The competent authorities processed 19,806 recognition cases, the majority of which were received in 2014. Only in 531 cases no equivalence could be established between a credential obtained abroad and a corresponding German qualification. Some 1059 foreign credentials were recognised as being partially equivalent to a corresponding German qualification. Other 4,968 application were still being processed at the end of 2014. The largest number of recognition procedures concerned the health professions as well as mechatronics, energy and electronics sector. These are precisely the sectors that already experience a critical skills shortage. The applications were submitted primarily by migrants from the European Union (10,293), other European countries (4,497) and Asia (2,667). The majority of applicants completed vocational training in Poland (1,857), Romania (1,740) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (1098). The growing number of refugees from the Middle East is reflected already in the recognition statistics of 2014: the number of applicants with Syrian credentials rose 20 percent over the previous year. This figure is likely to increase significantly in 2015.