Laws on the confirmation of foreign diplomas
Since April 2012, the Anerkennungsgesetz, a law on the recognition of foreign diplomas, has been adopted. It greatly facilitated the procedure for legalizing education received abroad.
The procedure for recognizing foreign education looks like this:
- Foreigners, not even living in Germany, submit a request to a competent organization.
- The agency compares the process of obtaining a specialty with the corresponding German.
- If the obtained level of knowledge is the same, a document is issued that recognizes the foreign qualifications.
- If the program is not similar to the German system, an answer is given on what needs to be done to confirm the profession in Germany.
Confirmation of a diploma in Germany for immigration
If an immigrant has a diploma comparable to a German and has a contract with an employer, in most cases this is sufficient to obtain a work visa or an EU Blue Card, which facilitates migration for highly skilled workers. Printouts of information about the university and specialty from anabin are enough to obtain a work permit.
But simple recognition is not enough for certain regulated professions. For example, in order to work as a doctor in Germany or teach in a German school, a recognized education is only enough to start the procedure for confirming a specialty through additional training and practice.
The process depends on the specific specialty, the place of residence of the immigrant, the country of obtaining the qualification, and other parameters.
Where to get confirmation of a diploma in Germany
There are two types of organizations that are responsible for the recognition of foreign degrees.
Trade union associations, which are called chambers – Kammer. Chambers are responsible not only for protecting the rights of wards, but also have a great influence on the formation of the training program for professions. They are usually organized at the land level. There are a great many chambers. There are organizations of doctors, pharmacists, lawyers, artisans, trade, industrial, and so on.
IHK-FOSA is a special bureau for verifying the equivalence of foreign education. The IHK is located in Nuremberg and acts on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany as a whole. They also accept applications from immigrants already in Germany.
To search for contacts of the departments responsible for the confirmation of foreign diplomas, the German government funded the creation of a special website. There, with the help of the “question-choice of answer” system, the required information will be found. The system has an intuitive interface, there is an English version.
Having entered the site, you need to click on the menu at the top left and answer a few questions. In the end, on the right, information is shown with instructions for specific actions. Or there will be an answer that there is no special process for this profession, and for official recognition you need to contact the central bureau for the recognition of foreign education ZAB. Or, if the law defines a special procedure for confirming the profession, contacts will be given where to apply.
Description of training courses in tabular form – grades in subjects.
- Copy of your international passport.
- A copy of the diploma.
- Documents confirming work experience – labor, letters of recommendation.
- Certificates, course completion certificates, and other related papers.
- A statement that the request is first.
- Intention to work in Germany.
Diploma confirmation process
Having received a complete package of documents, the organization acts according to a template. The employee compares a foreign diploma with a German one and finds out if there are any differences in the procedure for obtaining. Sometimes a specialty requires practical training, so the work experience of a foreigner is also taken into account. If there is no work experience or it cannot be proved, they can be invited for an interview to find out the real level of knowledge. They may not confirm, but recognize the level without practice, and allow them to work in Germany as an intern.
The result is an official paper, which says that a person has higher education, exactly the same as the corresponding German. For unregulated occupations, this is sufficient. Regulated ones will need to pass a state examination to obtain admission to work in the profession.
In the event that foreign education does not correspond to the German one, the examining organization describes the differences in the acquisition of the profession. With paper, you can contact a German educational institution to complete your studies. It is also possible for regulated professions to undergo further training and screening in the ward. Information should be obtained from trade unions.
The processing time for requests for confirmation of diplomas in Germany takes from a couple of weeks to three months. The reviewing organization gets down to business when it has received a complete package of documents in the required form.