Serviceportal Niedersachsen (2022)

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You can have a training qualification from abroad officially recognised in Germany by the Chambers of Industry and Commerce (IHK). The procedure for recognition is called: Equivalence Determination (BQFG).

Please note: Your training qualification must be state-recognized in the state of your education. Informal or non-formal qualifications cannot be officially recognised in Germany.

In the assessment of equivalence, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) compares your training qualification with a specific German training qualification. The German training qualification must match your training qualification. Important criteria in the comparison are the content and duration of the training.

You will receive a notification of the outcome of the procedure. The decision mentions existing and possibly still missing professional qualifications.
The decision makes your foreign training qualification transparent for employers and thus increases your chances on the labour market. For professionals abroad outside the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, a recognition procedure is usually a prerequisite for issuing a visa.

There are around 350 different training qualifications in the field of chambers of industry and commerce (IHK) in Germany. A list of training qualifications can be found, for example, on the website of the IHK FOSA. For the application for an equivalence assessment, you must identify a German training qualification. This German training qualification must match your training qualification. That is why precise advice is important before you submit an application.

An individual initial consultation on the application, procedure, costs and duration as well as possibilities for financial support can be obtained from the local Chambers of Industry and Commerce (IHK). The counselling centres of the IQ network ("Integration through qualification"), the employment service and other municipal bodies also provide information on the recognition of foreign qualifications.

You submit the application to the responsible Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK). There are 79 IHK in Germany. For 76 IHK in Germany, the IHK FOSA in Nuremberg centrally takes over the equivalence determination. Exceptions are the IHK Hannover, the IHK Braunschweig and the IHK Wuppertal-Solingen-Remscheid.

You can also apply for an equivalence assessment from abroad.

In the case of agreements from Austria and France, there is the possibility of a simplified assessment of equivalence, as there are special agreements with these countries. To do this, you must contact your local Chamber of Industry and Commerce. A way to find the IHK responsible for you can be found under "Further information".

Hint:
As an employer in Germany, you can apply for an accelerated skilled worker procedure for skilled workers from third countries. You apply for the procedure with the power of attorney of the specialist at the responsible immigration authority at your registered office in Germany. In this accelerated skilled worker procedure, among other things, the equivalence determination at the IHK is accelerated. There are additional fees for the accelerated skilled worker procedure.

Process flow

The application for equivalence assessment together with all necessary documents is received by the responsible Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) and the IHK checks the equivalence of the training qualification:

  • The Chamber of Industry and Commerce compares your foreign training qualification with the German training qualification.
  • If your training qualification is equivalent, it will be recognised. You will receive the notice of equivalence (recognition notice).
  • If there are significant differences to the German training qualification, the proven professional experience or other relevant evidence (e.g. further training) will also be examined. Thus, in many cases, full equivalence can be established.
  • If full equivalence cannot be established, the training qualification will not be recognised. You will receive a notification of the differences to the German training qualification. With this decision, you can further qualify yourself in a targeted manner and later submit a new application for a declaration of equivalence.
  • If your training qualification is not equivalent, the application will be rejected.

Who should I contact?

If you are abroad: You can also reach the Central Service Centre for Professional Recognition (ZSBA) via the hotline "Working and Living in Germany".
The ZSBA offers you in-depth advice and support in the recognition procedure and carries out a location consultation.

The local Chambers of Industry and Commerce (IHK) will advise you before submitting your application. An IHK for consultation can be found on the website of the IHK FOSA

There are numerous other consulting services. These can be found on "Recognition in Germany"

You can also contact the hotline "Working and living in Germany".

Requirements

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  • You have a state-recognised training qualification from abroad. The training qualification must be assigned to a German training qualification in the area of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce.
  • You want to work in Germany.

Which documents are required?

For the standard procedure:

  • Proof of identity (identity card, passport, name change)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Graduation certificate including list of subjects
  • Proof of relevant professional experience (job references, workbooks)
  • Other qualifications (courses, retraining, further training)
  • Contents of the training (in particular framework curriculum)
  • Information about a possibly already submitted application for equivalence determination. Then indicate where you submitted the application.
  • You do not yet live or work in the EU, the EEA or Switzerland? Then you have to prove that you want to work in the profession in Germany. Proof can be, for example: applications for jobs and invitations to job interviews, a personal declaration about your project, proof of location advice from the Central Service Centre for Professional Recognition (ZSBA).

