I work as a developer in the Middle East (Lebanon). Lately, I got a job offer and a contract from a great company in Germany, but I found that my university degree is not recognized (actually its H+/-, that means: no clear statement about the university degree) so I looked into it and found that I need to apply for recognition, but the problem is, it might take about 3 months, which I don't have!.

So I am wondering if I can apply for the visa using the job contract and my unrecognized degree, or it most probably will be rejected?

Many Thanks


The relevant rules can be found on the website of the Bundesargentur für Arbeit. A good general summary can be found here, but the specific rules are here. (The second link is more likely to suffer link rot in future.)

There are a number of different grounds for being granted a visa. The two most relevant ones are:

  • Foreigners that practise a shortage occupation and whose salary is at least 52 per cent of the annual contribution assessment ceiling for the statutory pension fund 2017 = 39.624 Euro
  • Foreigners with a recognised foreign university degree or one that is comparable to a German university degree

Unfortunately your degree has not been recognized or declared comparable to a German university degree. (According to this answer the degree has to be recognized by ZAB - although that was in the context of Blue Card rather than direct German visa.)

The current list of shortage occupations lists "software developer" at the "specialist" level. "Specialist" level means:

Specialist - is assigned to occupations that require special knowledge and special skills, which usually require a master or technician training or an equivalent technical college or university degree.

Note that they do not say that it has to be a recognized degree, just that your employer was looking for a graduate rather than a school leaver.


I believe you can obtain a German work visa even though your specific degree has not been recognized. The fact that your position is for a software developer where a degree is required should be enough. Your salary also needs to be at least 40,000€ (precise figure above).

I would recommend

  1. Apply for visa
  2. Apply for your degree to be recognized
  3. When that has happened, you can apply for a Blue Card
  • This doesn't feel a well structured answer. If someone could edit it into better shape, I would be very grateful. – Martin Bonner Dec 5 '18 at 11:07
  • Must at least or must both entries be true? – gerrit Dec 5 '18 at 18:16
  • @gerrit At least one must be true (there are a number of others which are not relevant to the OP). I will clarify – Martin Bonner Dec 5 '18 at 20:13

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