How to get your degree recognized in Spain through the homologation process (homologación) or the professional recognition process (reconocimiento professional).
You probably worked really hard to earn your university degree and you should be proud. Yet, chances are if you didn’t study in Spain, then that degree is not recognized within Spain. While that can be a frustrating thought, sometimes it doesn’t matter. Other times, however, your whole career in Spain depends on getting your studies recognized by the Spanish government. Luckily, it is possible to do. Let me show you how.
The official recognition process is called degree homologation, or homologación de títulos in Spanish. You apply through the Ministry of Education and if successful, your degree will be deemed equivalent to a Spanish degree.
Before we go further, I feel it is important to clarify who might need to go through the homologation process and who doesn’t.
You probably NEED to apply for homologación if you want to:
However, you probably WON’T need to apply for homologación if you want to:
Not all homologation is the same. For your university degree, you can apply for one of two types: equivalency to a specific official Spanish university degree or equivalency to a particular Spanish university degree level.
If you studied a common subject like Law or Art History with a similar program of study such as you might find at a Spanish university (and don’t be shy about comparing program requirements on the Internet), then applying for equivalency to a specific official Spanish university degree may be the way to go. However, if you studied a more uncommon subject or your program of study did not resemble the equivalent Spanish program, then you should probably apply for degree recognition instead. This recognizes that you have earned a particular level of degree equivalent to a Spanish degree, like a Licenciatura degree, Master’s degree or Doctoral degree, and does not specify the individual subject of study.
While your hope is certainly that your university degree will be homologated or recognized as equivalent to a Spanish degree, the fact is that depending on where you studied, how long the program of study was and how rigorous the program was, that may or may not be the case. If you apply for equivalency to a specific official Spanish university degree and that isn’t granted, all is not lost. The Spanish government might grant you partial recognition and ask that you do some extra study before you walk away with a Spanish degree.
You can submit your homologation application to any Spanish government office at the national, regional or local level, as long as it also serves as a public registry office. This includes Spanish embassies and consulates abroad. When in doubt, ask the office if they are authorized to receive homologation applications. Or else present your application directly to one of the Ministry of Education’s registries in Madrid: located at Calle Los Madrazo, 15-17; Paseo del Prado, 28; and Calle Torrelaguna, 58.
To apply for homologation you must present copies of the following documents:
If you are NOT a citizen a European Union country, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland AND did NOT study there, then you must have those copies authenticated.
You can obtain authenticated copies of your documents by presenting your original documents and photocopies of them to the proper authorities, as below:
Regardless of whether your documents need to be authenticated or not, if the documents are not in Spanish, you must also obtain official translations of them. See Sworn Translations.
You must pay the application fees before you submit your application. The way you pay, however, depends on where you want to apply from. From outside of Spain, you have to wire the money to the Ministry of Education’s bank account. From within Spain you need to go to any branch of a Spanish bank that accepts Spanish tax payments, ask a bank employee for a Modelo 790 form, tell them what you’re paying and then pay the fees. The 790 form is in triplicate; the bank keeps one copy and the bank employee will hand you two copies. You will need to submit both of those copies with your homologation application form.
Unfortunately, there’s no rushing this and you should try to plan accordingly. After you have gathered all the required documentation and submitted your application, receiving your official response and application results can take from six months to one year.
For citizens of a European Union country, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland who earned their degree in one of those countries, homologation is primarily academic. If you need to get your degree or qualifications recognized only for the purpose of work in Spain, for example to work as a doctor or engineer, then you can choose to apply for professional recognition instead. This can actually be an easier process than homologation and there are no application fees.
Note: You must be a European Union citizen, or a citizen of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, and you must have earned your degree in one of those countries!
To apply for professional recognition you must present copies of the following documents:
You must get these copies authenticated by presenting the original documents and photocopies of them at any Spanish embassy or consulate, or to a Spanish notary.
You will also need official translations of any documents that are not in Spanish.
In addition, if the profession for which you want to get your degree or qualifications recognized is not a regulated profession in the European country where you completed that education, then you must also present a document from that country accrediting the fact that you worked in that capacity full-time for at least two years within the last 10 years.
You can submit your application to any Spanish government office at the national, regional or local level, as long as it also serves as a public registry office. If in doubt, ask the office whether they can accept your application.
If you are successful, the Spanish Ministry of Education will officially recognize your degree or qualifications and you can work in your profession in Spain on equal footing to a Spanish national.
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