A common question is about recognition of a degrees awarded from abroad.

There is no automatic worldwide or even European-wide recognition of academic diplomas. You may therefore need to go through a national procedure to get your academic degree or diploma recognised in another country, if you seek admission to a further course of study there. If you already know that you will eventually want to pursue further studies in a different country, check before you start whether your diploma will be recognised there.

Individual governments of EU countries remain responsible for their education systems and are free to apply their own rules, including whether or not to recognise academic qualifications obtained elsewhere.

Get your degree “compared”

In most cases, you can obtain a “statement of comparability” of your university degree, stating how it compares to the diplomas delivered in the EU country you are moving to. To do so, contact the ENIC/NARIC centre in the country where you would like your diplomas assessed for “comparability”. This could be your home country if you return home after your studies, or another EU country if you move there for work or further study.

Depending on the country where your diplomas are assessed and the purpose of the assessment, the ENIC/NARIC centre will either evaluate them itself, or transfer them to the competent authority.

NARIC was the National Academic Recognition Centre and is the National Agency responsible for providing official information on international education, training, and skills acquired outside the UK. Due to the UK leaving the European Union, the UK NARIC national agency function naric.org.uk is now UK ENIC www.enic.org.uk – managed by Ecctis www.ecctis.com. All services operate as before. Individuals: use this Ecctis website to apply for Visas & Nationality and Industry Skills Statements. Use the UK ENIC website to apply for a Statement of Comparability. For more information: www.ecctis.com/transition.

Before the assessment, make sure you check:

– how much the service will cost (if there is a fee)
– how long the assessment will take – it could be several weeks to several months depending on the country, the purpose, and the complexity of your file
– what type of document you will get as a result – it could be a full equivalency, or a comparative report
– what you can do if you disagree with the assessment (how to appeal)

If you provide documents in the Europass format your degree can be more easily compared and recognised.

Professional qualifications

This section concerns the recognition of academic qualifications. A different set of EU rules govern the recognition of professional qualifications in other EU countries – that is, degrees giving access to a profession, such as nursing or the law.

What is a regulated profession

As a general rule, a profession is regulated if you have to hold a specific degree to access the profession, sit special exams such as state exams and/or register with a professional body before you can practise it.

If your profession is regulated in the EU country where you want to practise, you may need to apply to get your professional qualification recognised there.

Regulated professions differ across the EU. Check the regulated professions database (ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/regprof/index.cfm?action=homepage) to find out if your profession is regulated in the EU country you are moving to.

Homologisation is the approving a foreign degree in another country is to enable that person to work in the other country under equal conditions with respect to a person who has obtained the degree at a local university. It should be remembered that the number of foreign graduates already practicing in many countries has not stopped growing, and it is very common to be treated, for example, by a doctor who has completed his studies in another country.

Is homologating the same as validating a foreign title?

They are terms that can be confusing, since they are related, but they are not really the same. Approving a degree means giving recognition to studies that have been carried out abroad in order to develop a profession under the same conditions as your own country. However, validating some studies implies recognizing them to give continuity to them in the country.

In many recruitment cases it is not necessary to present an approval of the diploma, especially in private companies and for certain professions, in which your original title and a translation may be enough for your candidacy to be taken into consideration for a position. But in certain professions, especially those governed by professional associations (architecture, law, medicine, …) and for positions in the public administration it is necessary to be in possession of the homologation to complete the selection and recruitment procedures.

Every country has its own rules, regulations and procedures, so you should find out how to do this in your own country. As an example let us look at a couple of specific countries: The United States and Spain.

Recognition of Foreign Qualifications in the U.S.
There is no single authority in the United States for the recognition of foreign degrees and other qualifications. International agreements and the practice in the U.S. education system and labour market recognize the existence of three competent authorities for recognition matters:

1. The admitting school or higher education institution, for students who seek to study in the United States and who are presenting credits or qualifications earned abroad;

2. The hiring employer, for individuals seeking work and who are presenting degrees or other qualifications earned abroad; and

3. State or territorial licensing boards, for individuals seeking to practice regulated professions in a jurisdiction of the United States and who are presenting degrees or other qualifications earned abroad.

Many, if not most, of these competent authorities in turn depend on expert comparability recommendations prepared by credential evaluation services. Credential evaluation services are independent organizations that perform analyses of non-U.S. qualifications and issue recommendations as to how a particular qualification compares to a similar qualification or set of qualifications in the U.S. education system, labour market or the professions. Credential evaluations vary in cost depending on the complexity of the analysis and the amount of documentation available, and are generally paid for either by the individual or occasionally by an employer.

Credential evaluation services in the U.S.

International Evaluation Services – https://myiee.org/ Evaluation will be completed in 10-15 business days after receipt, review, and approval of all documents, and payment in full. Their reports are accepted by hundreds of colleges and universities, the Agency for International Development of the U.S. Office of Education, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Cost starts at $195 plus delivery fees.

Credential Evaluations – https://credentialevaluations.org/ Each evaluation:Certifies the equivalent degree/certificate/diploma. Guaranteed Next Business Day or it’s FREE!

An Immigration Course by Course evaluation as required by USCIS for visa approval purposes. An Immigration Course by Course evaluation is required for US visa and immigration applications, and can also be used for continuing education or employment purposes. Cost starts from $199 plus delivery fees.

 How does Spain work?

In Spain, the homologation of higher education qualifications is carried out at the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training. First of all, it must be verified that the university degree is included in the list of regulated professions, Royal Decree 967/2014 comprehensively collects all diplomas and professions.

The approval process can be done in person, which means that we have to spend several hours requesting the process personally. In any case, as we have pointed out, it is a procedure that can be carried out online, which simplifies and speeds up the approval process. It is also always highly recommended to know what are all the requirements that are needed in advance. To get an idea of what can be prolonged in time, homologate a title in Spain comes to suppose about 6 months or more, and can go up to 14 months. The price of the homologation of a university degree in Spain is just over 160 euros.

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