Information about the recognition procedure

On this page you will find an overview of all the content concerning the recognition procedure and everything related to it.

Quick overview:

Language (acquisition) (B1/B2)

Recognition Process

(Defizitbescheid / Anpassungslehrgang / Kenntnisprüfung / needed documents)

How do I get my visa?

Administrative procedures

Language

In order to obtain a visa, you’ll need at least a B1 language certificate according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages ​​(CEFR) and a B2 level for your recognition. The B2 language certificate can also be obtained in Germany.

If you already have a B1 level, you will find an app here that you can use to playfully improve your German in the nursing profession.

https://www.ein-tag-deutsch.de/

Further helpful links regarding the language acquisition and the German language requirements in general:

https://www.deutsch-am-arbeitsplatz.de/english.html

https://www.make-it-in-germany.com/en/ 

https://www.europaeischer-referenzrahmen.de/ 

In the future, the language certificate will be based on a B2 technical language test (Fachsprachtest), i.e. a test for the technical language in the medical care profession. Some federal states are already preparing for the transition. Initially, this B2 specialist language test is to be introduced in Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Bremen, Lower Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. General language courses will be offered as well as those that specifically prepare for the practice of nursing.

The “Regulation on job-related German language support” („Verordnung über die berufsbezogene Deutschsprachförderung“) – DeuFöV for short – is the legal basis on which professional language courses for the German language are carried out. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) is responsible for conducting the DeuFöV courses. The BAMF allows public and private providers for this. Authorizations can be granted by the BAMF for persons in the recognition phase of their foreign professional qualification.

Source: https://www.faire-anwerbung-pflege-deutschland.de/

Recognition Process

In order to be able to work in Germany, you must have your degree recognized in Germany. To do this, you must submit an application for professional recognition. As soon as this has been done, you will receive a so-called Defizit- or Feststellungsbescheid (assessment/recognition notice). If you then do not have enough work experience or the appropriate professional qualification to receive a direct recognition, there are two ways to make up for your deficits:

Kenntnisprüfung (knowledge test) or Anpassungslehrgang (adaptation period)

How does the recognition process work?

Shown as an example for the federal state of Hesse (should be similar in most federal states)

What is a Kenntnisprüfung?

A Kenntnisprüfung (knowledge test) is, as the name suggests, a test, that consists of an oral/theoretical and a practical exam. Before the exam, you will be prepared for everything in a preparatory course. The duration of this preparation differs depending on the federal state and organizer. Depending on the federal state, you can sometimes start the preparatory course with a B1 language certificate, but a B2 language certificate is usually required.

In your Defizitbescheid you will find more detailed information on what you will be specifically tested for in the practical and oral part of the examination. Candidates with regular training/education (4 years of middle school) are usually tested in the practical part for 2 care situations and retrainees* (2 years of middle school) for 4 care situations.

We are currently working mainly with Lingoda, who also offer a B2 language course before the preparatory course, if you only have a B1 language certificate. You can find the details on the preparation with Lingoda here (only in German):

What is an Anpassungslehrgang?

The Anpassungslehrgang (adaptation period) consists of a practical part and a final interview.

To put it simply, you can think of an adaptation period as a longer internship in different departments of a hospital (or other institutions). The adaptation period ends with a final interview. For the practical part of the training, a person qualified in this profession supervises the employee. The duration of the adaptation period and the required departments are also determined in the Defizitbescheid.

Depending on the federal state and the Defizitbescheid, the duration of the adaptation period is often indicated in hours or months. In our experience, the upper tolerable limit for the duration of an adaptation course is usually 9 months.

It is important to discuss both options with the employer beforehand and to see whether the necessary facilities or departments are available at all.

Simplified brief overview of required documents

Documents for candidates without a recognition (all documents must be submitted in your native language and in German):

  • Tabular CV (and a CV with a picture for us)
  • Diploma
  • School certificates (usually 4 classes and only if you have a middle school diploma)
  • Certificate of state examination
  • Internship certificate (if you went to school and needed it for the state examination)
  • Subject list (if you have a middle school diploma) / Transcript of records (if you went to university)
  • Language certificate (B1 for the visa and B2 for the recognition and currently only Goethe, ÖSD and telc are ackowledged)
  • Professional license (in some countries)

Since each federal state requires the documents in a different form, it is safest if you first have the copies of all your original documents certified at the embassy and then have them translated by a publicly appointed and sworn translator.