For the accelerated skilled worker procedure:

  • Documents for the standard procedure
  • additionally a power of attorney according to § 81a AufenthG

Further documents can be requested by the IHK in the course of the recognition procedure. This is usually due to country-specific characteristics of your training.
The Chamber of Industry and Commerce will inform you in which form you must submit the documents in each case. Most of the time, you need to provide simple copies.
If your documents are not available in German, you must submit German translations of your documents. Translations must be carried out by translators who have been publicly appointed or sworn in.

What are the fees?

For the standard procedure:

  • Budget: EUR 100 – 600

For the accelerated skilled worker procedure:

  • Budget: EUR 500 – 1,200

In addition, you may incur additional personal costs (e.g. for translations or certifications). These costs vary from person to person.

Fee: 100,00 - 600,00 EURPayment in advance: NoFor the standard procedure.In addition, you may incur additional personal costs (e.g. for translations or certifications). These costs vary from person to person.

Fee: 500,00 - 1200,00 EURPayment in advance: NoFor the accelerated skilled worker procedure.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

  • Sometimes documents are still missing in the procedure. The Chamber of Industry and Commerce will then inform you by when you have to submit the documents.
  • If you would like to take legal action against the decision of the IHK: You can lodge a written objection within 4 weeks of receipt of the decision

Processing duration

In the standard procedure:

The Ihk will confirm that your documents have arrived after a maximum of one month. At the same time, the competent authority will inform you whether and, if so, which documents are missing. The letter is also accompanied by the fee notice with the necessary payment information.
If all the necessary documents are available, the procedure should take a maximum of 3 months. In individual cases, the procedure may be extended once.

In the accelerated skilled worker process:

The IHK confirms after a maximum of 2 weeks that your documents have arrived. The Chamber of Industry and Commerce will inform you whether and, if so, which documents are missing. The letter is also accompanied by the fee notice with the necessary payment information.
If all necessary documents are available, the procedure should take a maximum of 2 months. In individual cases, the procedure may be extended once. In the accelerated skilled worker procedure, all communication takes place via the responsible immigration authority.

Appeal

  • Contradiction
  • Administrative court action

You can take legal action against the decision of the IHK. The decision is then reviewed. We recommend that you first talk to the Chamber of Industry and Commerce before taking legal action against the decision.

Author

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Technically approved by

Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Professionally released on

30.11.2020

competent Bodies

Industrie- und Handelskammer Lüneburg-Wolfsburg

Address: Am Sande 1 , 21335 Lüneburg
TimetableServiceportal Niedersachsen (2)

Telephone: 04131 742424

Fax: 04131 742180

Email: Get in touch

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Data protection information

Stadt Winsen (Luhe)

Address: Schlossplatz 1, 21423 Winsen (Luhe)
TimetableServiceportal Niedersachsen (3)

Telephone: +49 4171 6570

Fax: +49 4171 657168

Email: Get in touch

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Landkreis Harburg - Personal und interner Service

Address: Schloßplatz 6, 21423 Winsen (Luhe)
TimetableServiceportal Niedersachsen (4)

Telephone: +49 4171 693-0

Fax: +49 4171 693-99100

Email: Get in touch

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Ansprechpartner

Frau Meyer-Sievers

Address: Schloßplatz 6, 21423 Winsen (Luhe)

Telephone: +49 4171 693-784

Email: Get in touch

responsible for:

  • Landkreis Harburg:
    • Data protection in municipalities

Landesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz Niedersachsen

Address: Prinzenstraße 5, 30159 Hannover
TimetableServiceportal Niedersachsen (5)

Telephone: +49 511 12045-00

Fax: +49 511 12045-99

Email: Get in touch

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Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)

Further Links

Single points of contact of the state of Lower Saxony, Single points of contact of the countries of Europe, advice and assistance for EU citizens and their families.

Serviceportal Niedersachsen (7)Serviceportal Niedersachsen (8)

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