Recognition of foreign professional qualifications in accordance with § 17a of the Residence Act

Hörsaal Medizin Leipzig Enlarge image (© dpa/pa/ZB)

As of August 1st 2015 there is the possibility to apply for a visa for the implementation of an educational measure (e.g. language course and internship) in order to obtain the recognition of professional qualifications acquired abroad (e.g. nursing or doctors).

First information should be obtained from friends or relatives in Germany at job centers, employment agencies, migration counseling centers etc.

Minimum requirements for the recognition are the following documents

(to be submitted in certified copy and translated by sworn translators):


• proof of identity (passport, without translation)

• proof of acquired qualification obtained abroad

• overview of training courses and any previous professional activities (in German)

• evidence of relevant professional experience

• other evidence (eg further vocational education)

• declaration that so far no similar application has been filed on establishing equivalence according to BQFG


Adjustment measures or other qualifications may be language courses, practical training and internships.

They must be suitable to allow the recognition of professional qualifications or the profession.

If the intended internship or practical training is to take place predominantly in a hospital or doctor's office, the approval of the Federal Employment Agency is required (unless the employment / activity does not exceed ten hours per week).

The costs incurred in the recognition process (e.g. costs of translations, certifications or necessary adaptation qualifications) must be paid in advance by the applicant in Germany.

In some cases these costs may be reimbursed by the Federal Employment Agency / Job Centre.

The recognition process takes about 3 months after the complete submission of documents and payment of fees.

بيان بخصوص الإعتراف بالمؤهلات المهنية الأجنبية [pdf, 486.38k] must apply for approval or equivalence of their professional qualifications / degrees at the competent authority in Germany (i.e. the trade or medical association, district government, district administration, senate administration) before applying for their visa at the German Embassy.  The responding letter by the competent authority (e. g. stating that the audit review of the applicant´s documents revealed a lack of theoretical knowledge, practical skills, job experience or language deficits) must be included with the visa-application.