ZAB - how to apply for evaluation of your qualification in Germany in 5 steps

If your Anabin status negative ("H-" or "H+/-"), apply to ZAB

First of all please check the acceptance of your degree in Germany via Anabin.
If your status is H+, you're lucky and do not need to read this article. If your status is H-, additional steps (and a fee) must be done. The solution called ZAB.

This tutorial focuses on the recognition of foreign Bachelor's and Master's degrees (or comparable). The information source is German federal service called KMK with the ZAB Head Office in Bonn, Germany.

Screenshot 1. (Source: KMK/ZAB)

KMK is acronym for Kulturminister Konferenz (En: The Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs);
ZAB is acronym for Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen (En: Central Office for Foreign Education).

General information about the recognition is here.


Step 1 - learn required documents
Step 2 - prepare required documents
Do I need to translate my diploma into German?
Step 3 - fill the questionairy and get your reference number
Step 4 - doublecheck and send the documents
Step 5 - pay the fee


If your degree or university is recognised in Germany (Anabin status H+) you can apply directly for jobs or start your studies in German universities.

If your university is not recognised in Germany (Anabin status H-), you will need the official recognition.

For this you go to ZAB, fill out a form, send your documents, pay a fee.

Within 2 weeks up to 3 months they will check your qualifications. Then you receive a certificate of recognition (s. sample above).

Instructions - Step-by-step

What to do if the status is H+/-?

Für diese Institutionen ist auf der Ebene des Institutionstyps eine einheitliche Statusfestlegung nicht möglich. Auch diese Gruppe ist nicht homogen. Unter anderem lassen sich zwei Fallgruppen unterscheiden:

- Der Typ umfasst sowohl anerkannte als auch nicht anerkannte Institutionen.
- Im Herkunftsland findet im Hinblick auf die Institutionen eine Statusfestlegung nicht statt. Anerkennung (Akkreditierung, Attestierung u.a.) betrifft im Herkunftsland ausschließlich die Studiengänge/Abschlüsse.

Step 1 - learn required documents

Go to the page "Required Documentation. List by country". Select the country where you studied from the list. You will get to another page with listed required documents for your particular country.

If your country is not listed, go to the general page with the required documentation.

Here is an example for India.

There are two main documents you need to submit:

  • 1: the official diploma of higher education degree in the original language;
  • 2: transcript of records of the subjects and marks of every study year.
  • 3: only if available: The Europass Diploma Supplement.

    Scroll down and read Do I need to translate my diploma into German?

    If two original documents were issued for the same higher education qualification, you need to send to ZAB both documents.

    Please do not send original documents!
    In most cases, German authorities require original docuents only at personal appearances.


    Step 2 - prepare required documents

    Collect additional documents. Please hand in simple copies of the following documents:

    • 4: your employment contract (only if you are applying for a Blue Card)
    • 5: your Secondary School Leaving Certificate which gives access to higher education in your home country
    • 6: all degrees received before the degree which is to be evaluated in the original language along with a transcript of records*
    • 7: a confirmation of the university about the duration of studies and the mode of attendance (in case this information is not included in the transcript of records)
    • 8: your passport or identity card
    • 9: the official proof of a possible change of your name (provided that this is not evident from your identity card or passport)

    Note that you do not need a translation for the documents 4-9.


    Do I need to translate my diploma into German?

    Languages of your diploma that do not require translation into German: Arabic, English, French, Italian or Spanish.

    If your documents are not in one of these languages, a translation into German is required. Read the article How to translate documents.

    * - For example: If you apply for the evaluation of a Master's degree, we also need the Bachelor's degree.

    Still anything uclear? Feel free to contact ZAB support or to contact us, MIGWORK.


    Step 3 - fill the questionairy and get your reference number

    After the necessary documents are complete, fill out the application form.

    lebenslauf Screenshot 2. (Source: URL)

    Explanations to the figures on the screenshot

    1. - Leave this checkbox empty (unless you have already submitted another application earlier).

    2. - Note that you must enter your citizenship (not the nationality).
    Previous Names - leave this box empty unless you haven't ever changed your last name.
    Middle Name - write your father's first name (if it is given in your passport).
    Place of Birth - write it as given in your passport).
    The rest of (2) is simple.

    3. - Give the postal address in the country where you are registered. Important! Please make sure to enter your postcode. If you don't know the postcode, google it. If still no success, give the post code of the Main Post Office in your town.
    Phone and Mobile: don't forget about international standards (e.g. +38 for the Ukraine, +44 for UK etc.)

    'c/o' is an abbreviation for 'care of'. You write c/o when you are temporary staying at that particular address. Even if you don't stay there, but have a trustee who receives your correspondence.
    Example: John Smith c/o Jaroslav Plotnikov, Flughafen Str. 21, 12053 Berlin means that John Smith will receive letters and other mail even if his name is not shown on the mailbox at Flughafen Str. 21. The mailbox shows the name of the registered tenant only (Jaroslav Plotnikov). This is quite enough for the postman.

    4. Purpose of application
    If you want to work in Germany, choose one of the first three options that suits you mostly:

    • Berufsausübung - Professional activity
    • Blue card angestrebt - Blue card intended
    • Blue card beantragt - Blue card applied for
    • Gradführung - Degree guidance
    • Visum - Visa
    • Weiterbildung - Further education

    4.1. - Don't tick the box if there is no employment contract between you and employer in Germany.

    Higher Education Qualification for which evaluation is sought

    In this section you specify the information from the diploma you wish to recognize in Germany.

    First, fill in box (5) Name of Qualification (Abschlussbezeichnung) - specify your education. Enter what is written in your diploma (s. screenshot 3).

