Recognition and validation of foreign university qualifications and studies
What do you need to know?
It is the procedure by which the official validity of higher education qualifications for certain professions gained abroad is recognised in Spain. Such recognition means that the qualifications are officially valid in Spain and, as a result, professionally qualify the individuals applying for it.
Recognition confirms the academic level, enabling 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. Studies must have been completed and a qualification obtained.
Validation involves recognition of studies completed abroad 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. Studies need not have been completed nor a qualification obtained.
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.
What requirements must be met?
You must have an official higher education qualification issued by a non-Spanish institution and pay the fee to begin the procedure.
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 do you need to do?
The application for the recognition and validation of foreign higher education qualifications can be made online or in person, by going to any public registry of the Spanish central government, the autonomous regions or some local authorities.
What steps must you follow?
STEP 1: Gather the necessary documentation and scan it to attach it electronically
STEP 2: Go to the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training e-office, option “University qualifications″
- To submit the application, click “Go to procedure” at the top right of the screen and go to the processing space. You can identify yourself using the Cl@ve system. Full information on the necessary requirements is available on the processing page. You can also identify yourself with your username and password. To do this, you must first create the user profile on the website.
- There are several tabs for filling in the information requested. Prepare the documentation you will attach to the application. The electronic procedure will prompt you for the documentation necessary in your case. You can save a draft application and fill in the documentation before submission.
- You can download fee payment form 790107 to pay through a bank and attach it to the application.
- Once the application has been submitted by clicking send, it will also be registered in the public authorities general register and the system will generate proof of submission to the register.
- Once the application has been registered, the file query service will be enabled on the administrative information page.
STEP 3: Receive the final decision by means of an equivalence certificate
- Decisions on the recognition and validation of foreign higher education qualifications are formalised with an equivalence certificate issued by the Subdirectorate-General for Qualifications and Organisation, Monitoring and Management of University Education of the Ministry of Universities. All equivalence certificates will be sent in digital format with an electronic signature.
- Should the applicant require equivalence certificates to be delivered to other bodies, this may be requested by writing to the Subdirectorate-General for Qualifications and Organisation, Monitoring and Management of University Education of the Ministry of Universities, indicating that you wish the equivalence certificate to be sent to the Education Inspection Area of the Government Delegation or the Government Subdelegation where you wish to collect it in person.
- Where applicable, you can use the same channel to request that the equivalence certificate be sent to the education department of the Spanish Embassy where you wish to collect it.
STEP 1: Fill in the application and gather the documentation
- You need to fill in and send the application form for recognition and validation of foreign university qualifications or studies.
- Before continuing with the application, find out about and prepare the documentation that will be requested to formalise preregistration.
STEP 2: Pay the fee
- You need to pay the fee for recognition and validation of foreign qualifications and studies.
- Download, fill in and print application form 790.
- Subsequently, you need to take the form to any bank.
- Proof of payment of the fee is a necessary requirement to process the application.
STEP 3: Go to the place indicated and hand over 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).
STEP 4: You will receive the decision
- Decisions on the recognition and validation of foreign higher education qualifications are formalised with an equivalence certificate issued by the Subdirectorate-General for Degrees of the Ministry of Universities.
- You can collect the recognition document personally or via a duly accredited authorised person or agency.
- Documents are collected from the Subdirectorate-General for Degrees (Paseo de la Castellana, 162, 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 government regional 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.
Equivalence certificates issued before 15/03/2020 in paper format can be collected in person, or by an individual or management company authorised with a notarial power of attorney or written authorisation for that purpose, signed by the applicant and with a photocopy of the national identity document or passport of the applicant and the authorised representative, by requesting an appointment.
Who should apply for it?
The application should be submitted by the individual who wants his or her studies to be recognised.
What documentation must be attached to the application?
Documents provided must be official and be issued by the relevant authorities.
The following documents are required:
- Document proving the identity and nationality of the applicant, issued by the competent authorities in the country of origin or by Spanish immigration authorities. For Spanish nationals, the Spanish national identity document or authorisation to verify identity details held by authorities. In certified copy format for in person processing and scanned original for online processing.
- Qualification for which recognition or validation is applied for and, where applicable, its official translation. In certified copy format for in person processing and scanned original for online processing.
- Academic certificate of studies followed to gain the qualification indicating: official duration in academic years of the curriculum studied, the subjects studied and the total number of teaching hours or ECTS (European) credits for each, and, where applicable, the relevant official translation. In certified copy format for in person processing and scanned original for online processing.
- Proof of payment of fee 107.
- Proof of the linguistic competence needed to practise the relevant profession in Spain. In certified copy format for in person processing and scanned original for online processing.
A certified copy is a true copy of the original document which certifies its validity. It can be applied for at 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).
The documents must be translated into Spanish by a sworn translator and legalised. In the case of multilingual standard EU forms, neither translation nor authentication is required.
The form of legalisation will depend on whether the issuing country has signed the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 or not:
If the country issuing the public document is a signatory, the document will be recognised if it bears the Hague Apostille stamp. The certificate will be processed in the country of origin.
If the country issuing the public document is not a signatory, then the legalisation process will be carried out through diplomatic channels.
Get more information about the legalisation and translation of documents.
Documentation must be submitted with the documentation submission sheet that you receive when you make the online application.
What does the application cost?
There is a single FEE and it is updated each year.
Consult the current fee on form 790.
Want to know more?
Which body is responsible for the formality?
Where can I find more information?
You can use the link to the citizens services page on the official Ministry of Education and Professional Training website (available in English, Catalan, Spanish and Spain’s other co-official languages).
Important linked formalities
Some examples of formalities which you may be asked to complete prior to the recognition and validation of qualifications are set out below: