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Updated: 06/2018

Formality enabling recognition of the validity of advanced or 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 higher education qualifications awarded by institutions 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 higher academic level and pursue 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.

You can use the link to the Citizens Services page on the official Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports website (available in English, Catalan, Spanish and Spain´s other co-official languages).

Why is it important to apply for it?

It is important to complete the formality if you want studies done abroad to be recognised. Such recognition means that the qualifications are officially valid in Spain and, as a result, professionally qualify the individuals applying for it.

Who does it apply to?

It is aimed at individuals qualified by a non-Spanish official higher education institution who want to get their qualifications recognised or validated.

Who should apply for it?

The application should be submitted by the individual who wants his or her studies to be recognised.

What requirements must be met?
  • Having an official higher education qualification issued by a non-Spanish institution.
  • Paying the fee in order to start the procedure.
Which body is responsible for the formality?
What advice and suggestions could help you?
  • In order to process applications for the recognition of foreign qualifications, the originals of the qualifications, programmes or any other document do not have to be submitted. Certified copies should be submitted
What other linked formalities should you know about?

What do you need to do?

In person

It is preferable to complete the formality in person, by going to any public registry of the Spanish central government, the autonomous regions or some local authorities.

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

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Fill in the application form 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.

After sending the application, if you need to correct any errors or make any changes to the details, go to the processing point to request the correction or change. Do not open a new application.

Please remember that you can put your telephone number on the application to receive status notifications.

Before continuing with the application, find out about and prepare the documentation that will be requested.

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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

You need to pay the fee for recognition and validation of foreign qualifications and studies. You need to download, fill in and print the application form (form 079).

Subsequently, you need to take the form to any bank.

Proof of payment of the fee is a necessary requirement to process the application

The fees associated with the procedure vary depending on the degree to be homologated or validated. You can check the rates in the form (form 079)

Next
Go to the place indicated and submit the documentation

You need to submit the application form and documentation required at any public registry (official government access point for providing documentation) of the Spanish central government, the autonomous regions or some local authorities (some town councils have signed agreements allowing them to act as public registries).

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 the decision

Decisions on the recognition and validation of foreign higher education qualifications are formalised with a credential issued by the Subdirectorate-General for Degrees and Recognition of Qualifications of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports.

You can collect the recognition document personally or via a duly accredited authorised person or agency.

The documents are collected from the Subdirectorate-General for Degrees and Recognition of Qualifications (c/ Torrelaguna, 58, Madrid). Even so, by sending a letter to the Subdirectorate-General for Degrees, you can request that the document be sent to you at the following bodies:

  • The Education Inspectorate (Área Funcional de Alta Inspección de Educación) at the government offices.
  • The government office where you would like to collect it.
  • The Spanish embassy education department.

Finally, you should be aware that the decision on recognition of foreign higher education qualifications may be conditional on passing certain additional training requirements.

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.