Occupation in the skilled crafts sector; application for recognition of a foreign professional qualification

If you want to work permanently on a self-employed basis in about 200 professions, you do not need a specific professional qualification. You do not have to have your foreign professional qualification recognized. However, you have the right to a recognition procedure.

Description

There are approximately 200 different professions in the skilled trades in Germany.

For 53 professions in the skilled trades, you need a specific professional qualification. These are the "trades subject to licensing". Only with the necessary professional qualification are you allowed to work independently in these professions on a permanent basis. Further regulations apply to these 53 regulated professions (see under "Related topics").

All other professions in the skilled trades are not regulated. This means: If you want to work permanently self-employed in these professions, you do not need a specific professional qualification.
You do not have to have your foreign professional qualification recognized. However, you have the right to a recognition procedure. The procedure is called "equivalence determination". An equivalence determination brings you advantages:

  • At the end of the procedure, you will receive a notice of equivalence. The notice is proof of your professional qualification.
  • The notice is an official and legally secure document. You and your employers can trust its content.
  • The certificate increases your chances on the job market. Employers can better assess your professional qualification with the notification.

The regional chambers of skilled crafts are responsible for determining equivalence in the skilled crafts sector.

The responsible offices will advise you before you submit your application and identify the appropriate occupation in the skilled crafts sector for you.

Prerequisites

  • You have formal training in the skilled trades from abroad.
  • You would like to work in Germany in the relevant profession.

Procedure

  • You submit a written "Application for Equivalency Determination" with the necessary documents to the competent body.
  • For professional qualifications from the EU/EEA/Switzerland: You can submit the application and documents directly to the competent body or to the Single Point of Contact. You can also submit the application electronically via the Single Point of Contact.
  • The competent body will then compare your professional qualification from abroad with the German professional qualification and check the equivalence. If your professional qualification is equivalent, it will be recognized. You will receive the notice of equivalence (Anerkennungsbescheid) in the mail.
  • If your professional qualification is not equivalent, it will not be recognized. You will receive a notice of the differences in your foreign professional qualification. You can use this notice to obtain further qualifications in a targeted manner and later submit a new application for an equivalence determination.

Deadlines

If any documents are missing, the competent authority will inform you of this and determine by when you must submit the documents.

Processing time

The competent body will confirm that your documents have arrived after a maximum of one month. The competent office will inform you if any documents are missing.

If all necessary documents are available, the procedure takes a maximum of 3 months.

In individual cases, the procedure can be extended once.

Required documents

  • The responsible office will tell you which documents you need to submit. Important documents are generally:

    • Proof of identity (passport or ID card)
    • Fully completed application form
    • List in table form of your education and professional experience (curriculum vitae)
    • Evidence of education
    • Certificate of the type and duration of relevant professional experience
    • a statement that you have not yet submitted an application for an equivalence determination
    • possibly a proof that you want to work in Germany

    The competent office will inform you which documents you have to submit as originals or as certified copies.

    You must submit your documents in German. The translations must be done by publicly appointed or authorized translators.

Forms

  • Form, Bavaria-wide: Antrag auf Gleichwertigkeitsfeststellung – Handwerkskammer für München und Oberbayern
    Please note

    This form has to be signed and sent to the responsible authority. You can sign the form manually and send it by email/fax or sign the form electronically with your qualified electronic signature an send it by (secure) email. If the responsible authority has set up a De-Mail account, you can also send the form by De-Mail using an sender-confirmed message.

  • Form, Bavaria-wide: Antrag auf Gleichwertigkeitsfeststellung – Handwerkskammer für Schwaben
    Please note

    This form has to be signed and sent to the responsible authority. You can sign the form manually and send it by email/fax or sign the form electronically with your qualified electronic signature an send it by (secure) email. If the responsible authority has set up a De-Mail account, you can also send the form by De-Mail using an sender-confirmed message.

  • Form, Bavaria-wide: Antrag auf Gleichwertigkeitsfeststellung – Handwerkskammer für die Handwerkskammer Niederbayern-Oberpfalz
    Please note

    This form has to be signed and sent to the responsible authority. You can sign the form manually and send it by email/fax or sign the form electronically with your qualified electronic signature an send it by (secure) email. If the responsible authority has set up a De-Mail account, you can also send the form by De-Mail using an sender-confirmed message.

  • Form, Bavaria-wide: Antrag auf Gleichwertigkeitsfeststellung – Handwerkskammer für Oberfranken
    Please note

    This form has to be signed and sent to the responsible authority. You can sign the form manually and send it by email/fax or sign the form electronically with your qualified electronic signature an send it by (secure) email. If the responsible authority has set up a De-Mail account, you can also send the form by De-Mail using an sender-confirmed message.

  • Form, Bavaria-wide: Antrag auf Gleichwertigkeitsfeststellung – Handwerkskammer für Mittelfranken
    Please note

    This form has to be signed and sent to the responsible authority. You can sign the form manually and send it by email/fax or sign the form electronically with your qualified electronic signature an send it by (secure) email. If the responsible authority has set up a De-Mail account, you can also send the form by De-Mail using an sender-confirmed message.

  • Form, Bavaria-wide: Antrag auf Gleichwertigkeitsfeststellung – Handwerkskammer für Unterfranken
    Please note

    This form has to be signed and sent to the responsible authority. You can sign the form manually and send it by email/fax or sign the form electronically with your qualified electronic signature an send it by (secure) email. If the responsible authority has set up a De-Mail account, you can also send the form by De-Mail using an sender-confirmed message.

Fees

  • The procedure is subject to a fee. For the issuance of the notice, the fee framework of the respective Chamber of Skilled Crafts is decisive, which is defined in the individual fee regulations and schedules of the Chambers of Skilled Crafts. For example, fees in the amount of 100.00-600.00 EUR are generally charged for the notification regarding the determination of the equivalence of foreign training certificates in accordance with § 40a HwO in conjunction with the Act on the Determination of the Equivalence of Professional Qualifications (Berufsqualifikationsfeststellungsgesetz -BQFG). The actual amount of the fees depends on the complexity of the procedure. Additional costs may be incurred (e.g. for translations or certification of documents). These costs vary individually. The Chamber of Crafts will inform you about the costs.

Remedy

Administrative court proceedings; information

The decision of the Board is subject to administrative appeal pursuant to Section 40 VwGO.

Status: 23.08.2022

Responsible for editing: Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Wirtschaft, Landesentwicklung und Energie

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  • Online transactions, Bavaria-wide
  • Online transactions, locally limited
  • Prefillable Form, Bavaria-wide
  • Legal bases, Bavaria-wide
  • Legal bases, locally limited
  • Fees, Bavaria-wide
  • Fees, locally limited
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