Service Center for Professional Recognition

We will advise and support you during the recognition procedure

Do you live abroad, and would you like to apply for recognition of your professional qualification from there? If so, you can contact the Service Center for Professional Recognition (ZSBA). The ZSBA expands on the initial guidance provided by the hotline “Working and Living in Germany”. The ZSBA helps you with the application. The ZSBA advises you and supports you during the recognition procedure up until your arrival in Germany.

Take your first step towards recognition:


What is professional recognition?

If you have foreign academic or professional qualifications, you can have them legally recognised in Germany. Doing so requires an application to the body responsible for you and your professional qualification. During the recognition procedure, the competent body assesses the extent to which a professional qualification acquired abroad is comparable to the qualification required for this occupation in Germany. As a rule, the basis for this assessment is the German regulations governing the qualifications, professional experience or course of study required for the profession in Germany. In order to be assessed, you must present various pieces of evidence (e.g. diplomas, proof of professional experience, including professional licence, if required).

Why do foreign skilled workers outside the European Union require professional recognition to be able to work in Germany?

If you come from a country outside the European Union and wish to live and work in Germany, you must apply for a visa at the German embassy in your country of origin. To do so, recognition of your professional qualification is required. In addition, professional recognition confers many advantages, including your achievable income.

Why should I seek advice before applying for professional recognition?

In Germany, there are over 1500 bodies that are responsible for professional recognition, depending on your professional qualifications and where you would like to work. The requirements for each profession and each region in Germany also differ significantly. For this reason, we recommend taking advice before submitting your application for recognition. This will help you avoid errors in your application or delays in processing. In addition, you can benefit from support throughout the entire procedure, including finding out any qualifications you may require to achieve full recognition.

How to cooperate with the Service Center for Professional Recognition (ZSBA):


What is the Service Center for Professional Recognition (ZSBA)?

The Service Center for Professional Recognition (Zentrale Servicestelle Berufsanerkennung – ZSBA) was established in 2020 under the Skilled Immigration Act (Fachkräfteeinwanderungsgesetz). It complements the existing consultation services in Germany with what is now a multilingual consultation service for skilled workers residing abroad. The ZSBA is aimed at all skilled workers who live abroad and wish to apply for professional recognition there in order to work in Germany in the future.

In doing so, the ZSBA primarily:

  • closes the consultation gap for people seeking recognition from abroad;
  • helps you work out which German professional qualification matches your individual qualification;
  • advises you for free and impartially.
  • You will be assigned your own contact person for your queries throughout the entire recognition procedure.

What the ZSBA is not?

The ZSBA is a no-obligation service and is not a unitary or responsible authority. This means that the ZSBA does not make any decisions on recognition and does not trigger time limits when it receives documents for preliminary examination.

What are the duties of the ZSBA and how can it support you?

The ZSBA complements the "Recognition in Germany" information offering and consolidatinges the initial consultation through the "Working and Living in Germany" hotline. In particular, you can obtain the following services from the ZSBA:

  • an initial assessment of whether your study or professional qualification is suitable for recognition in Germany;
  • advice on the content and process of the recognition procedure;
  • support in finding out the German reference profession that matches your foreign professional qualification;
  • comprehensive advice on the right choice of location, so that you can determine in which federal state you wish to work before submitting the application;
  • help in gathering the required documents;
  • checking in advance whether your documents are complete,
  • information on residence permits in relation to the recognition procedure.

What else does the ZSBA offer and who does it work with?

The ZSBA provides you with support throughout the recognition procedure. To facilitate information exchange, the ZSBA works with the relevant bodies and, if required, with foreign authorities.

In addition, the ZSBA provides information on further consultation options in Germany (e.g. options on qualification, integration, etc.) and perspectives on the German labour market.

The ZSBA is based in the Central Foreign and Professional Placement Office (Zentrale Auslands- und Fachvermittlung – ZAV) at the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) in Bonn, meaning it is well-connected. You can use the ZSBA to get in touch with colleagues from the Federal Employment Agency, who will support you as you search for a suitable job in Germany.