Recognition of a diploma of higher education in Germany in 2024

Why do I need a recognition of my higher education in Germany?

Recognition of a diploma is necessary for almost everyone who is going to move to Germany to work, for example, with a blue card. Also, confirmation of higher education is necessary for those who are going to come to Germany in order to look for work. Thus, the Germans are asking you to prove that your higher education diploma is equivalent to a German higher education.

How do I check if my diploma is valid in Germany?

You can check if your diploma is valid in Germany using the anabin database. Anabin is a database of the German Ministry of Education, which contains information about foreign universities and specialties. The Anabin database is updated as applications are received. That is, if your diploma is not in the Anabin database, then no one sent your diploma for recognition. In this case, it is necessary to initiate the verification of your diploma by sending it to the Central Office for the Equivalence of Foreign Education (Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen). This bureau will evaluate your diploma and add it to the Anabin diploma database.

Below you will find detailed instructions for checking the recognition of a diploma.

Step 1: Check your university in the anabin database
  1. Go to anabin
  2. On the left, click on "Institutionen" and then on the "Suchen" tab
  3. Click on "Länderauswahl öffnen" and select the country of your university. Click on "Länderauswahl bestätigen" to confirm your choice.
  4. In the "Alle Orte" dropdown menu, select the city of your university.
  5. We recommend leaving the "Alle Institutionstypen" field blank.
  6. Next, you will see a list of all universities in your city. If the list is very long, then in the field where it says "Bitte geben Sie einen Suchbegriff ein", you can enter additional keywords. Please note that in the database all the names of universities are included in transliteration.
  7. If you have found your university, then check its status in the "Status" column.
  8. If a university has an H+ status, it means that it is recognized in Germany. This is great news! Now click on the purple plus sign to the left of the name of the university. A dialog box with information about the university will open. In the upper right corner, click on the printer icon to print this document. You will need it to apply for a visa.

If a university is found in the anabin database and has an H- status, it means that your diploma is unfortunately not recognized in Germany. If the university is not found or has an H+/- rating, then the diploma should be sent for verification to ZAB. How to do this, read below.

Step 2: Check your diploma in the anabin database
  1. In the dialog box of your university that we opened in the previous step, scroll to the "Abschlüsse" section. Find your diploma in this list. The title of the diploma must match word for word.
  2. Click on your diploma and scroll down to the "Bewertung" section in the dialog box that opens. If it says "Entspricht" or "Gleichwertig", which means it matches or is equivalent, then congratulations! Your diploma is recognized in Germany. To apply for a visa, you need to print this dialog by clicking on the printer icon in the upper right corner.

If you can't find your diploma in the dialog box of the university, then you can try to find your diploma in any other university. This will be enough for your diploma to be recognized in Germany. To search for a diploma in another university, follow these steps:

  1. Go back to the main page of the anabin website and click on the "Hochschulabschlüsse" link on the left, then on the "Suchen nach Abschlüssen" tab.
  2. Select the country again if the country selection from the previous step is not saved.
  3. We recommend that you do not use the "Alle Abschlusstypen" field and go directly to the "Alle Studienrichtungen" item. In this field, select your faculty/specialty.
  4. A list of available diplomas will open in the table below. Find your diploma and click on the purple plus to the left of the diploma.
  5. In the dialog box that opens, scroll to the "Bewertung" section. It should say either "Entspricht" or "Gleichwertig". If so, then half the success is already there.
  6. Scroll down to the "Verleihende Institutionen" (degree-granting institutions) section. This section must contain at least one university. At the same time, this university must have H+ status and be located in the same country in which your diploma was issued.
  7. If the conditions of the two previous points are met, then your diploma is recognized in Germany and you can print this information by clicking on the printer icon in the upper right corner. This printout and the printout of the university page from the previous step will be enough to apply for a work visa to Germany.

If you found your diploma, but the issuing university has an H- or H+/- grade, then you should send your diploma for evaluation in ZAB. Below you will learn how to do it.


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What to do if your high school or diploma is not in the anabin database or they do not meet the required criteria?

If your high school or diploma is missing in the anabin database, then this does not mean that they are not recognized in Germany. The anabin database is replenished on the basis of requests for diploma evaluation. So before you, no one has sent your university or diploma for evaluation. In order for a diploma to be recognized in Germany, you need to send it for evaluation to the Central Office for the Equivalence of Foreign Education (Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen). If you found your university and diploma in the anabin database, but the university or diploma has an H+/- status, then in this case the diploma also needs to be sent to ZAB for evaluation.

How to initiate a diploma evaluation by ZAB?

The Central Office for the Equivalence of Foreign Education (Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen) is responsible for checking all foreign diplomas and, based on the results of the assessment, issues an official certificate of recognition of higher education in Germany. Such a certificate allows its owner to get a job in Germany and obtain a residence permit. You can read more about diploma evaluation at this page of the ZAB website. The site is available in German, English and Ukrainian.

Go to diploma assessment application page. The assessment process takes approximately two months. If you have an employment contract with a German employer and you need to evaluate a diploma for a blue card (EU Blue Card or Blaue Karte EU), then the period can be reduced to about two weeks.

Diploma evaluation costs 200 euros for the first diploma and 100 euros for all subsequent diplomas. Payment can only be made by bank transfer to a ZAB account in Germany. Payment by credit card, PayPal or other options is not possible. If you are unable to pay by bank transfer, we can help you with this. To do this, write to us at

For the assessment of higher education, it is usually necessary to send the following documents to ZAB by regular mail:

  1. Application completed on the ZAB website, printed and signed.
  2. A notarized copy of the diploma (you do not need to send the original diploma)
  3. A notarized copy of the Diploma Supplement (The Diploma Supplement usually contains a list of subjects and grades)
  4. Regular (not notarized) copy of the certificate of secondary education (certificate of school education)
  5. Copy of passport


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