You have decided to find a job in Germany and have read every possible blog and article. You are trying to find out about recognition of education and employment on your own. There is a lot of information, but there are even more concepts that are new to you about the rules and laws that are in force in Germany as for employment and recognition of education. The Blue Card Agency has compiled for you the 10 most common terms from the field of recognition of education and job search in Germany, which are easy to confuse and on which your choices and procedures will largely depend.

Approbation (German: Approbation)

This is an official document, an admission that allows you to work in Germany within one of the medical specialties. Medical specialties in this case are understood to be those that require a university degree, e.g. pharmacy technicians or doctors.

Regulated professions (German: Reglementierte Berufe)

In order to be allowed to work in a regulated specialty you must have your professional qualifications recognized. Such professions in Germany are, for example, nurses, doctors or teachers.

Unregulated professions (German: Nicht reglementierte Berufe)

These are professions that do not require a special permit, as in the case of doctors, for example, for which an Approbation (work permit) is mandatory. In order to look for work in an unregulated profession, a professional qualification is sufficient. In Germany, all professions obtained through dual training are considered non-regulated professions. It is not compulsory to have a recognition of education in order to be employed. But you have a legal right to recognition proceedings: you will not be rejected if you so wish.

Language certificate (German: Sprachzertifikat)

Many regulated professions require a proven level of German language proficiency. This is achieved by successfully passing a language test and obtaining a language certificate. There are six proficiency levels: A1-A2, B1-B2 and C1-C2, where A1 is an elementary one and C2 for native speakers. The level is based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The language requirements vary from profession to profession. Information about these requirements can be obtained from the competent body.

Professional qualification (German: Berufsqualifikation)

This applies only to clearly defined professions (e.g. doctor). The professional qualification is documented by a training certificate obtained in your country. It is also possible to obtain proof of professional qualification on the basis of relevant work experience. In order to work in Germany, persons with foreign professional qualifications will have to undergo a recognition procedure.
It is possible to recognize:
  • Certificates of professional training
  • Certificates of advanced training and specialization
  • Approbation
  • Permission for work in the profession
  • Authorization to use occupational title

Recognition (German: Anerkennung)

Recognition of a professional qualification in Germany means that a qualification obtained outside of Germany is recognized as equivalent to a qualification that exists in Germany. In this way, the foreign professional qualification becomes recognized in Germany. Recognition can be full, partial or nonexistent. In the case of partial recognition, you will be asked to attend courses and/or take an examination in order to eliminate significant differences between the professions. If there is no recognition, you will have to apply for and pass the recognition process in order to obtain it.

Evaluation of credentials (German: Zeugnisbewertung)

For non-regulated professions in Germany, recognition of professional qualifications is not required. For these, there is an evaluation of educational documents. An application for this procedure must be submitted to the Central Office for Foreign Education (German: ZAB). As a result, you will receive a description of your university degree and how it can be used in Germany.

Translator in Germany

You will need a translator to translate official documents (passport, birth or marriage certificate, certificate of qualification, diploma, etc.). Often, in addition to the translation into German, a confirmation of the correctness of the translation is also required. This takes the form of an official notation and signature of the translator on the translated document. Only certified translators can do this confirmation in Germany. They obtain special leave of court to fulfill this procedure. There are many different names for these translators:
  • Sworn
  • Court certified
  • Certified
  • Publicly appointed
  • Sworn-in
However, this does not change the fact: they all have the right to certify the translation accuracy of your documents. Please note: sometimes translations made outside of Germany, even by a publicly appointed translator, are not accepted by the proper authorities. Therefore, it is advisable to check with the relevant body if you can provide a translation made in your own country before translating. Alternatively, it is better to request a translation from a sworn interpreter in Germany.

Permit to Stay (German: Aufenthaltstitel)

In order to enter and stay in Germany, persons from non-EU countries must obtain a residence permit. It can be:
  • Temporary: temporary residence permit, EU Blue Card, visa
  • Indefinite: permanent residence permit, permanent resident card
In Germany the Foreigners‘ Registration Office is responsible for the issuance process; in other countries the German representative offices are responsible for the issuance process.

Work Permit (German: Arbeitserlaubnis)

The official term for this concept is a ’permit for the purpose of employment’. It is issued by the Foreigners‘ Registration Office. It is a special mark on your residence permit and is mandatory because it entitles foreign nationals to work in Germany. Please note! You are allowed to work in Germany only if you have this mark on your Permit to Stay.

How do I handle the processes of having my diploma recognized and finding a job in Germany?

The BCA specialists will help you to go through the whole way from recognition of the diploma to signing up a work contract, including collecting, drafting and obtaining the relevant documents. You will not have to search for information yourself, have doubts about the correctness of your actions and delay moving for several years. There are also a few important points to which you should pay attention: You will not be able to get a visa, residence permit, or Blue Card without a recognized degree. Lack of a recognized degree is the most common reason for visa denial. You MUST have your diploma recognized before you move, before you look for a job, while you are at home. Duration of diploma recognition is from 2 weeks to 12 months. Depending on the profession and the region where you apply. Working with a secondary education is also possible, but ONLY if you have your diploma recognized. Learn more about diploma recognition in this article. You can read about the cost of our services on our website in this section.