Professional recognition; Application
If you have completed a professional/vocational degree in another country and wish to work in your profession in Bavaria, you can (or are required to) obtain recognition for your professional degree.
In order to practice your profession, recognition is only required in the regulated professions. These include professions such as social pedagogue, early childhood educator and architect, which are subject to specific regulations requiring particular professional qualifications to practice the profession. Here it is not possible to practice the profession without full equivalence while also meeting any specific legal requirements in the local state.
For non-regulated professions (e.g. dual education fields, academic qualifications in non-regulated professions) there is generally no recognition procedure. With foreign qualifications in a non-regulated profession you can directly enter the labor market and find work. In this case however the recognition procedure is helpful in making the foreign qualification transparent and easier for the employer to evaluate. In non-regulated professions an official decision is also helpful, which although it does not confirm equivalence, nonetheless confirms comparable qualification in certain respects. It is then at the discretion of the employer to determine whether the person should be hired nonetheless or whether further qualifications are required for the job.
Those seeking professional recognition must consult the particular authority that is responsible for their profession to review the equivalence of their foreign professional qualification.
In Bavaria there is no central authority that conducts the recognition procedures. Generally the authority that is responsible for training in the particular profession is also responsible for that. In some cases responsibilities have been shared across Bavaria or nationally. You can determine which authority is responsible for your application in the Recognition Finder in the portal "Recognition in Germany". This portal will assist you in finding the correct reference profession. The hotline of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) at 030 / 1815-111 can also answer questions (in German and English).
You can also contact one of the counseling services. They provide extensive counseling on matters related to the recognition process:
- Augsburg: Tür an Tür - Integrationsprojekte gGmbH in Augsburg (phone: 0821/4551090, email: email@example.com)
- Bamberg: bfz Bamberg (phone: 0951/93224-612, email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Ingolstadt: bfz Ingolstadt (phone: 0841/9815-212 und phone: 0841/9815209, email:email@example.com)
- Landshut: bfz Landshut (phone: 0871/96226-56, email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
- München: Servicestelle zur Erschließung ausländischer Qualifikationen in München (Tel: 089/233-33409, email: email@example.com)
- Nürnberg: Zentrale Servicestelle zur Anerkennung ausländischer Qualifikationen in der Metropolregion Nürnberg, ZAQ (phone: 0911/231-10552, email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Regensburg: bfz Regensburg (phone: 0941/40207-15 und Tel. 0941/40207-36, email: email@example.com)
- Würzburg: bfz Würzburg (phone: 0931/304181-13, email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
More detailed information concerning professional recognition can be found in the internet portal "Recognition in Germany".
An equivalence test procedure can be requested by any person who
- has acquired a professional degree or other professional qualification in another country and
- intends to practice an occupation in Bavaria.
Proof of formal qualifications means that the applicant must provide proof of the professional qualification obtained in the foreign country. Submission of an application is not possible without a verified foreign professional qualification. Professional experience can only be cited to compensate for deficits in formal qualifications when qualification has in fact been obtained in another country. A "primary qualification" that is granted by an authorized institution is therefore required in order to be entitled to a professional qualification determination procedure.
Intention to seek employment means that the applicant must intend to work in Bavaria, i.e. must intend to seek work as a paid employee (worker, employee, civil servant, etc.) or as a self-employed person (contractor).
This intention to seek employment is generally assumed due to the EU Fundamental Freedoms (freedom of movement of workers) for applicants residing in Bavaria or inside the EU/EEA or another contractual state and in case of residents of EU member states inside the EEA member state and another contractual state. The assumption can be refuted in specific cases for special reasons (e.g. applicant explains that he is only seeking a procedure to clarify pension claims).
Otherwise the intention must be verified with appropriate documents. These can include:
- application for an entry visa for employment,
- establishing contact with a potential employer (e.g. letter of application, decline letter from the employer),
- in case of planned freelance activity, a business plan or verified contact with the trade office, tax office, trade association or a provider of financing.
