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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Applying for recognition of a foreign professional qualification for training or further training in the field of the legal professions


You can have a training qualification or further education qualification from abroad officially recognized in Germany. The procedure for recognition is called: equivalence assessment.

Please note: Your qualification must be recognized by the state in the country in which you trained. Informal or non-formal qualifications cannot be officially recognized in Germany.

Training occupations in Germany in the field of administration of justice are

  • Notary clerk or notary assistant
  • Patent paralegal or patent paralegal assistant
  • Paralegal and notary's assistant or paralegal and notary's assistant
  • Paralegal or legal assistant
  • Certified legal specialist

You apply for recognition from the competent authority in the federal state in which you wish to work. In the field of law, the bar associations, patent attorney associations and notary chambers are normally responsible.

To apply for an equivalence assessment, you must identify a German training qualification or further training qualification. This is the so-called reference profession. It must match your foreign professional qualification. You should therefore seek advice before submitting your application.

When assessing equivalence, the competent authority will compare your qualification with a specific German qualification. Important criteria for the comparison are the content and duration of the training.

You will receive a decision on the outcome of the procedure. The decision will state any existing and any missing professional qualifications. The decision enables employers to better assess your professional qualifications.

You can also apply for equivalence assessment from abroad.

  • You have a state-recognized professional qualification from abroad.
  • Your qualification must be compatible with a German qualification in the field of the legal professions.
  • You want to work in Germany.

The responsible office will tell you which documents you need to submit. Important documents are generally

  • Proof of identity (identity card or passport)
  • Marriage certificate (if your name has changed due to marriage)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Proof of your professional qualifications (e.g. certificates, professional certificate)
  • Proof of training
  • Proof of your relevant professional experience
  • Proof of other relevant knowledge for the job
  • Have you already submitted an application for equivalence assessment? If so, please state the body to which you submitted the application.
  • Perhaps: You come from a third country and do not yet live or work in the EU, the EEA or Switzerland? Then you must provide proof: You want to work in the profession in Germany. Proof can be, for example, applications for a job, invitations to job interviews or a location note from the Central Service Center for Professional Recognition (ZSBA).

The responsible office will tell you which documents you need to submit as a simple copy, a certified copy or the original.

If your documents are not in German, you must submit German translations of your documents. The translations must be made by translators who are publicly appointed or authorized.

You may have to submit further documents during the recognition procedure. The responsible office will inform you.

The costs generally depend on the time and effort required for processing.

Additional costs may also be incurred (e.g. for translations or notarizations). These costs vary from case to case.

There is no deadline.

Sometimes documents are still missing from the procedure. The responsible office will then inform you by when you must submit the documents.

You can take legal action against the decision of the competent authority within a certain period of time (for example, by lodging an objection). The decision will then be reviewed. Details can be found in the information on legal remedies at the end of your decision. You should first speak to the responsible office before taking legal action against the decision.

Please contact the President of the Higher Regional Court.


You submit an application for equivalence assessment to the competent body.
You can submit the application with the documents to the relevant office, send it by post or upload it electronically. Do not send any originals.

Examination of equivalence

The competent body will then check: Is your professional qualification equivalent to the German professional qualification? The competent authority will compare the qualifications using certain criteria. Important criteria are the content and duration of the training. The competent body also takes your professional experience, your other certificates of competence and qualifications into account when assessing equivalence.

Possible results of the examination

You will receive a notification with the result of the procedure. You will receive recognition if your professional qualification and the German professional qualification are equivalent.

Sometimes there are significant differences between the professional qualifications. The differences are listed in your notification. You can use this decision to gain further qualifications and later submit a new application for equivalence assessment.

If your professional qualification is not equivalent at all, you will not receive recognition.

Procedure for ethnic German repatriates

As a late repatriate, you can go through the recognition procedure either in accordance with the laws mentioned here or in accordance with the Federal Expellees Act. You can decide for yourself. The responsible office will advise you which procedure is right for you.

Qualification analysis

You no longer have all the documents required for the application? Then recognition is still possible. You can prove your professional qualification with a qualification analysis, for example through a technical interview or a work sample.

Federal Ministry of Education and Research

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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