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I got a job offer as a software engineer in Germany. I have applied and got the statement of comparability from ZAB. Also, I got the ZAV certificate for the blue card (accepted my ZAB document). My employer also confirmed that my degree is recognized in germany. I have checked with ZAB and they also confirmed that.

Then applied for a blue card from Sri Lanka. The embassy has rejected it due to ZAB certificates. The certificate mention "The foreign degree is formally equivalent to a German university degree on Bachelor's level" (Bewertung - Der ausländische Abschluss entspricht formal einem deutschen Hochschulabschluss auf Bachelor-Ebene). Even the university and degree in Anabin, also the German embassy in Sri Lanka rejected the application for the blue card.

The embassy accept the ZAB document with "Bewertung - Der ausländische Abschluss entspricht einem deutschen Hochschulabschluss auf Bachelor-Ebene" (without a "formal" word). A lot of people have the same issue.

If anyone knows the different between "Bewertung - Der ausländische Abschluss entspricht formal einem deutschen Hochschulabschluss auf Bachelor-Ebene" AND "Bewertung - Der ausländische Abschluss entspricht einem deutschen Hochschulabschluss auf Bachelor-Ebene" Could you please help me with this issue?

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  • did you do the statement of comparability because your degree does not appear in the anabin?. This week I received the SoC document from ZAB and the next week I'm going to the German Embassy for my Blue Card application. Finally, did you get the blue card?
    – Felipe
    Oct 7, 2022 at 1:40

2 Answers 2

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I had the same issue for my VISA at the German embassy in Sri-Lanka but officers at the embassy suggested me to base the application on 19c,

I hope you studied a UK degree in an affiliated institute in Sri Lanka ? , Even the awarding university is in Ababin and entspricht there is a rule for Blue card that you need a fully recognized degree not a formally recognize degree by ZAB. ZAB does not fully recognize degrees studied at affiliated institutes.

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  • Thanks, @ss89, I did the degree at Sri lankan university. I also got the same feedback from the embassy, But my salary is not enough for the IT specialist visa. My employer doesn't like to increase my salary. So I lost the job opportunity.
    – tvs89
    Dec 1, 2022 at 6:44
  • Sorry to hear about it , But hope you will keep looking for opportunities ! , i also went to ZAB and my degree also came as "formally recognized" , I'm also confused what the meaning of it as no where its mentioned difference with formally recognized and recognized.
    – ss89
    Dec 1, 2022 at 11:28
  • But in your is it a external degree you did ? , I'm trying just to understand
    – ss89
    Dec 1, 2022 at 11:29
  • Internal degree, It is an NVQ level 7 degree. The GIZ support to this university but it is mentioned as formally recognized.
    – tvs89
    Dec 2, 2022 at 6:34
  • If you have a formal word in your ZAB, you can go for an IT specialist visa if you have 3 years of experiance in the last 7 years. make-it-in-germany.com/en/visa-residence/types/other/…
    – tvs89
    Dec 2, 2022 at 6:35
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I haven't found anything about a difference between “entspricht” and “entspricht formal” anywhere. Both mean that the degree is similar in terms of where it fits in the education system (it's a university degree obtained after 3 years of study). This is not a ruling of equivalence and is supposed to be neutral.

That's also the plain meaning of the sentence "The foreign degree is formally equivalent to a German university degree on Bachelor's level" in English, i.e. the degree looks like it's the same on the surface but it could be different in terms of contents.

By contrast, a degree that is fully equivalent to a German degree would be deemed “gleichwertig”. This is explained on the anabin website published by the ZAB.

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  • Thank you. So Is it not qualified for a Blue card visa?
    – tvs89
    Sep 28, 2022 at 8:27
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    @tvs89 It's not clear to me, from the description it seems they don't want to say it's definitely not qualified but you still need to prove that it is and I don't know what the next steps would be. One thing is clear: You cannot force the consulate to accept that your diploma is enough based on that statement because it does not mean that this diploma is equivalent to a German bachelor degree. In that sense, their decision is legally sound and none of the facts you mentioned (university listed in Anabin, etc.) are sufficient to dispute it.
    – Relaxed
    Sep 28, 2022 at 8:31
  • Ok, But The ZAV accepted my ZAB statement and gave me a "Vorabzustimmung" for a Blue card visa. That's why it makes me confused. I applied for an appeal process one month before. because my employer asked me to apply. Still, I did not get any response from them. I have no idea when can i get a response from the embassy. Once I get the response only I can take the next step. I have 7+ years of experience. So I can apply for an IT sepecialit visa.
    – tvs89
    Sep 28, 2022 at 8:43
  • @tvs89 And the consulate specifically singled out the ZAB certificate as the reason to refuse?
    – Relaxed
    Sep 28, 2022 at 8:56
  • Yes, ZAB document. I have checked with German(who came from a different country) people who are working in Germany with the same live ZAB document. They got the blue card from their country. Eg - India. But the Sri Lanka embassy not allowing for a blue card or qualified professional visa with this ZAB document.
    – tvs89
    Sep 28, 2022 at 9:02

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