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Updated : 21/03/2017

Regulated professions

Find out if your profession is regulated abroad

This section is about getting your professional qualifications recognised so you can work abroad. It doesn't apply if you want to study abroad. Find out about recognition of academic diplomas.

If you want to work in another EU country and your profession is regulated there, you may need to get your professional qualifications (training and professional experience) officially recognised before you start practising in your host country.

A profession is regulated if you have to hold a specific degree, sit special exams, or register with a professional body before you can practise it.

Check out the regulated professions database, which can tell you which professions are regulated in which EU countries and by which authorities.

You need to know the name of the job in the local language: if you want to work as a baker in Germany, search for "Bäcker" in the database.

If your profession is regulated in your home country, you can also first search for it in your own language to find the English translation provided in the description; then search on the English name, to get the other countries where it is regulated. If the country you want to move to does not appear, it may mean that the profession is not regulated there.

If you don't find your profession in the database, you can ask the national contact points for professional qualifications in the country where you want to work. They can help you understand what rules apply in your case.

Your profession is not regulated at home but it is in the other country

If your profession and the training for it are regulated in the EU country where you want to work, but not in your home country, you may have to prove that you have exercised your profession in your home country for at least 2 of the last 10 years before you can practise it or even provide your services temporarily, in the new country.

Ask the national contact point for professional qualifications in the country where you want to work for advice on how to prepare your file and which supporting documents you will need to submit.

Your profession is regulated at home but it isn't in the other country

If the profession you want to exercise is not regulated in your new country, you can practise it there under the same conditions as the nationals of that country.

Even if your profession isn't regulated as such in your new country, it could be considered part of another regulated profession. Always check with the authorities of the country you are going to whether or not your profession is regulated there. The national contact point for professional qualifications will help you identify the authority that can give you this information.

Sample story

Avoid problems by checking conditions before you move

Dirk is a young Dutch real estate agent who recently moved to Austria. His profession is not regulated in the Netherlands, so he expected to easily set up a business as an independent agent in Austria, targeting the Dutch and Belgians looking for holiday homes in the Alps. When registering as a self-employed person, however, he was told that he would need to prove he was qualified to practise as real estate agent. This considerably slowed down his plans.

Risto is a Finnish architect who is planning to move to Italy. Before leaving, he checks in the regulated professions database what formalities are required to start working there and who the Italian contact point for the profession is. After talking to them, he is now well prepared for his move.

Find out how to have your professional qualifications recognised to be able to work in a regulated profession in another EU country.

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