Recognition of foreign professional qualifications

In Germany, a distinction is made between regulated and non-regulated professions. In the regulated professions, accreditation of your professional qualifications is mandatory in order for you to practice your profession or use a professional title. Among others, this applies to physicians, nurses, other medical personnel, lawyers and judges, teachers and educators, pre-school staff and in some cases engineers. 

For mathematicians, economists, journalists, metalworkers and general office professions, accreditation of foreign credentials is required only in exceptional cases where the hiring company request it. You must distinguish between accreditation, which allows you to use a job title, and authentication of your translated credentials. Certification of your credentials will often suffice.

Copies (credentials, etc.) must be officially certified by the German authorities (e.g. by the county clerk's office, German Embassy, German Consulate). If you submit an application in person using original documents, official certification is not required – simple photocopies will be sufficient in this case.

If you are moving to Berlin from abroad, find out in advance whether your profession is recognized in Germany or which German degree is equivalent to yours. The link to the database of regulated professions can be found in the waypoint at the bottom of this page. You can have qualifications acquired outside Germany accredited even if you do not reside in Germany, do not have German citizenship or a residence permit for Germany.

If you come from within the EU, your degree will be recognized without undergoing individual assessment for equivalence if your diploma was issued after the country in which you received training became a member of the EU. Credentials issued prior to EU membership will be automatically recognized if the applicant presents a certificate from the competent authority in the country where training was acquired attesting that training completed prior to EU membership meets the minimum standards set forth in Directive 36/2005/EC. 

Generally, a fee is charged for the accreditation procedure in the amount of 400 euros. For some professions, such as physicians, you should expect fees to be higher. 

OUR TIP: Check with your employer well ahead of time whether an accreditation procedure is necessary and if so exactly what it will involve.

List of Accreditation and Advice Centers

Have your occupation or qualifications certified by a competent accreditation authority – in Berlin you'll find a variety of accreditation and consultation offices. Some of them can help you submit an application and provide general information, while others will assist you throughout the entire accreditation process and can also evaluate your documents.  

Physicians, Medical Personnel & Healthcare Professions

Certification Authority

Landesamt für Gesundheit und Soziales (LAGeSo -- State Office of Health and Welfare)
Fehrbellinerplatz 1
10707 Berlin 

Email: info.arzt@lageso.berlin.de
Phone: +49 (0) 30 90229-0

Advice Center for Veterinary Medicine

Tierärztekammer Berlin (Chamber of Veterinarians)
Littenstraße 108
10179 Berlin

Email: tieraerztekammer-berlin@gmx.de
Phone: +49 (0) 30 312 1875

Advice Center for Pharmaceutical Sales and Marketing

Landesapothekenkammer Brandenburg (State Chamber of Pharmacists)
Am Buchhorst 18
14478 Potsdam

Contact: Ms. Greinke
Email: greinke@lakbb.de
Phone:  +49 (0) 331 88866 55

Certification authority for paramedics

Phone:  +49 (0) 30 90227 334

Certification Office for Specialist Physicians

Friedrichstrasse 16
10696 Berlin

Phone:  +49 (0) 30 40806 1101

Certification authority for Specialist Dentists

Zahnärztekammer Berlin (Dental Association)
Stall Straße 1
10585 Berlin

Phone:  +49 (0) 30 34 80 80

What do I need I do?

1. Visit the LAGeSo website and search for the profession for which you are seeking accreditation of your foreign qualification (german only)

2. Find out in advance about the fees involved.

3. If required, obtain a certificate from the competent authority in the country where you received training (if training was acquired prior to EU membership).

What will I need?

The documents listed on the LaGeSo website for your job, and the required fees. 

Our tip: For non-regulated professions, it may be possible to apply to have your credentials reviewed by the Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen (ZAB: Central Office for Foreign Education). This can facilitate the application process.