IMPORTANT! However, it would be best if you contact us before preparing your documents so that we can advise you specifically according to your situation and the federal state you are interested in.

Documents for candidates with a recognition in Germany

  • Tabular CV (and a CV with a picture for us)
  • Berufsurkunde (Certificate of entitlement – the document that confirms that you are permitted to practice your occupation)

Language certificate – B2 level (currently only Goethe, ÖSD and telc are acknowledged)

You can find a complete explanation for the application of the “Defizitbescheid” and all required documents for Hesse here:

All application forms for the Defizitbescheid by federal state

Here you will find links to all application forms and information sheets for the Defizitbescheid (deficit notice) for each federal state in Germany. Under the link to the respective page is a brief overview of how your documents must be certified and translated, whether the federal state also accepts retrainees, and particularities about the respective federal states, for example special regulations regarding language certificates.

Last updated: July 2022

Baden-Württemberg

https://rp.baden-wuerttemberg.de/themen/gesundheit/seiten/auslaendische-abschluesse 

Certification:

According to the information sheet, the certification can be done at the embassy and if certified abroad by the notary or city hall, the certification/notarization must be translated

Translator: 

Publicly appointed or sworn interpreters or translators can be from a third country, but must be recognized in the EU or Germany

“It is important that the translator is licensed in Germany or the EU. Whether the translator is based in the country of training or in Germany is irrelevant.”

Es ist wichtig, dass der Übersetzer in Deutschland oder der EU zugelassen ist. Ob dieser im Ausbildungsland oder in Deutschland ansässig ist, spielt keine Rolle.

Are retrainees accepted: NO

Additional regulations for the B2 language certificate:

from the 01.09.2022:

all modules of the certificate must have the result B2

from the 01.01.2023:

the certificate must not be older than 3 years when the “Urkunde” (certificate of entitlement) is issued

Bayern / Bavaria

In Bavaria, the seven administrative regions (Regierungsbezirk) are responsible for issuing the professional license, depending on where you live or work. You must therefore submit an application in the administrative regions where your future employer is located.

Oberbayern – Upper Bavaria

https://www.regierung.oberbayern.bayern.de/aufgaben/37198/244210/leistung/leistung_12115/index.html

Niederbayern – Lower Bavaria

https://freistaat.bayern/dokumente/leistung/957323832204?plz=94244&behoerde=39775166563&gemeinde=170634672690 

Schwaben – Swabia

https://www.regierung.schwaben.bayern.de/aufgaben/168895/168931/leistung/leistung_12115/index.html 

Oberpfalz – Upper Palatinate

https://www.regierung.oberpfalz.bayern.de/aufgaben/60671/60704/leistung/leistung_12115/index.html 

Oberfranken – Upper Franconia

https://www.regierung.oberfranken.bayern.de/aufgaben/192188/192196/leistung/leistung_12115/index.html 

Mittelfranken – Middle Franconia

https://www.regierung.mittelfranken.bayern.de/aufgaben/40033/40104/leistung/leistung_12115/index.html 

Unterfranken – Lower Franconia

https://www.regierung.unterfranken.bayern.de/aufgaben/177673/177697/leistung/leistung_12115/index.html 

*There are two applications in Swabia, Middle Franconia and Lower Franconia. We are not exactly sure why, but the first one should be correct.

Certification:

only possible at the embassy

Translator:

can only be from Germany or have foreign translations confirmed by a translator in Germany

Are retrainees accepted: NO

*in Bavaria everything is very complicated and takes a very long time – sometimes processing times of one year are to be expected

Remark on the B2 language certificate:

“In Bavaria, proof of the German language skills required to practice the profession will in future be provided by the so-called technical language examination for persons who have not completed their training in German. This will be successively introduced in the individual health professions.”

In Bayern wird der Nachweis der für die Berufsausübung erforderlichen Deutschkenntnisse bei Personen, die ihre Ausbildung nicht in deutscher Sprache absolviert haben, künftig durch die sogenannte Fachsprachenprüfung erfolgen. Diese wird sukzessive in den einzelnen Gesundheitsfachberufen eingeführt werden.”

