Recognition and Validation of your Degree in Belgium

Moving to a different country can be a complex process that takes a lot of time and research to find exactly what you need. At first glance, we all think about our Visa’s, residency permits, etc. but another very valuable document that is involved in this process is your diploma. What happens to your diploma when you move to a different country? Is it still valid? Are you able to find a job with a foreign diploma? Are you able to continue your studies in a foreign country with a foreign diploma? Well depending on what you’re looking to do with your degree, the steps can variate.

The process of getting your diploma validated variates from multiple different aspects as mentioned above. Depending on what the purpose is of the validation, the process will defer as well. To give you a brief example of what the process looks like, we’ve listed a couple of the basic steps below.

Step 1: Find the right authority

  • First check whether you need your validation for the French, Flemish, or German community.
    • If you’re in Flanders, you should check and see if you need to apply with NARIC or a different authority.
  • Another important factor is if the country of your degree in falls within the European Economic Area (EEA). If so, it makes the validation a lot easier since those countries have similar regulations. If not a part of the EEA, you must follow a different set of regulations.
    • For more information about this check the following page.

Step 2: Find the correct procedure

  • Choose which procedure is required for your degree
    • Diploma of secondary education – general secondary education
    • Higher vocational education (hbo5) graduate
    • Bachelor
    • Master
    • Doctor
  • If you’re not looking to work in a regulated profession or a job with protected title (physician, engineer, nurse, architect, etc.) you should be fine with following the basic steps.

Step 3: Submit your application

  • Submit your application to the right authority (processes can be found online on the website of the each authority).
  • When looking for professional validation of your degree, you will most likely need the following documents to go through the process:
    • Proof of your nationality
    • Copy of your professional certificate (you may need to submit a certified translation)
    • Proof of your professional experience (you may need to submit a certified translation)
    • Proof that you have never been convicted of any criminal offence
    • A medical certificate of fitness
    • Proof of your financial standing
    • Proof of professional liability insurance
  • If looking at a higher education validation, you should check what the requirements are needed to enroll with your institution. Most institutions will provide you with some pointers on how to file your application too.
  • Usually the price is usually between €90 – €300 depending on what requirements you need to complete the process.

Step 4: the waiting game

  • You receive the decision :
    • If your diploma is recognized by the local authority your degree will be equivalent to the diploma of the area you’re moving to.
    • If it isn’t approved, there are different steps you can take to still try to get them approved. For the Flemish region, you can find the procedures to take on this page of NARIC’s website.
  • The time of this process again depends on how complex your situation is.

As you can see the validation of your diploma isn’t as easy as you think it would be. Depending on where you’re looking to find a job or enroll to a school, your path of validation will be different. With the links mentioned in this blog, we want to guide you the right way and ease the process for you of dealing with the recognition and validation of your diploma.

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