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Written by: Xuasús González, Eurodesk Multiplier of León.
Any person who has a higher education qualification obtained in other country, could recognize it in Spain, and continue his training (apart from the academic recognition –our target now–, exists also the possibility of a professional recognition, aimed to practice a regulated profession [en])
The recognition grants, in the whole Spanish territory, the same official validity of foreign higher education qualifications than the Spanish ones to which recognize, from its grant and issue the corresponding credential.
NARIC Spain Center, a member of ENIC-NARIC [en] (related to the academic recognition of qualifications and periods of study across different countries), provides detailed information about the processes of recognition and the professional recognition, but they are not responsible for the paperwork.
Recognitions are available upon request to any Spanish official university qualification included in the official university qualifications Catalogue [es], in force and fully implanted in at least one Spanish university.
In general, the procedure starts submitting the application form –with the accreditation of the payment of the fee [es]– in an official register. If the application form is filled through the electronic office [es] of the Education Ministry, it is possible to know the status of processing at any time.
It will be necessary submitting a certified copy –never the original documents– of the official document, attesting the identity and nationality of the applicant, the qualification to recognize, and the academic certificate of the studies (duration, studies plan, subjects and credit hours).
To certify the copies of the documents, the interested people could turn to the Education Ministry Registry, to the Government Delegations and Subdelegations, to the Spanish Embassies and Consulates, or to any notary.
Documents issued abroad must be accompanied, if they are not in Spanish, by an official translation, which could be done by any sworn interpreter [en], by the Spanish diplomatic or consular representation abroad, or by the diplomatic or consular representation in Spain of the original country of the applicant, or the document.
The resolution will be adopted keeping in mind the required academic standards for access to the different qualifications, the duration and credit hours of this qualification, and its academic level and contents; always keeping in mind the foreign academic system and the Spanish one. When the recognition proceed, it will be issued a credential that proves it.
If weaknesses in the accredited studies are detected –and if they are not significant enough to refuse the recognition– it will be required to pass complementary training requirements, which will be determined in the resolution, and may consist on passing an aptitude test, carrying out an internship, doing a project or work, or participating in tutored courses.
For the Doctor and Master qualifications, the recognition depends on the Spanish university rectors, so the application form should be addressed directly to the selected university rector, attaching the necessary documents; and the rector will issue the corresponding credential.
The recognition to a postgraduate qualification will keep exclusively to it, and it won’t imply in any case the recognition of the foreign university qualification or equivalent academic level.
· Education, Culture and Sports Ministry (Qualifications recognition [es])
· Real Decreto 285/2004 [es], of 20th February, which regulates the recognition conditions of foreign higher education qualifications.
· Real Decreto 309/2005 [es], of 18th March, amending the Real Decreto 285/2004, of 20th February, which regulates the recognition conditions of foreign higher education qualifications.
· Orden ECI/1519/2006 [es], of 11th May, which establish the general criteria for the identification and realization of complementary training requirements, before the recognition of foreign higher education qualifications.