Teachers, Pre-School Staff & Educators

Advice Center
Information Center for the Senate Department for Education, Youth and Science
Bernhard-Weiß-Straße 6
10178 Berlin

Email: post@senbjw.berlin.de
Phone:+49 (0) 30 90227-5050

Advice center for social pedagogues, educators, early childhood and remedial teachers

Contact: Ms. Sagebiel
Phone: +49 (0) 30 90227 5514/5303

Advice Center for state-certified music teachers (vocational school level)

The Governing Mayor of Berlin
Senate Chancellery - Cultural Affairs -
Brunnenstrasse 188-190
10119 Berlin

Contact: Mr. Sandhop
Phone: +49 (0) 30 90228 755

Recognition for foreign teacher graduates

Bernhard-Weiß-Straße 6
10178 Berlin

Contact Person

Renate Pfitzinger, Room2 B 07
Phone: +49 (0) 30 90227 – 5724

Esther Krüger, Room 2 B 07
Phone: +49 (0) 30 90227 – 614

Katja Bartel, Room 2 B 05
Phone: + 49 (0) 30 90227 – 6241

Telephone opening hours

Monday: 2 – 3 pm
Wednesday: 10 am – 12 pm
Thursday: 2 – 3 pm

Personal opening hours

Monday: 9 am – 12 pm
Thursday: 4 – 6 pm

Download: Brochure recognition of teaching qualifications (german only, PDF, 228,6 kB)

What do I need I do?

  1. Go to the webpage for the Senatsverwaltung für Bildung (SenBJW --- Senate Office for Education, Youth and Academics) which is responsible for accrediting your credentials.
  2. Find out in advance about the fees involved.
  3. If required, obtain a certificate from the competent authority in the country where you received training (if training was acquired prior to EU membership).
  4. If you do not know the name for the German occupation that is equivalent to your professional degree, or have further questions, please use the advice services available through the info point for the Senate Office for Education, Youth and Academics.

OUR TIP: You can begin the process for accrediting your professional qualifications prior to leaving your home country.

Commercial, Professional Trades and Service Occupations

Advice Centers for Commercial and Service Occupations

Indusrie- und Handelskammer (Chamber of industry and Commerce) (IHK)
Fasanenstr. 85

10623 Berlin

Contact: Ms. Schnock, Ms. Tews
Email: gunda.schnock@berlin.ihk.de, kathrin.tews@berlin.ihk.de
Phone:  +49 (0) 30 31 51 04 24,  +49 (0) 30 31 51 03 58

Advice Center for Professional Trades
Handwerkskammer (Chamber of Commerce)
Blücherstraße 68
10961 Berlin

Contact: Ms. Intepe, Ms. Franke
Email: anerkennung@hwk-berlin.de,
Phone:  +49 (0) 30 25 903 481,  +49 (0) 30 25 903 483

What do I need I do?

1. Clarify in advance with your future employer whether accreditation is necessary.
2.  For professional trades: contact the Berlin Handwerkskammer (Chamber of Crafts) to clarify all the necessary steps.
3.  For commercial and service occupations: contact the Chamber of Industry and Commerce Berlin to clarify all the necessary steps.

What will I need?

  • Copy of passport or identity card
  • Certified copy of your credentials (diploma, certificate, reference)
  • Copies of proof of employment (certificate, employee record, credentials)
  • Where applicable, copies of certificates for advanced training
  • You may require additional documentation

OUR TIP: You can get free certified copies of your original credentials through the accreditation consulting services offered by IHK Berlin. The Berlin Chamber of Crafts (Handwerkskammer) is the appropriate authority for completing the process for establishing equivalence (accreditation procedure).

Lawyers, judges, lawyers and notary's assistants

Certification authority for graduates in law

Gemeinsames Juristisches Prüfungsamt der Länder Berlin und Brandenburg (Joint Legal Examination Office for the States of Berlin and Brandenburg)
Salzburger Straße 21-25
10825 Berlin

Contact: Ms. Hingst, Mr. Draeger
Phone: +49 (0) 30 9013 3322

Advice Center for Paralegals and Notary Clerks

Rechtsanwaltskammer Berlin (Bar Association)
Littenstraße 9
10179 Berlin

Contact: Mr. Ehrig
Phone:  +49 (0) 30 30 69 31 27

Certification authority for specialist solicitors

Rechtsanwaltskammer Berlin (Bar Association)
Littenstraße 9
10179 Berlin

Contact: Mr. Ehrig
Phone:  +49 (0) 30 30 69 31 0

Skilled workers and apprentice training, further training qualifications

Advice Center 

Indusrie- und Handelskammer (Chamber of industry and Commerce) (IHK)
Fasanenstr. 85
10623 Berlin

