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?

  • 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


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.

  • 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.
    – suba
    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.
    – suba
    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/…
    – suba
    Dec 2, 2022 at 6:35

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.

  • Thank you. So Is it not qualified for a Blue card visa?
    – suba
    Sep 28, 2022 at 8:27
  • 1
    @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.
    – suba
    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.
    – suba
    Sep 28, 2022 at 9:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.