The applicants generally must present the application in person. Delegations are possible. It is not possible however for applications to be submitted by potential employers.
An application can be submitted regardless of nationality and resident permit status.
The responsible authority checks for any discrepancies in content and time between the professional qualification acquired abroad and the relevant qualification in Bavaria (reference profession). In case of significant differences, these can be compensated for through various verifications of qualification (e.g. further education and training) or through verified relevant professional experience.
The check is generally conducted based upon the documentation submitted and any additional documentation required. In cases where sufficient verification or the required information for the equivalence test is not available, competence verification procedures can be conducted. The analysis of the applicant's qualifications can be performed for example by means of work samples, professional talks given or tests.
If there are no significant differences, full equivalence is established. With such an equivalence certification the applicant is legally treated exactly the same as a person with the corresponding Bavarian professional qualification.
When there are significant differences and at the same time the contents of the qualification are comparable, the responsible authority will in the case of non-regulated professions (e.g. dual training professions) describe the existing qualifications and the differences that exist vis-a-vis the German degree. This differentiated description of the qualification status can assist specialists in the labor market and allow for specific additional qualification to be obtained.
In regulated professions, when significant differences are confirmed formal compensation measures (test, adaptation period) are named as part of the authorization for the profession. Upon successful completion of the compensation measures, certification of equivalent skills and knowledge is granted.
Within a month of submitting documents the applicant receives a confirmation of receipt. If all documents are complete, the responsible authority must reach a decision concerning equivalence within three months. This deadline is suspended as long as additional documents are still required. In certain difficult cases the decision period can be extended with reason. The decision period is also suspended in cases where competence verification procedures are being conducted, for example because no documents can be submitted.
summary in tabular form of professional/vocational coursework and previous professional experience if applicable, in German
Original or notarized copy of proof of identity (personal ID or passport)
original or notarized copy of verification of the professional degree obtained in the foreign country or other qualification, with German translation by officially appointed or sworn interpreter or translator
proof of relevant professional experience (e.g. job references, time books) in original or notarized copy and with German translation by an officially appointed or sworn interpreter or translator
other certifications of qualification
(e.g. for further professional education or retraining certificates) where necessary to determine equivalence, in original or notarized copy and with German translation by an officially appointed or sworn interpreter or trainer
a statement whether an application for determination of equivalence has already been submitted, and to which authority, in German
verification that the applicant intends to work in Bavaria
(e.g. by requesting a travel via for employment, establishing contact with potential employers, business plan for self-employed persons), in German. This verification requirement does not apply to citizens of EU/EEA or other contractual states and for persons residing in the EU/EEA or other contractual state
other documents may become necessary depending on the profession, such as:
- registration card
- ethnic German repatriate certificate
- marriage certificate (in case of name change)
- list of subjects and school transcripts
- other information concerning training in the country of training
- information concerning employers
- decision issued by another federal state
Please select a location in "Localization" so that the address of the responsible authority can be filled in.
The procedures based on the Federal Recognition Act are generally fee-based. The fees are based on the law on charges for the particular office and vary based on the individual work involved in conducting the procedure.
The costs (e.g. fees, translation and notarizations, compensation measures) generally must be born by the applicant. Before submitting an application, unemployed applicants and those seeking work should verify at their employment agencies concerning possible defrayal of costs by the public employment service. In addition to checking concerning any legal requirements, the question of whether recognition of a foreign professional qualification is required for entry to the labor market in your individual case is also important. The same applies after the recognition procedure to possible support for any required adaptation qualifications to make up for qualification gaps.
For more information, see "Information" - "Professional recognition" - "Fees and charges".
The decision can be challenged by submitting an appeal to the administration court. Prior proceedings to review an objection under art. 15 AGVwGO should not be initiated. In particular, this does not pertain to "personal review decisions" as defined under art. 15 AGVwGO.
Links to more information
Responsible for editing: Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Familie, Arbeit und Soziales
- 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