FAQ

All questions

Where can I find the application forms?

Flemish Community (NARIC-Vlaanderen): download the form on http://www.ond.vlaanderen.be/naric/en/consulting-application-forms/.

French Community (primary and secondary education): download the form on http://www.equivalences.cfwb.be/index.php?id=1526.

French Community (higher education): contact the diploma recognition service. You can find their contact details on http://www.equivalences.cfwb.be/index.php?id=506.

French-speaking universities and university colleges: contact the Admissions Office. Check the Useful links section for their websites.

How to get a certified translation of your documents?

Abroad:

  1. A certified translator translates your documents. He puts his stamp and signature partly on the copy of the original document and partly on its translation.
  2. An official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs legalises the translator’s signature.
  3. The Belgian embassy or consulate legalises the official’s signature.

In Belgium:

  1. A certified translator translates your documents. He puts his stamp and signature partly on the copy of the original document and partly on its translation.
  2. The Court of First Instance legalises the official’s signature.

How to find a certified translator?

Contact the municipal administration or Court of First Instance nearest to you.

Do you need a Belgian residence permit to apply for the recognition of your diploma?

No. You don’t need to have a Belgian residence permit to apply for diploma recognition.

What if there are documents missing in your application?

The equivalence check of your diploma is based on your documents. If you don’t send in all of the necessary documents, your application will be considered incomplete and may be rejected. If you can’t provide all documents, include an official declaration of the school that shows they are unable to provide them.

Do I apply for diploma recognition with the Flemish or the French Community?

What is your goal? Are you looking for a job in Brussels? Then it doesn’t matter if you get your diploma recognised by the Flemish or the French Community. Do you want to work in the public sector? Then choose the language of the job offer.

Do you need to have your diploma recognised to enroll in a vocational course?

Most vocational courses do not require a specific level of education. Ask the school which level of education is needed to enroll.

Are you allowed to study if you receive unemployment benefits?

If you receive unemployment benefits, you have to be available for the job market during the day (8:00-18:00). However, the National Employment Office (NEO-ONEM-RVA) can allow you to follow specific studies during the day: studies that lead to a profession for which there are not enough workers in Belgium. Contact the NEO for more information.

You can also follow evening classes.

Who should you contact when your diploma is recognised?

Are you living in Brussels and looking for a job? Contact Actiris. This way you can receive job offers according to your diploma. Also contact Actiris in order to apply for a subsidised job (e.g. ACS-GECO).

Should my employer increase my salary when my diploma is recognised?

No. Your employer is not obligated to increase your salary according to your new level of education.

I’ve just arrived in Belgium. Can I apply for diploma recognition?

You may always apply for diploma recognition, whether you live in Belgium or abroad.

Where do I get a certified copy (copie conforme) of my documents?

For diplomas of secondary education: at the diploma recognition service of the French Community. They will make a certified copy of your documents for free.

For diplomas of higher education: at the municipality. You need to bring the original and a copy of the documents (diploma and transcipt of records).

There are no certified copies needed to apply at the Flemish Community.

How much does the diploma recognition procedure cost?

At the French Community the procedure costs 150 or 200 euros. The amount depends on the country in which you’ve obtained your diploma.

At the Flemish Community (NARIC-Vlaanderen) the procedure costs between 90 and 300 euros. The amount depends on the type of equivalence and the level of your degree.

At the Flemish Community the procedure is FREE for:

  • asylum seekers
  • recognised refugees
  • beneficiaries of subsidiary protection
  • beneficiaries of OMNIO (health insurance benefits)
  • persons receiving financial support from CPAS-OCMW
  • participants of the integration programme ("Inburgering")
  • jobseekers registered with Actiris with a certificate named "attest bestemd voor NARIC-Vlaanderen"
  • jobseekers registered with VDAB who've signed an action plan ("trajectovereenkomst")

When do I apply for diploma recognition?

At the French Community:

  • to study: you have to apply between November 15th and July 15th of the previous academic year
  • to work: you can apply any time of the year

At the Flemish Community: you can apply any time of the year.

I’m not satisfied with the decision on the equivalence of my diploma. What do I do?

You can ask for a review at the French Community or the Flemish Community (NARIC-Vlaanderen).

I want to become self-employed. Do I need to have my diploma recognised?

Contact one of the accredited enterprise counters (guichets d’entreprises agréés – erkende ondernemingsloket) in Belgium. They will tell you which competences you need to prove to become self-employed in a specific sector.

What is a regulated profession?

A profession for which you need specific qualifications (diploma, vocational course, practical training,...).

Each EU country has its own system. Check out the Regulated professions database to know if a profession is regulated in a specific country.

I come from outside of the EU. Can I become self-employed?

You may have to apply for a professional card. This depends on your nationality.

Contact :

Accepted languages for documents?

Diplomas of secondary education

  • the French Community accepts documents in: French, Dutch, German, English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese.
  • the Flemish Community (NARIC-Vlaanderen) accepts documents in: French, Dutch, German, English.

Diplomas of higher education

  • the French Community accepts documents in French.
  • the Flemish Community accepts documents in: French, Dutch, German, English.

Documents in a different language?

  • the French Community accepts translations into French.
  • the Flemish Community accepts tranlations for the diploma into: Dutch. For all other documents, they accept translations into: French, Dutch, German, English.

What is a study programme?

When you apply for the recognition of a higher education diploma, you need to include a study programme. A study programme contains for each subject that you followed during your studies: the name, a short description of the content and the student workload (number of hours). If your university or school provides a written proof that they cannot deliver this study programme, you may write a short description of each subject yourself.

What is a study programme?

When you apply for the recognition of a higher education diploma, you need to include a study programme. A study programme contains for each subject that you followed during your studies: the name, a short description of the content and the student workload (number of hours). If your university or school provides a written proof that they cannot deliver this study programme, you may write a short description of each subject yourself.