Legal procedure


This guide should make it easier for you to employ a migrant for a care service job. The project team has developed this step-by-step guide as a catalog of questions that you may ask when employing a migrant care worker, specially focusing non-EU citizens, who are legal or illegally staying in Germany, with or without officially recognized certificates in the care sector.

It depends on the specific situation of the migrant, which procedure and which documentation you have to apply for, obtain or hand in. Please find more specific details on the documentations and the relevant authority in the German version of this guide.

This guide was developed in 2020. Laws and procedures may undergo changes in the future so it is important to review some steps of the guide and verify the procedures with the responsible authority.

1. Does the migrant belong to an EU country?


The migrant is a citizen of a Member State of the European Union or of another State that signed the Agreement on the E.E.E. The person is going to reside in Germany without any registration.  They (and the employer) only need there identity card.

For a period of three months they can stay here without any permission. If they are looking for a job, they may stay here for 6 months. Then they need to have a job or are working as entrepreneurs. They have to prove that they earn enough money and they need a health insurance.


2. The migrant you wish to employ is not an EU citizen. Does the person have a residence permit?

The person needs to obtain a work and a residence permit to be allowed to work legally in Germany.

2.1 Yes, the person has permanent residence.

You do not need a work permit.

2.2 Yes, the person has temporary residence permit.

In most cases, the resicence permit includes the work permit.

Possible Purposes are:

  • Vocational Education (§§ 16-17 AufenthG)
  • Employment (§§ 18 ff. AufenthG)
  • according to international law, humanitarian or political reasons (§§ 22-26, 104a, 104b AufenthG)
  • family junction (§§ 27-36 AufenthG)
  • special residence rights (§§ 37-38a AufenthG)
      2.3 No, the person has been staying irregularly in Germany.

      The only way to legalize is to apply for asylum (if it has not been rejected yet).

        3. What type of documents does the person need to be allowed to legally work in the care sector?

        3.1 Non-skilled Domestic or Care Worker

        You do not need an allowance. However, there exist some helpful vocational trainings.

        To work as a skilled or qualified worker in the social and healthcare sector, it will be mandatory to have an official qualification that certifies professional skills. If the migrant person has no officially certified qualifications, s/he must apply for the recognition of her/his certificates and her/his professional experiences.

        3.2 Skilled Domestic or Care Worker

        You need a professional qualification, but no further allowance.

        3.3 Qualified Nurse

        You need a professional qualification and an official recognition before starting to work.

        4. How to apply for the validation of a foreign professional certificate?

        4.1 Visit and use the recognition finder to identify your profession and to know exactly where and how you can apply for recognition.

        4.2 Use one of the counselling centers provided by the Network “Integration through Qualification (IQ)” for personal counselling. You will find them nearby across Germany:

         Bring these documents with you to the counselling:

          • Curriculum vitae
          • Certificates with a summary of subjects and grades
          • Proof of employment, if available (e.g. employment references or time book)
          • Identification (e.g. personal identification, identification card) or residence permit.
          • If you have already applied for a recognition procedure: Letters and notices from the competent authority.

         Do you already have documents translated into German? If so, bring these with you to the counselling.


        4.3 Apply for recognition at the competent authority of the federal state where you live and (want to) work.

        The following documents are always necessary:

          • Application form or application without a specified form
          • Proof of identity
          • Evidence of your professional qualification
          • Evidence of the content and duration of your professional qualification
          • In many cases, you may be required to submit the documents. Find out which documents you need to submit in the Recognition finder or ask your counsellor.

        Do you no longer have all the documents relating to your professional qualification? If so, you may be able to provide evidence of your professional competencies in a skills analysis. The skills analysis is available for dual training occupations, master craftsperson occupations and advanced training occupations. A skills analysis may be a:

          • Work sample
          • Professional discussion
          • Trial work in a company

        There are also other procedures in the regulated sector (all nursing professions). For example, you can complete an adaptation period or take a test.


        4.4 If you do not receive recognition, there are several options:


        5. How and where to legalize the certified documents (titles, diploma etc.)?

        In countries that have signed the Hague Convention, the legalization of documents begins with the recognition of their signatures by the academic authority of the country that issued them, and concludes with the Apostille of The Hague issued by the competent authorities of the country, that is, by a simplified method of legalizing documents in order to verify their authenticity. The academic documents issued in the rest of the countries have to be legalized through diplomatic channels in the following organizations and in the order indicated:

        Legalization by the Ministry of Education of the country of origin

        Legalization by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country where the documents were issued

        Legalization by diplomatic or consular representation of Spain in the issuing country.

        6. What is the deadline to resolve and notify the validation of the certificates?

        The deadline to resolve and notify the resolution of the certificate or the title three months from the reception of the same.