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For your job search, it can be an advantage to have your university degree or professional qualification officially recognised in Germany since an exact description of your qualifications in the form of an official document makes it far easier for your potential employer to assess your skills. For most professions, the recognition of qualifications gained abroad is voluntary. However, for 60 professions it is compulsory.
The regulated professions are occupations requiring the verification and certification of certain professional capabilities. For example, if you want to work as a doctor, engineer, health worker or master of a trade, you must get your professional qualification officially recognised.
If you are not sure yet which authority to submit your application to or if you require information on basics and procedures of the recognition process, the Zentrale Servicestelle zur Erschließung ausländischer Qualifikationen in der Metropolregion Nürnberg (ZAQ) will give you free of charge initial advice.
For academic professions, your first port of call should be the Zentralstelle für Ausländisches Bildungswesen.
For “IHK professions” (250 dual IHK apprenticeship professions as well as the many IHK further training professions) the IHK FOSA (Foreign Skills Approval) in Nuremberg is the national competence centre of the German chambers of industry and commerce for the evaluation and recognition of foreign vocational qualifications.
For other professions, you should approach the local chambers of industry and commerce (Industrie- und Handelskammern) and the craftsmen's guilds (Handwerkskammern) in the Metropolitan Region. They will also support your efforts to get qualifications recognised for the non-regulated professions.
Recognition of degrees and professions
General portals providing guidance and classification of your degree: Information system about the recognition of foreign degrees in Germany
Education ministry's Internet portal about the recognition of foreign degrees in Germany
The Federal Employment Agency's information portal on all officially recognised professional qualifications in Germany
Recognition of non-regulated foreign degrees:
Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen (ZAB) www.kmk.org/zab/zeugnisbewertungen.html
For non-academic professions, you can turn to the chambers of industry and commerce (Industrie- und Handelskammern) and craftsmen's guilds (Handwerkskammern) for advice: www.ihk-fosa.de