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Engineer with foreign professional qualification, apply for permission to use the professional title "engineer
Source: Zuständigkeitsfinder Schleswig-Holstein (Linie6PLus)
The profession of engineer is regulated in Germany. The job title is particularly protected. This means: You must prove a specific qualification in order to be allowed to use the professional title "Ingenieurin" or "Ingenieur". To prove a foreign qualification, you can apply for recognition of your professional qualification. You can also submit the application for the recognition procedure from abroad.
In the recognition procedure, the competent body compares your professional qualification from abroad with the professional qualification in the chosen federal state. The procedure is called: equivalence determination. You will receive a decision on the result of the equivalence assessment. The notice will state your professional qualifications. If you lack professional qualifications for recognition, the notice will also state the main differences.
In order to use the professional title "engineer", you must fulfill other requirements in addition to the equivalence of the professional qualifications. You may have to prove these requirements at a later date:
- Main residence, establishment or predominant work in the chosen federal state. Or: You want to live or work in the chosen federal state soon.
- Personal suitability
If your qualifications are equivalent and you meet all other requirements, you may use the professional title "engineer".
You can hand in the application with the documents to the relevant office or send it by mail. Do not send originals. Sometimes you can send the application electronically. The competent body will inform you.
The competent body receives the application. It will confirm to you after one month at the latest that the application has arrived. When the competent body has received all the documents from you, it will process your application.
The competent body then checks: Is your professional qualification equivalent to the professional qualification in your federal state? The content of the training and the duration of the training, for example, are important for the comparison. The competent body also takes into account your professional experience, further certificates of competence and qualifications.
During the equivalency test, the competent body often also checks:
- Have you completed a course of study at a university? Or have you completed training at the same level?
- In your studies, did you primarily take exams in the subjects of mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technology (STEM subjects)?
- Did your studies last at least 3 years?
- Are you allowed to work as an engineer in your country of education?
You may have to submit additional documents for this. The competent office will inform you.
The competent office will then check other requirements for the use of the professional title. These include, for example, your place of residence or your intention to work in the chosen state.
If your qualification is equivalent and you meet all other requirements, your professional qualification will be recognized. You are allowed to use the professional title "Ingenieurin" or "Ingenieur". You will receive a certificate to this effect. Then you have the same professional rights as a person with the German professional qualification.
Are there significant differences between your professional qualification and the German professional qualification? Then your professional qualification will not be recognized. In most cases, you can then make a compensatory measure. This allows you to compensate for the essential differences.
There are different compensatory measures:
- Adaptation course: you work as an engineer. In this, a qualified person supervises them. You may have to do additional training.
- Aptitude test: In the aptitude test, only the areas in which significant differences have been identified are tested.
Often you can choose between an adjustment course or a proficiency test. If you successfully complete the compensatory measure, you will receive recognition. You will be allowed to use the professional title "Ingenieurin" or "Ingenieur".
In some federal states, you may not be able to take a compensatory measure with a qualification from a third country. In that case, you can take an educational measure. For example, you can take courses or do continuing education. You have to organize the participation in the courses yourself. After that, you can submit a new application. The responsible office will inform you about your options.
Who should I contact?
- There are many consulting services available. You can find them on the Recognition in Germany portal.
- Let yourself be advised personally by an IQ
for personal advice on this procedure and your qualification. The advisors will also help you with your documents before you apply. The consultation is free of charge.
- You can also call the hotline from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. The hotline will answer your questions about working and living in Germany.
Phone number: +49 30 1815-1111
Monday to Friday 08:00 - 18:00 (CET)
If you are abroad: You can also reach the Central Service Point for Professional Recognition (ZSBA) via the hotline. This offers you in-depth advice and support in the recognition process and provides location advice.
- You have a completed professional qualification as an engineer from abroad.
- You have your main residence, your branch office or your predominant work in the selected federal state. Or: You want to live or work in the selected federal state soon.
You may also need to meet the following requirement:
- Personal suitability: you are reliable and have no criminal record.
Which documents are required?
- Application form from the competent body
- Proof of identity (e.g. passport or ID card)
- Marriage certificate (if your name has changed due to marriage)
- Curriculum vitae
- Proof of your professional qualification (e.g. certificates, professional diploma)
- Proof of your professional experience (e.g. references)
- Proof of your other qualifications (e.g. professional training, seminars)
- Perhaps: certificate evaluation by the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB)
- Information about an already submitted application for recognition. Then indicate the office to which you submitted the application.
- Do you come from a third country and do not yet live or work in the EU, EEA or Switzerland? Then you must provide evidence: You want to work in the profession in the chosen federal state (e.g. applications, entry visa for gainful employment, personal statement).
- Perhaps: Proof of your personal suitability: certificate of good conduct (e.g. criminal record extract, certificate of good standing).
- If the profession is not regulated in your country of training, then you may need to prove: at least one year of work experience in the profession in the last 10 years.
- If the profession is regulated in your country of training, then you may need to demonstrate: You are allowed to work in the profession in the country of training.
- Maybe: registration certificate of your residence in the respective state.
The responsible office will tell you which documents you have to show as originals or hand in as copies. Some copies must be officially certified. We recommend: Do not send originals by mail.
You must present your documents in German. The translations must be done by publicly appointed or authorized translators.
What are the fees?
In addition, further costs may arise (e.g. for translations or certifications of your documents or compensation measures). These costs vary individually.
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
Sometimes documents are still missing in the procedure. The responsible office will then inform you by when you have to submit the documents.
Processing time: 3 MonthsThe competent body will confirm that your documents have arrived after a maximum of one month. The competent body will inform you if any documents are missing. If the documents are complete, the procedure takes 3 months. Sometimes the competent body can extend the procedure.
You can take legal action against the decision from the competent body. The decision will then be reviewed. Details of this procedure can be found in the appeal instructions at the end of your decision. We recommend that you first speak to a counseling center before appealing or taking legal action.
Applications / forms
Forms can be obtained from the relevant office.
What else should I know?
Working without recognition
You can also work without the recognition, e.g. employed in an engineering office.
But: The job title "engineer" is specially protected. You are not allowed to use the professional title. This also applies to a word combination with the professional title.
Freedom of services
You only want to offer services in Germany sometimes and for a short time? Then you usually do not need recognition. You must meet these requirements:
- You must be established in another state of the EU, the EEA or in Switzerland.
- You must provide proof of your professional qualification.
- You must declare or register your activity in writing with the competent body.
- You may need to prove: At least one year of professional experience in the profession in the last 10 years.
- If you are self-employed, the following may also apply: you must have adequate professional liability insurance.
Certificate evaluation of a foreign university qualification
A certificate evaluation can make it easier for you to enter the German job market. The Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) evaluates your certificate. Please note: The certificate evaluation does not replace the recognition of your professional qualification. You can only obtain recognition of your professional qualification from the relevant office.
The text was automatically translated based on the German content.
Technically approved by
Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training
Saxony-Anhalt Chamber of Engineers
Professionally released on