Meeting Germany’s shortage of care workers with foreign care specialists

Care workers in Germany

Germany’s demand for stationary and ambulant care services has drastically increased during the last years and this trend is still lasting. German hospitals and nursing homes have increasing difficulty to find skilled care workers in the health sector within the country.

Foreign care workers and their way to Germany

When a care worker is an EU or EEA citizen or from Switzerland, they can travel to Germany without limitations and search for employment. Though often a certificate of recognition is needed, which attests that the owner’s foreign qualification meets the requirements for accessing German labor market.

Citizens of a third state need a residence title though to work in a caring profession in Germany. To receive this, a first step is an approval from the federal agency of the desired employment. This is possible when foreign qualifications obtained are considered equal to a German degree or German qualification or if there is an agreement with a responsible foreign labor administration. (

Care workers are labelled as a shortage occupation in Germany and are thus on a positive list of Germany’s federal employment agency

This list contains all professions in the care sector of employment that allow a placement of foreign applicants according to labor market and integration political views when fulfilling agreed upon criteria.

For the admission to the German labor market you additionally need, according to requirements set by each German state (Bundesland), knowledge of the German language on level B2 or B1 according to the European Reference Framework.

The health suitability for working in care needs to be assessed by an authorized doctor in Germany. Additionally, one needs a police clearance certificate, to proof the applicant’s impunity. This is especially important in care work with children.

Equivalence assessment

Whether the training received abroad is considered equal to a German training and where exactly you can apply for having your training assessed for equivalence can be checked here:

Once the assessment of the care worker’s training has been evaluated as equivalent to a German one by the responsible authority, the applicant can apply for a visa at the local German embassy. There is the possibility of having to comply to undergo additional training in Germany during the first 18 months after arriving in Germany.

More information can be found here:

You as a care facility’s human resource manager are looking for international care workers to start an employment here in Germany and would like support with formalities and home search for your future employees? Then you can read here how PROGEDO can support you.