    Hint: If you have so called double diploma (Doppeldiplom), please enter all the degrees indicated in it.

    Now we are going to fill in this section using the Anabin database.

    diploma recognition ZAB Screenshot 0451. (Source: Anabin)

    Go to, select Hochschulabschlüsse (in the menu on the left), then Suchen nach Hochschulabschlüssen (tab in the middle, s. screenshot 0451).

    On the next page, click on Länderauswahl and choose Ukraine as an example. Let's continue with our example and choose Speicalist - inzhener. Then you choose your field of study (google translation study, original term Studienrichtung). In our example the field of study is chimicha technologija vjayuchich materialov* (s. screenshot 0509).

    diploma recognition ZAB Screenshot 0509. (Source: Anabin)

    Important: a) While translating documents into German, the translator sometimes makes transliteration of your qualification or field of study according to one of the generally accepted German standards. Or just translates into German language.
    b) the same can happen with your first name and last name - the translator can convert your name according to one of the generally accepted German standards for the names conversion. Very likely this will cause troubles while recognition of your degree in ZAB and issuing the visa in the consulate.

    How to avoid it? - Simply send the translator the scan copy of your passport. And tell him to make transliteration of your qualification and the field of study according to the transliteration done by Anabin.

    Example: your qualification in Russian according to your diploma is "инженер" (En. engineer). Translator would probably translate it into correct German as Ingenieur. The transliteration according to anabine however ofter differs from the general transliteration standarts. In this particular case Anabin's transliteration is inzhener.

    Conclusion: When filling in the ZAB form the priority is given to Anabin (in our example inzhener is correct, and Ingenieur is wrong)!.

    Let's go on. Please click on the plus sign (on the screenshot 0459 at the bottom) and copy the data from the opened pop-up window (s. screenshot 0518).

    anabin Screenshot 0518. (Source: Anabin)

    Find Beschreibung and Abschluss. Copy the classification name: inzhener - chimik. - technolog.

    Now get back to our ZAB form (screenshot 3). In field 5.ZAB questionnaire - Name of We insert the recently copied qualification (Abschlussbezeichnung).

    KMK Screenshot 3. (Source: ZAB)

    5.1. We assume that you got this profession in Ukraine. So choose Ukraine.

    6. Degree course (Studiengang) - here you need to specify your form of study - Bachelor, master, etc.

    7. Subject Area (Spezialisierung) - indicate your field of study here. In German it is also is called Studienrichtung. To determine your field of study, you need to take a look at Anabin pop-up window. Copy what appears in Studienrichtung. In our example, this is chimichna technologija vjazucych materialov (s. screenshot 0518).

    8. Professional Title (Berufsbezeichnung) - a profession in which you can work according to your diploma. Let's look at the Anabin pop-up window again. Copy what appears in Abschluss. In our example, it is inzener - chimik - technolog (chimichna technologija nologija vjazucych materialov (s. screenshot 0518).

    9. Name of Institution (Name der Bildungsinstitution) - name of the educational institution. And again, let's go to that same Anabin's pop-up window but... But this time scroll down to Verleihende Institutionen. Click on the name of your institute (s. screenshot 0711)). A new one opens. a pop-up window. From section Kontakt we copy the name of your university ((kmk0720)) and paste in field 9.

    anabin Screenshot 0711. (Source: Anabin)

    10. Location of Institution (Ort der Bildungsinstitution). Copy and paste the address from the recent pop-up window (s. screensho 0720). Enter the full address, the postcode should be included!

    anabin Screenshot 0720. (Source: Anabin)

    11. Study period (Zeitraum von bis). Enter here the dates specified in your a diploma.

    12. Date of Completion (Datum des Abschlusses). Date of Award (Ausstellungsdatum der Urkunde) - the date the diploma was issued.

    12.1. Identification Number or Code (Nummer der Urkunde) - it's indicated in your a diploma.

    13.1. Duration of study of this subject (number of years, indicated in the diploma).

    13.2. Thesis/Dissertation (Wurde eine Abschlussarbeit angefertigt?) - did you hand in your diploma thesis?

    Information on Prior Education (Angaben zur Vorbildung)

    Here it refers to your previous education (which was before your master diploma).

    14.Secondary School Qualification (Sekundärabschluß) –





    Declaration (Erklärung)

    19. Tick the 19.1 and 19.2. Do not tick 19.3!

    20. Click Send.

    After clicking the Send button, a generated application in PDF-format will be sent to you by email within 24 hours. Save it, print it, sign it and send to ZAB with a package of other documents.

    Final steps

    Instruction from ZAB. Continuing

    Step 4 - doublecheck and send the documents

    Send the application with the documents to ZAB office by regular mail. (Not e-mail!) You will find the postal address on the cover sheet of the application.

    Step 5 - get the confirmation by ZAB

    After receiving your application, you will receive the notification of the fees by e-mail.

    Step 6 - pay the fee

    Please pay the fee within the specified period. The processing of your application will begin upon receipt of the fee. A maximum of three months later you will receive your certificate evaluation. We usually issue certificate evaluations with the Blue Card as application target within two weeks.

    If you have questions or technical problems, you can contact us at Please include your registration number (Registrerunhgsnummer) in the subject line.

    Document package preparation

    Regulations from ZAB:

    • Do not use files to separate documents.
    • Remove scrapers and brackets.
    • Do not staple the documents.
    • Arrange the documents in the order indicated in this text.

    The address of the recipient on the envelope:

    Zentralstelle für ausländisches Bildungswesen (ZAB)
    im Sekretariat der Kultusministerkonferenz
    Graurheindorfer Str. 157
    53117 Bonn, Germany

    ** - If your documents are issued in Arabic, English, French, Italian or Spanish, a German translation is not needed.

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