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Updated: 06/2018

Formality enabling recognition of the validity of non-university studies and qualifications studied abroad

Vocabulary
  • What do you need to know?
  • What do you need to do?

The FEE VARIES depending on the qualification to be recognised

It can be applied for at ANY TIME

It is processed IN PERSON

What is it?

It is the procedure by which the official validity of non-university qualifications gained and studies done abroad is recognised in Spain.

Important information

There are differences between recognition and validation.

  • You can apply for recognition as equivalent to a Spanish qualification once you have completed the studies and obtained the qualification. This procedure gives official recognition of the academic level, enables you to continue studies at the next academic level and practise your profession. All non-university studies from education systems abroad can be recognised, except languages.
  • On the other hand, validation can be applied for whether you have completed the studies, nor not, even though you have not gained the qualification. This involves recognition of the studies done and enables the student to finish the subjects or courses which have not been validated, or gain the qualification in the country where they want to validate it. In the case of recognition of the completion of compulsory secondary education, there is no fee payable. On the other hand, for other forms of education, the amount will be the same as that payable for the issue of academic and professional qualifications

You can use the link to the official Government of Catalonia Department of Education website (available in Catalan and Spanish).

Why is it important?

It is essential to complete this formality if you want to have studies done abroad recognised. The recognition gives official validity to the qualifications in Spain.

Who does it apply to?

It is aimed at individuals who want to obtain recognition or validation for qualifications from studies done abroad.

Who should apply for it?

The application should be submitted by the individual who wants to have the studies recognised, or his or her parent or parents or legal guardian.

What requirements must be met?
  • Individuals applying for recognition or validation must live in Catalonia.
  • The documents must be submitted legalised (the legalisation must be done on the original document) and must be accompanied by their official translation, if necessary.
Which body is responsible for the formality?

Department of Education (Generalitat de Catalunya - Government of Catalonia)

What advice and suggestions could help you?
  • To apply for recognition of completion of secondary education, there is no fee payable. For all other education, the amounts payable are the same as those payable for the issue of academic and professional qualifications.
What other linked formalities should you know about?

What do you need to do?

In person

You can only complete the formality in person. However, the application form can be processed over the Internet.

What steps should you take to apply for recognition and validation of non-university qualifications?

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Fill in the application and gather the documentation

You need to fill in and send the application form, for recognition and validation of non-university qualifications or studies. There are two ways to get the document.

  • In person
    • Processing points
      • Department of Education
      • Barcelona Education Consortium
      • Regional Education Services
      • Document handling agencies

 

  • Online
    • Via the Government of Catalonia Department of Education website
    • After filling in and sending the application, the site generates the following documents:
      • Receipt for the application, with its electronic registration number and the date.
      • The documentation submission sheet which lists the documents to be submitted. This document serves as a conditional registration sheet and it is important to keep it until the credential is received, because it can be used to register for certain studies or to do entrance examinations.
      • The receipt for payment of the fee and the time limit for paying it.
        • For recognition of completion of secondary education, there is no fee payable and, therefore, the site only generates the other two documents.
      • Print, on one side only, the three documents obtained and keep them, as they are needed to continue with the process. In the case of the documentation submission sheet, print two copies because the registry keeps one copy.
        • In the event that the above documents are not generated automatically, you will receive them as attachments at the e-mail address appearing on the application. Wait until you get the e-mail and do not make a new application
Documentation
  • The documentation needed to process recognition and validation of non-university qualifications depends on the course you want to be recognised or validated
  • The documents to be submitted must be originals and be accompanied by the corresponding certified copies.
  • The documents must be submitted legalised (the legalisation must be done on the original document) and must be accompanied by their official translation, if necessary.
  • The documentation must be submitted with the documentation submission sheet which you get when you confirm the Internet application.