Berlin

https://www.berlin.de/lageso/gesundheit/berufe-im-gesundheitswesen/ausbildung-ausserhalb-der-europaeischen-union-drittstaat/nichtakademische-berufe/ 

(Link for documents for candidates from third countries)

Certification:

only possible at the embassy

Translator:

only German translators

“You must submit foreign language documents with certified translations by translators who are generally sworn or authorized or publicly appointed in Germany. Translations from countries outside the EU member states (so-called third countries) are not accepted.”

„Fremdsprachige Unterlagen müssen Sie mit beglaubigten Übersetzungen von in Deutschland allgemein beeidigten oder ermächtigten bzw. öffentlich bestellten Übersetzern vorlegen. Übersetzungen aus Staaten außerhalb der EU-Mitgliedstaaten (sogenannte Drittstaaten) werden nicht akzeptiert.“

Are retrainees accepted: YES

Conditions for the B2 language certificate:

“Required is a level B2 certificate (for speech therapists C1) from the Goethe Institute, telc, TestDaF or ECL certified language schools, which must not be older than 3 years.”

Verlangt wird ein Zertifikat der Stufe B 2 (für Logopäden C 1) vom Goethe-Institut, telc, TestDaF oder ECL zertifizierten Sprachschulen, das nicht älter als 3 Jahre sein darf.

Remarks:

From our experience, without a B2 language certificate, the processing of the Defizitbescheid will not start.

There must be apostilles on all documents.

In our experience, this is  one of the more complicated states for obtaining the Defizitbescheid.

Brandenburg

https://lavg.brandenburg.de/lavg/de/gesundheit/gesundheitsfachberufe/anerkennung-auslaendischer-ausbildung/# 

Certification:

only possible at the embassy

Translator:

only from the EU or Germany

Are retrainees accepted: ?

We haven’t checked, probably yes, as it is also possible in Berlin

Conditions for the B2 language certificate:

“Certificates from the following language institutes are recognized: – Goethe Institute or Telc-GmbH or TestDaf or ÖSD. The certificates must not be older than 3 years at the time of application.”

Zertifikate von folgenden Sprachinstituten werden anerkannt: – Goetheinstitut oder Telc-GmbH oder TestDaf oder ÖSD. Die Nachweise dürfen zum Zeitpunkt der Antragstellung nicht älter als 3 Jahre sein.”

Remarks:

“Resume must be submitted as an original document with picture.

All foreign documents from a country outside the EU (third country) must be apostilled or legalized in the country of issue.

Bremen

Forms/Applications

https://www.gesundheit.bremen.de/das-ressort/service/leistungen-und-formulare-16818 

General information

https://www.gesundheit.bremen.de/gesundheit/berufe-im-gesundheitswesen-11468 

Certification:

only possible at the embassy

Translator:

publicly appointed or sworn interpreters or translators from abroad (outside of Germany) are accepted

Are retrainees accepted: NO

*The Defizitbescheid can be applied for with a B1 language certificate, but the Kenntnisprüfung (knowledge test) or the Anpassungslehrgang (adaptation course) can only be started with a B2 language certificate

Hamburg

https://www.hamburg.de/gesundheitsfachberufe/121864/anerkennung-auslaendischer-diplome-im-gesundheitswesen/ 

Certification:

only possible at the embassy

Translator:

publicly appointed or sworn interpreters or translators from abroad (outside of Germany) are accepted

Are retrainees accepted: YES

*Apostilles must be on diplomas, state examinations and licenses

*The application is available in different languages.

Hessen / Hesse

Forms/Applications non-EU

https://rp-darmstadt.hessen.de/gesundheit-und-soziales/pflegefachberufe/auslaendische-abschluesse/laender-nicht-eu 

All forms/applications

https://rp-darmstadt.hessen.de/gesundheit-und-soziales/pflegefachberufe/auslaendische-abschluesse/staatliche-anerkennung 

Information

https://rp-darmstadt.hessen.de/gesundheit-und-soziales/gesundheitsfachberufe/auslaendische-abschluesse/staatliche-anerkennung 

Certification:

is possible at the embassy or abroad at the notary or in the municipality – but these certifications must then be translated

Translator:

publicly appointed or sworn interpreters or translators from abroad (outside of Germany) are accepted

Are retrainees accepted: YES

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern / Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

https://www.lagus.mv-regierung.de/LPH/Auslaendische-Bildungsabschluesse/ 

You will find the documents under the following category on the web site: “Gleichwertigkeitsprüfung anderer abgeschlossener ausländischer Aus- und Weiterbildungen in den Gesundheitsfachberufen”

Certification:

only possible at the embassy

Übersetzer:

only from Germany, the EU or the EEA (European Economic Area) 

Are retrainees accepted: ?

