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How refugees from Ukraine can get a job in Germany

22-5-2022 |

Who has the right to work in Germany, who first needs to confirm the diploma and what to do if you do not have all the documents? DW collected basic information for Ukrainian refugees.

According to surveys, more than 70 percent of those who fled the war from Ukraine to Germany have a college degree. And, as a new study by the Institute for German Economics in Cologne (IW) shows, Ukrainian refugees have good chances on the German labor market.

At the same time, even if they have no professional qualifications, they immediately get the right to work in Germany. As explained to DW in the organization Integration durch Qualifizierung (IQ) ("Integration through qualification"), which helps professionals with a migrant background to improve the chances of the German labor market, this requires registration at the local Aliens Office and a document confirming a residence permit in Germany with a note that allowed to work. A temporary residence permit (Fiktionsbescheinigung) is already sufficient.

What professions you can start working for immediately

The second condition is that you can start work immediately only for professions that are not regulated and do not require a state license. These professions include, for example, automobile mechanic, salesman, accountant, office manager, hairdresser, programmer, economist, biologist and mathematician. There are more than three hundred such professions in Germany.

These professions do not require formal recognition of educational documents. However, foreigners can have their diplomas evaluated by the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) and receive a certificate. It indicates the qualification obtained, the level of German education to which it corresponds and the equivalent to profession in Germany.

This makes it easier for employers to determine whether the applicant is suitable. You can apply online or by mail. The certificate costs 200 euros. You can now read more about it in Ukrainian on the website of the Conference of Ministers of Education and Culture.

For whom the diploma recognition in Germany is obligatory

Another thing is regulated professions, i.e. those where there are legislative regulations and state standards in staff training. This applies mainly to the fields of medicine and education - for example, doctors, nurses, elderly care specialists, midwives, pharmacists, veterinarians, teachers, educators, architects, pyrotechnicians, air traffic controllers, engineers, judges and lawyers. For these professions, there is no way around it without proof of a diploma. Only then a work permit was issued.

You can check whether you have to have your foreign degree validated in Germany by visiting under Anerkennungsfinder.

The search engine will also give you the address of the institution to which you should apply to have your qualifications checked. Important: The ZAB does not accept applications for regulated professions.

There is no general data on how many Ukrainians now apply for confirmation of diplomas. But the same study by the IW Institute indicates that even before the war the number of applications for recognition of professional qualifications from Ukrainians in Germany was high in comparison with those from other countries. From 2016 to 2020, about 6,200 people applied and only 7 percent of them were denied.

What to do if there are no documents

Certificates of education and professional experience are required to apply.

If the documents remain in Ukraine and there is no way to get them, in Germany they can make advances for refugees. The applicant will be asked to prove his professional skills in practice. They can check competence for example by asking for samples of work, by conducting a professional knowledge test or by interviewing you.

However, if you do not have the necessary documents, IQ staff recommend stating this on your application in any case, regardless of your profession - some agencies make exceptions. But they most often refer to related documents, such as the professional security clearance required for doctors.

Where to go for advice

You can get information about recognizing your qualifications and finding a job from one of the local IQ Network offices or from one of the state counseling offices. You can also turn to the Federal Employment Agency, which can give advice in Russian and Ukrainian on 0911 178-7915.

Source: DW