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Recognition of Foreign Qualifications

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:

  • doctors
  • nurses
  • medical staff
  • lawyers and judges
  • teachers
  • educators
  • engineers
  • 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.

OUR TIP

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.

OUR TIP

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 regulated professions

Recognition Office

State Office for Health and Social Affairs (LAGeSo)
Turmstraße 21/House A
10559 Berlin

Email: bqfg@lageso.berlin.de
Phone: (030) 90229-0

Advice center veterinary

Veterinary Chamber Berlin
Littenstraße 108
10179 Berlin

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

Consulting office for pharmaceutical and commercial assistants

Brandenburg State Chamber of Pharmacists
Am Buchhorst 18
14478 Potsdam

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

Recognition medical specialties

Medical Association Berlin
Friedrichstraße 16
10696 Berlin

Phone: +49 (0) 30 40806 1101

Recognition office for specialist dentists

Chamber of Dentists Berlin
Stallstraße 1
10585 Berlin

Phone: +49 (0) 30 34 80 80

What do I have to do?
  1. On the LAGeSo site, search for the profession for which you want to have the foreign qualification recognized. 
  2. Find out in advance about the fees you will have to pay.
  3. 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.

OUR TIP

For professions that are not regulated, it is possible to apply for an individual certificate evaluation at the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB). This can be helpful for your applications.

Consulting Office

infoPunkt of the Senate Department for Education, Youth and Family
Bernhard-Weiß-Straße 6
10178 Berlin

Email: post@senbjf.berlin.de
Phone: (030) 90227 - 5050

Consulting center for social pedagogues, educators, childhood and special pedagogues

Email: anerkennung.sozialberufe@senbjf.berlin.de
Phone: (030) 90227-5514

Recognition Office for State-Certified Music Teachers (Technical College Level)

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

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

Recognition office for foreign teaching degrees

Bernhard-Weiß-Straße 6
10178 Berlin

Contact persons:
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.

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

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.

Consulting Center Commercial and Service Professions

Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK)
Fasanenstr. 85
10623 Berlin

Contact person: Katja Schefe-Rasokat
Email: katja.schefe-rasokat@berlin.ihk.de
Phone: (030) 31510-424

Advisory service for skilled trades

Chamber of Crafts
Blücherstraße 68
10961 Berlin

Contact person: Wilma Nowara, Elzbieta Bekmez
Email: nowara@hwk-berlin.de, bekmez@hwk-berlin.de
Phone: +49 30 25903-483, +49 30 25903 - 487

What do I have to do?
  1. Check with your future employer ahead of time to determine if recognition is necessary.
  2. For crafts professions: Contact the Berlin Chamber of Skilled Crafts and clarify all further necessary steps.
  3. 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
Recognition Office for Law Degrees

Senate Department for Justice, Consumer Protection and Anti-Discrimination
Salzburger Straße 21 – 25
10825 Berlin

Email: poststelle@senjustva.berlin.de
Contact persons: Mr. Dietert, Mr. Zeid
Phone: (030) 9013-3333, (030) 9013-3324

Consultation office legal and notary clerks

Berlin Bar Association
Littenstraße 9
10179 Berlin

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

Recognition office for specialist lawyers

Berlin Bar Association
Littenstraße 9
10179 Berlin

Phone: +49 (0) 30 30 69 31 0

Consulting office

Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK)
Fasanenstr. 85
10623 Berlin

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
Office hours by telephone appointment

 

Consulting office

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

Contact person: Mrs. Degner
Email: post@senaif.berlin.de
Phone: +49 (0) 30 9028 1389
Office hours by telephone appointment

 

Recognition Office

infoPunkt of the Senate Department for Education, Youth and Family
Bernhard-Weiß-Straße 6 
10178 Berlin

Email: post@senbjf.berlin.de
Phone: (030) 90227 - 5050

 

Advisory office administrative assistant

Administration Academy Berlin
Turmstraße 86
10559 Berlin

Contact persons: 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

Translator/Interpreter Recognition Office

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

Phone: +49 (0) 30 90227 5440

Recognition office architects, urban planners

Chamber of Architects
Alte Jakobstraße 149
10969 Berlin

Contact person: Mr. Jakob
Phone: +49 (0) 30 2933 0715

Recognition body engineers

Chamber of the Construction Industry
Gutsmuthstraße 24
12163 Berlin

Phone: +49 (0) 30 7974 4300

Recognition office auditors

Chamber of Public Accountants
Rauchstraße 26
10787 Berlin

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.
Karl-Friedrich-Straße 90
10585 Berlin

Phone: +49 30 34 50 56 90
Email: zea-berlin@obs-ev.de
www.berlin.netzwerk-iq.de

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

Free services:

  • 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
Oranienstr. 57
10969 Berlin

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.)
Email: diploma@tbb-berlin.de

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
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

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?
  1. Clarify with the help of the EU database whether your profession is a regulated profession or with your future employer whether recognition is necessary.
  2. 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”.
  3. 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.
OUR TIP

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.)