*The contract must apparently be sent in the original.

*The resume must be sent as an original document with picture.

Niedersachsen / Lower Saxony

https://soziales.niedersachsen.de/startseite/soziales_amp_gesundheit/gesundheit_und_pflege/nichtarztliche_heilberufe/anerkennungsverfahren_von_im_ausland_abgeschlossenen_ausbildungen/anerkennungsverfahren-von-im-ausland-abgeschlossenen-ausbildungen-101995.html 

Certification:

only possible at the embassy

“Certifications from notaries or authorities from third countries are also not accepted.”

„Auch Beglaubigungen von Notaren oder Behörden aus Drittstaaten werden nicht akzeptiert.“

Translator:

publicly appointed or sworn interpreters or translators from abroad (outside of Germany) are accepted

“Translations done abroad must be from an institution authorized to do sworn translations (or its equivalent) in that country.”

„Im Ausland angefertigte Übersetzungen müssen von einer Institution stammen, die in diesem Land zu einer vereidigten Übersetzung (oder einem Äquivalent dazu) befugt ist.“

Are retrainees accepted: YES

*It is possible to submit a waiver with the application to opt exclusively for the Kenntnisprüfung (knowledge test), which should shorten the processing time

*The issuance of the deficit notice in Lower Saxony currently takes a very long time (sometimes 6 months and more) – last updated: July 2022

Nordrhein-Westfalen / North Rhine-Westphalia

https://www.bezreg-muenster.de/de/gesundheit_und_soziales/zag/servicestelle_pug/index.html 

Certification:

only possible at the embassy

Translator:

“For translations done abroad, the translator must also be classified as a trustworthy translator by the German embassy (these can be found on the published lists on the website of the respective embassy).” -> it is safer to use a German translator

Bei im Ausland gefertigten Übersetzungen, muss der Übersetzer zusätzlich als vertrauenswürdiger Übersetzer von der deutschen Botschaft eingestuft sein (diese sind auf den veröffentlichten Listen auf der Internetseite der jeweiligen Botschaft zu finden).”

Are retrainees accepted: YES

*It is possible to have the documents checked for the Kenntnisprüfung only. This can be selected in the application.

Rheinland-Pfalz / Rhineland-Palatinate

https://lsjv.rlp.de/de/unsere-aufgaben/arbeit/gesundheitsfachberufe/ 

Certification:

at the embassy and if certified abroad by the notary, the certification must be translated

Translator:

publicly appointed or sworn interpreters or translators from abroad (outside of Germany) are accepted

Are retrainees accepted: in principle no

*If you already have a Defizitbescheid from another federate state, you can send it to Rhineland-Palatinate and you can be recognized (employer in Rhineland-Palatinate is required)

Remark on the B2 language certificate:

“All modules must be passed at B2 level.”

Saarland

https://www.saarland.de/las/DE/themen/gesundheitsberufe/gesundheitsfachberufe/gesundheitsfachberufe_node.html 

Certification:

only possible at the embassy (not sure if notaries from abroad are also approved)

Translator:

only from Germany

Are retrainees accepted: ?

*We have no practical experience in this state yet.

Sachsen / Saxony

Forms/Applications

https://www.ksv-sachsen.de/auslaendische-Berufsqualifikationen.html

General information

https://amt24.sachsen.de/zufi/leistungen/6000955

Certification:

only at the embassy (the safest option) – we have not tested other options

Translator:

publicly appointed or sworn interpreters or translators from abroad (outside of Germany) are accepted

*At least it says nothing else in the information sheet:

“(…) [you can] submit translations prepared by a publicly sworn interpreter.”

(…) Übersetzungen einzureichen, die von einem öffentlich beeidigten Dolmetscher gefertigt wurden.

Are retrainees accepted: YES

*”On the issue of retrainees, we will only be able to examine these degrees if they are retraining in general nursing and the individuals concerned are allowed to work regularly in their home country in nursing as a professional with the retraining certificate, analogous to a nurse.”

