More foreign workers apply to have their qualifications recognised in Germany

More foreign workers apply to have their qualifications recognised in Germany

There is a glimmer of hope for Germany finding the way out of its record-high worker shortage; the number of skilled workers applying to have foreign qualifications recognised in Germany surged in 2022.

More applications for foreign qualifications to be recognised in Germany

According to new figures published by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), 2022 saw a 13 percent rise in the number of skilled workers applying to have their foreign qualifications recognised in Germany. Last year, 49.500 applications were submitted.

The number of applications that were accepted also rose by 11 percent, to 52.300 in 2022. Last year saw a significant uptick in both applications submitted and applications accepted after a slump in the period dominated by coronavirus in 2020 and 2021.

Over the past years, German authorities have begun to recognise more foreign qualifications as fully or partially equivalent to qualifications obtained while studying in Germany. By comparison, in 2016, only 26.200 qualifications were recognised.

Medical sector qualifications were most commonly recognised

A sector in desperate need of more employees, people working in medicine and healthcare made up the largest cohort of professionals to have their qualifications recognised in 2022. Two-thirds of all foreign qualifications recognised in 2022 went to people working in the healthcare sector.

As of 2022, German authorities recognise qualifications ascertained in 170 countries as the equivalent to German qualifications. Unsurprisingly, qualifications from other European countries made up the majority of those recognised in 2022, followed by countries in Asia.

When it comes to specific countries, people who had studied in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Philippines and Turkey were the largest groups to have their qualifications successfully recognised in Germany in 2022.

Recent changes to Germany's immigration law mean that the trend is likely to continue, and even grow further. With the imminent introduction of the points-based Chancenkarte (Opportunity Card) available to foreigners with a vocational qualification or university degree, the process of having those qualifications recognised in Germany is set to be simplified.

Thumb image credit: Astashov Yevhenii /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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