert, Irina Nowodvorskaya
Friedrichstraße 176 – 179
Consulting in German, Polish, Ukrainian and Russian
If you have problems with the classification of your degree and therefore do not know whether recognition is necessary, the database of the European Union can help. This maintains a database of regulated professions.
What do I have to do?
- Clarify with the help of the EU database whether your profession is a regulated profession or with your future employer whether recognition is necessary.
- Go to the website www.anerkennung-in-deutschland.de and select the menu item “Recognition finder”. Search for your reference occupation to find out which office is responsible for recognizing your degree. If you have problems at this point, please call the information hotline at +49 30 1815 1111 – they will help you make the right choice. Please note: In the German education system, there are two high-quality ways to obtain a vocational qualification: university studies and dual vocational training. Therefore, do not be irritated if you do not find your qualification under the term “study”.
- Then contact the office responsible for you in Germany to initiate the recognition process. You will receive detailed information on which documents you need to submit.
Use the telephone hotline of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF)! There, all your questions about professional recognition will be answered, in German and English. Phone: +49 30 1815 1111 (Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)