*„Zur Frage der Umschüler werden wir diese Abschlüsse nur dann prüfen können, wenn es sich um eine Umschulung im Bereich der allgemeinen Pflege handelt und die Betroffenen mit dem Umschulungszertifikat analog einer Krankenschwester regulär in ihrem Heimatland in der Pflege als Fachkraft arbeiten dürfen.

Sachsen-Anhalt / Saxony-Anhalt

https://lvwa.sachsen-anhalt.de/das-lvwa/landespruefungsamt-fuer-gesundheitsberufe/fuehrung-von-berufsbezeichnungen/

Certification:

only possible at the embassy

Translator:

from Germany, the EU or recognized by the embassy

Are retrainees accepted: ?

*”All documents from abroad must always be provided with a Hague apostille or are to be submitted legalized by the German Embassy in the country of training.”

*„Alle Dokumente aus dem Ausland sind grundsätzlich mit einer Haager Apostille zu versehen oder von der Deutschen Botschaft im Ausbildungsland legalisiert, einzureichen.”

Schleswig-Holstein

https://www.ea-sh.de/informieren/berufsanerkennung/berufsanerkennung-reglementierter-berufe/

Certification:

at the embassy – we have not yet checked whether it is possible at the notary outside of Germany

Translator:

must be approved by the embassy – information on this is not really to be found -> it is safer to have everything translated by a German translator

Are retrainees accepted: YES (*only with 2 years of training and it’s complicated in this state)

*Applications and information sheets are not available on the website – they must be requested directly from the case worker.

*Our experience is that it is difficult to obtain the recognition in Schleswig-Holstein

Thüringen / Thuringia

https://landesverwaltungsamt.thueringen.de/soziales/gesundheitswesen/berufe-gesundheitswesen/gesundheitsfachberufe/krankenpflege

Certification:

only possible at the embassy

Translator:

publicly appointed or sworn interpreters or translators from abroad (outside of Germany) are accepted

“Translations have to be prepared by a publicly appointed and sworn translator / interpreter in Germany or abroad.

„Übersetzungen sind von einem in Deutschland oder im Ausland öffentlich bestellten und beeidigten Übersetzer / Dolmetscher anfertigen zu lassen.“

Are retrainees accepted: ?

*The B2 language level is tested:

“The Thuringian State Administration Office reserves the right to verify language skills in a personal interview. – In addition, all applicants must prove their language skills in a personal interview at our office.”

Das Thüringer Landesverwaltungsamt behält sich die Überprüfung der Sprachkenntnisse in einem persönlichen Gespräch vor. – Zudem müssen alle Antragsteller ihre Sprachkenntnisse in einem persönlichen Gespräch in unserem Hause nachweisen.

*They have a special resume template that must be used.

How do I get my visa? – The immigration process

Fachkräfteeinwanderungsgesetz / beschleunigtes Fachkräfteverfahren (FEG)

Skilled Worker’s Immigration Act / fast-track admission procedure

If you come from a third country and not from the Balkans, we can help you to obtain your visa via the Skilled Immigration Act and the fast-track procedure for skilled workers (Section 81a of the Residence Act).  This procedure theoretically enables you to receive the visa within 4 months, which unfortunately is not always the case in practice.

For more information, you can watch this short and descriptive video:

You’ll find detailed information here: https://www.make-it-in-germany.com/en/visa-residence/skilled-immigration-act

If you want to read about our practical experience with the fast-track procedure for the federal state Rhineland-Palatinate, you can click our blog here (only German version):

The above mentioned process is currently the only process we accompany for candidates who are not from the Balkans.

You can find further information on this topic in the information brochure and here:

https://www.bamf.de/EN/Startseite/startseite_node.html 

https://www.netzwerk-iq.de/fileadmin/Redaktion/Downloads/Fachstelle_Beratung_und_Qualifizierung/IQ_Handout_16d_residence_act_ENG.pdf 

Administrative procedures after your arrival in Germany

Here is just a brief overview of the things that need to be done as soon as you come to Germany:

Registration with the responsible registration authority

(Einwohnermeldeamt/Landratsamt – residents’ registration office/district office etc.)

-> Here you should receive your tax number (Steuernummer)

Registration at the immigration office/immigration office (Ausländerbehörde)

Opening of a bank account

Registration with the health insurance company

(We can help you with this last step. You are welcome to contact us a few days before your arrival in Germany.)