Contact: Ms. Schnock, Ms. Tews
Email: gunda.schnock@berlin.ihk.de, kathrin.tews@berlin.ihk.de
Phone:  +49 (0) 30 31 51 04 24,  +49 (0) 30 31 51 03 58

Opening hours by appointment

Occupations in Agriculture

Advice Center

Senate Department for Labor, Integration and Women
Oranienstraße 106
10969 Berlin

Contact: Ms. Degner
Email: post@senaif.berlin.de
Phone:  +49 (0) 30 9028 1389

Please call to arrange an appointment

Foreign university degrees

Certification Authority

Info point of the Senate Department for Education, Youth and Science
Bernhard-Weiß-Straße 6
10178 Berlin

Email: post@senbjw.berlin.de Phone: (030) 90227 – 5050

Other Professions

Advice Center for Administrative Specialists

Verwaltungsakademie Berlin (Administrative Academy)
Turmstraße 86
10559 Berlin
Contact: Mr. Dönicke, Mr. Praßler, Mr. Paul

Email: doenicke@vak.berlin.de
Phone: +49 (0) 30 90229 8024, +49 (0) 30 90229 8046, +49 (0) 30 90229 8047

Certification authority for translators / interpreters

State Examination Board for Translators Berlin
Bernhard-Weiß-Straße 6
10178 Berlin

Phone:  +49 (0) 30 90227 5440

Certification authority for architects, urban planners

Architektenkammer (Chamber of Architects)
Alte Jakobstrasse 149
10969 Berlin
Contact: Mr. Jakob

Phone:  +49 (0) 30 2933 0715

Certification authority for engineers

Baukammer Berlin (Chamber of the Construction Industry)
Gutsmuthstraße 24
12163 Berlin

Phone:  +49 (0) 30 7974 4300

Certification authority for accountants

Wirtschaftsprüferkammer (Chamber of Public Accountants)
Rauchstraße 26
10787 Berlin

Phone:  +49 (0) 30 7261 610

Certification authority for paramedics

Phone:  +49 (0) 30 90227 334

Consulting on recognition for all other occupations:
Central initial contact for professional qualifications

Otto-Benecke-Stiftung e.V.
Karl-Friedrich-Straße 90
10585 Berlin
Phone: +49 30 34 50 56 90
Email: zea-berlin@obs-ev.de
www.berlin.netzwerk-iq.de

Consulting in German, English, Spanish, Russian, Polish and Turkish

Türkischer Bund Berlin Brandenburg e. V. 
Contact persons: Lale Yıldırım, Ümit Akyü, Laura Pannasch und Majd Agha-Ali
Oranienstr. 57
10969 Berlin
Phone: +49 30 23 62 33 25 (Appointment Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10:00 to 12:00 and Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 13:00 to 15:00)
Email: diploma@tbb-berlin.de

Consulting in German, English, French, Arabic and Turkish

Fahrplan Anerkennung beruflicher Abschlüsse
Club Dialog e. V.
Contact persons: Julia Merian, Iwona Bossert, Irina Nowodvorskaya
Friedrichstraße 176-179
10117 Berlin
Phone: +49 30 20 44 859
Email: anerkennung@club-dialog.de

+

Lindowerstraße 18
13347 Berlin
Phone: +49 30 26 34 605
Email: anerkennung@club-dialog.de

Consulting in German, Polish, Ukrainian and Russian

OUR TIP: Should you have problems classifying your credentials/qualifications and therefore do not know whether accreditation is necessary, you can consult the European Union database. It maintains a list of regulated professions. 

What do I need I do?

1. Use the EU database to see if your profession is a regulated profession or ask your future employer whether accreditation is necessary.

2. Go to the website www.anerkennung-in-deutschland.de and select the menu item "Accreditation Finder". Search for your profession to find out which body is responsible for certifying your credentials. If you have problems, please call the Information Hotline at +49 30 1815 1111 – we can help you find the right selection. Note: In the German education system, there are two primary ways to receive professional training: university studies or through dual vocational training. So don't be confused if you don't find your qualification under the term "studies".  

3. Next, contact the office in Germany responsible for your field in order to begin the accreditation process. You will receive exact information about which documents must be presented

OUR TIP: Use the telephone hotline of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). There you will find answers, in both German and English, to all your questions about professional accreditation. Phone:  +49 30 18 15 11 11 (Monday through Friday, 9 am to 3 pm)