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Repository of Practices

Service Center for Professional Recognition (Zentrale Servicestelle Berufsanerkennung, ZSBA)

Primary GCM Objectives

Secondary GCM Objectives


GCM Guiding Principles*

*All practices are to uphold the ten guiding principles of the GCM. This practice particularly exemplifies these listed principles.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)


2020 - 2023

Type of practice


Geographic scope



Sub Regions:


The Service Center for Professional Recognition (ZSBA), established Feb. 2020 at the Federal Employment Agency, provides support in the recognition procedure for persons interested in seeking recognition prior to their entry to Germany. ZSBA services include guidance on a possible place of employment, support for the applicant in collecting the necessary documents, forwarding the documents to the competent body and arranging contacts with domestic employers and training provision. The ZSBA was established with the Skilled Immigration Act. It supplements the existing counselling offer and is aimed at Skilled workers who are living abroad and applying for recognition from there. The ZSBA expands on the initial guidance provided by for example the hotline “Working and Living in Germany” or the ten German Chamber of Commerce Abroad, which are part of the project ‘ProRecognition’. The role of the ZSBA primarily fulfils three functions:

• It serves as a central point of contact for applicants throughout the entire Recognition procedure. Therefore, ZSBA undertakes, for example, the following tasks in particular: support applicants in determining the appropriate Reference occupation, clarify with the applicants the federal state in which they want to work and apply, help applicants to put together the necessary documents.

• It reduces pressure on the competent authorities in terms of counselling before and during the recognition procedure.

• It makes the recognition procedure more transparent and efficient for applicants.

The ZSBA makes no decisions regarding recognition, and does not trigger any deadlines if they accept documents for a preliminary check. For the purpose of exchanging information, the ZSBA works with the competent authorities and where required with the immigration authorities. The ZSBA also provides information regarding counselling provision in Germany, opportunities relating to training and about the prospects on the German labour market. For this, it works together with the counselling centres in the Network “Integration through Qualification” (IQ). The ZSBA is based at the Federal Employment Agency's (BA) International and Specialized Services (ZAV) in Bonn.


Main Implementing Organization(s)

Government of Germany

Detailed Information

ZSBA based in the International and Specialized Services - Zentrale Auslands- und Fachvermittlung – ZAV - of the Federal Employment Agency -Bundesagentur für Arbeit- in Bonn

Partner/Donor Organizations

Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany
Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of Germany

Benefit and Impact

ZSBA closes the consultation gap for people seeking recognition from abroad;
ZSBA helps persons interested in seeking recognition in Germany work out which German professional qualification matches your individual qualification;
ZSBA advises you in a total of 11 languages for free and impartially;
ZSBA is assigned as own contact person for specific queries throughout the entire recognition procedure.

Key Lessons

• Skilled workers from abroad need advice through recognition process in Germany
• Recognition processes in Germany is complex and tedious


The practice was established in order to provide a central point of contact for people abroad with an interest to have their qualifications recognized in Germany. It aims at facilitating the hurdle of territorial competence of authorities, particularly in a federal republic such as Germany.


Advice for your professional recognition procedure for Germany

Date submitted:

07 February 2022

Disclaimer: The content of this practice reflects the views of the implementers and does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations, the United Nations Network on Migration, and its members.



*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).