Office for the Equal Treatment of EU Workers

FAQ Recognition of foreign professional qualifications

There are 7 “sectoral” professions (doctor, dentist, veterinary surgeon, pharmacist, nurse responsible for general care, midwife, architect) where the European Union provides for automatic recognition of professional qualifications, due to the fact that harmonised training standards apply EU-wide for these professions. If you are an EU citizen and you want to practise one of these professions in another EU country, an equivalency review is not required for your qualifications to be recognised. Even in these cases, however, you must apply for and receive authorisation to practise the profession – doctors, for example, require a licence to practise medicine (Approbation) – before you can start work. To receive authorisation, you must provide certain types of evidence (e.g. proof of necessary language skills, an official certificate of good conduct, etc.).

You can receive financial support towards the recognition procedure from the German employment service:
If you are a jobseeker, the costs of the recognition procedure, such as the costs of translations, authenticated copies and fees, can be covered by the employment service’s placement budget. The employment service can also provide funding for you to attend courses which seek to promote vocational integration by imparting vocational knowledge.

In certain circumstances, the costs of continuing training and vocational development can be met both for jobseekers and for people in employment. However, the continuing training and vocational development must contribute to the recognition of a foreign professional qualification and must improve the individual’s employment chances.

In the cases set out above, you must submit an application in advance for the costs to be met to your local Employment Agency (Agentur für Arbeit) or, if you receive unemployment benefit II (Arbeitslosengeld II), to the job centre.

If you are not entitled to financial support from the employment service, you can apply for the federal recognition grant (Anerkennungszuschuss) until 30 September 2019. The recognition grant is aimed in particular at employees who are working below the level for which they are qualified and who have a very low income. The recognition grant is a maximum of 600 euros and does not need to be repaid. It is important to apply for financial support before you begin the procedure for recognition of a foreign professional qualification. You can submit the application at a recognition advice centre (Anerkennungsberatungsstelle) near you run by the Integration through Qualification (IQ) funding programme, for example. Detailed information about the recognition grant is available here.

In addition to the recognition grant, in Baden-Württemberg, Berlin and Hamburg there are also Land (federal state) programmes offering additional financial support.