Profession in industry, trade and services; application for recognition of a foreign professional qualification for a profession regulated by federal law

If you have a training qualification from abroad, you can apply for official recognition of your training qualification.

Description

Prerequisites

  • You have a state-recognized training qualification from abroad and can prove your professional qualification with a certificate. Informal or non-formal qualifications cannot be recognized in Germany.
  • The training qualification can be assigned to a German training qualification in the area of the IHK.
  • You want to work in Germany.

Procedure

The application for equivalence assessment together with all necessary documents is submitted to the responsible IHK FOSA. They will check the equivalence of the training qualification:

  • The IHK compares your foreign training qualification with the German training qualification.
  • If your training qualification is equivalent, it will be recognized. You will receive a notice of equivalence (notice of recognition).
  • If there are significant differences to the German qualification, the proven professional experience or other relevant evidence (e.g. further training) will also be checked. In many cases, full equivalence can be established in this way.
  • If full equivalence cannot be established, the training qualification will not be recognized. However, you will receive a notification of partial equivalence. In the notification, the existing qualifications are presented positively and the main differences to the German reference occupation are described. This enables you to gain further qualifications in a targeted manner and to submit a new application for equivalence assessment at a later date.
  • If no equivalence could be established between your foreign professional qualification and the German reference qualification, the application will be rejected. In this case, the positive qualifications will not be presented.

Special notes

  • You can obtain free individual initial advice on the application, procedure, costs and duration as well as financial support options from the local Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK). You can find your local IHK using the IHK finder under "Further links".
  • There are numerous other advisory services (see link under "Further links").
    • You can find these on the "Recognition in Germany" portal.
    • The advice centers of the IQ network ("Integration through Qualification"), the employment services and other local authorities also provide information on the recognition of foreign qualifications. The advisors will also help you with your documents before you submit your application.
    • If you are abroad, the "Working and living in Germany" hotline is available to answer questions about the recognition of your qualifications. If necessary, the hotline will refer you to the Central Service Center for Professional Recognition (ZSBA) for more in-depth advice.

Deadlines

Sometimes documents are still missing from the procedure. The IHK FOSA will then inform you by when you must submit the documents.

If you wish to take legal action against the IHK FOSA's decision: You can lodge an appeal in writing within 4 weeks of receiving the decision.

Processing time

In the regular procedure:

  • The IHK FOSA will confirm within four weeks that your documents have arrived. At the same time, it will inform you whether any documents are missing and, if so, which ones. The letter will also include the fee notice with the necessary payment information.
  • If all the necessary documents have been received, the procedure should take a maximum of 3 months. In individual cases, the procedure may be extended once.

In the accelerated skilled worker procedure:

  • The IHK FOSA will confirm that your documents have arrived after a maximum of 2 weeks.
  • It will inform you whether any documents are missing and, if so, which ones. The letter will also include the fee notice with the necessary payment information.
  • If all the necessary documents have been received, the procedure should take a maximum of 2 months. In individual cases, the procedure may be extended once.
  • In the accelerated procedure for skilled workers, all communication takes place via the responsible immigration authority.

Required documents

  • Required Documents:

    • Curriculum vitae (tabular list of education and training completed and employment)
    • Proof of identity (identity card or passport, if necessary proof of change of name in color copy)
    • Foreign proof of education (diploma/diploma) - In original language in color copy and in German or English translation (original or color copy)
    • If available: Evidence of relevant work experience (e.g., job references, workbooks, letters of reference) - In original language in color copy and in German or English translation in color copy.
    • If available: Other certificates of qualification (e.g. certificates of further education or retraining) - In original language in color copy and in German or English translation in color copy.
    • Only for persons who are not citizens of the EU/EEA/Switzerland or who live outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland: Declaration of intention to work (e.g. proof of application for an entry visa for gainful employment, proof of contact with an employer).
    • Information on the content of the foreign qualification (e.g. curriculum, overview of subjects) - In original language in color copy and in German or English translation in color copy
    • Information on any application for equivalence that has already been submitted
      (Please indicate the office to which you submitted the application).

    For the accelerated procedure:

    • above mentioned documents
    • Power of attorney according to § 81a Residence Act

    Additional documents may be requested during the course of the recognition procedure. This is usually due to country-specific features of your education.

    If your documents are not available in German, you must submit German translations of your documents. The translations must be made by translators who are publicly appointed or sworn.

Forms

  • Form, Bavaria-wide: Antrag auf Gleichwertigkeitsfeststellung
    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: Application for foreign professional qualifications equivalence according to the German Professional Qualifications Assessment Act (BQFG)
    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: Folgeantrag nach Bescheid über eine teilweise Gleichwertigkeit
    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 im Verfahren nach §§ 81a AufenthG, 14a BQFG
    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: Folgeantrag im Verfahren nach §§ 81a AufenthG, 14a BQFG
    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

  • For the regular procedure: EUR 100 - 600 depending on the specific effort involved

    As the applicant, you must bear these costs yourself. You may also incur additional costs (e.g. for translations or notarizations). Under certain conditions, you can receive financial support for these costs.

    The additional costs of EUR 411 for the accelerated procedure are borne by the employer.

Remedy

Appeal or administrative court action

We recommend that you first talk to the responsible authority before taking legal action against the decision.

Links to more information

Status:16.02.2024

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

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