A certified copy is a true copy of the original document which certifies its validity. It can be applied for at the registry offices or via a Spanish notary, by submitting the original document. For more information, check the relevant section on the Barcelona City Council formalities website (available in Catalan and Spanish)

It is important that you know that public documents issued in your country of origin, which are needed to do the paperwork to come to Barcelona, must comply with international legalisation requirements.

There are two means of international legalisation for a public document, depending on whether or not the issuer country of the document in question is a signatory to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961:

  • If the public document's issuer country is a signatory, the document will be recognised if it has the Hague’ Convention Apostille certificate attached to it. The certificate will be processed in the country of origin.
  • If the public document’s issuer country is not a signatory, the legalisation process will then be done by diplomatic means.

In addition, every public document will require an authorised translation. Standard forms from the European Union do not need to be translated or legalised.

  • Recognition application form.
  • Documentation for recognition or validation of completion of Compulsory Secondary Education (note: content in drop-down format)
    • Document proving the applicant’s identity: passport, Spanish national identity document (DNI), identity number for foreign nationals (NIE) or document from an EU country (must be current and have a photograph).
    • Official academic certificate for the last two school years finished. The subjects studied, grades and academic years must be shown.
  • Documentation for recognition or validation of the first year of the baccalaureate (note: content in drop-down format)
    • Document proving the applicant’s identity: passport, Spanish national identity document (DNI), identity number for foreign nationals (NIE) or document from an EU country (must be current and have a photograph).
    • Official academic certificate for the last two school years finished. The subjects studied, grades and academic years must be shown.
  • Documentation for recognition or validation of the complete baccalaureate qualification (note: content in drop-down format)
    • Document proving the applicant’s identity: passport, Spanish national identity document (DNI), identity number for foreign nationals (NIE) or document from an EU country (must be current and have a photograph).
    • Official academic certificate for the last two school years finished. The subjects studied, grades and academic years must be shown.
    • Final qualification, diploma or certificate obtained.
  • Documentation for recognition or validation of professional training and arts and sports education (note: content in drop-down format)
    • Document proving the applicant’s identity: passport, Spanish national identity document (DNI), identity number for foreign nationals (NIE) or document from an EU country (must be current and have a photograph).
    • Qualification, diploma or certificate obtained.
    • Total number of hours studies for each one of the subjects, with the official duration of the study plan followed.
    • Official academic certificate for the studies undertaken prior to those to be validated.
    • Study plan, stamped by the school or college, with the subject content.
    • Evidence of any work experience done.
    • Certificate of services provided to companies in relation to the qualification to be recognised.

The assessment body may also require such documents as it deems necessary to prove equivalence between the foreign studies undertaken and the Spanish qualification or studies in relation to which they are to be recognised or validated.

Go to the country guide on the “Studying in Catalonia” portal to get specific additional information.

Next
Pay the fee

To apply for recognition of completion of secondary education, there is no fee payable. For all other validations or recognitions, the amounts payable are the same as those payable for the issue of equivalent academic and professional qualifications in Spain.

In order to pay the fee, it is essential to have the payment receipt which was generated when you made the application. This document gives instructions on how to make the payment.

It is essential that you pay the fee for the recognition or validation application to be processed. If you do not pay it, you will be deemed to have withdrawn the application

Next
Go to the place indicated and submit the documentation

You need to go to one of the processing points shown in the first section (Fill in the application and gather the documentation > In person > Processing points) and submit the documentation requested.

The documentation to be submitted varies depending on the qualification you want to be recognised or validated. The application form sets out the documents you need to submit. Nevertheless, you can check the documentation needed in the first stage of the process (1. Fill in the application form and gather the documentation > Documentation)

Next
You will receive a notification from the authority

If, when you processed the recognition or validation, you said yes to receiving electronic notifications, in the event that the authority needs to request something from you, you will get an e-mail or text message.

If you did not say yes to receiving electronic notifications, you will receive any requests by post at the address shown on the application.

Important information

Formalities tend to change fairly frequently. That is why it is only the regulations in force that apply when you carry out the formality in question.