Recognition and validation of foreign non-university qualifications and studies


Access to online processing service Deadline for submitting applications:OPEN PERMANENTLY

Instructions on how to register on the website.

Instructions on how to download a digital credential from the website.

Línea horizontal

The new “Portal for the recognition and validation of foreign non-university degrees and studies” is now available, providing a wealth of information on the procedure and the different educational systems on which information is available.

Table of contents

General information



This procedure can be used to apply to have non-university qualifications and studies from other countries recognised or validated.


  • For foreign non-university qualifications, diplomas or studies to be recognised, they must be declared equivalent to qualifications under the current Spanish education system.
  • The validation of foreign studies for Spanish non-university educational courses requires a declaration that the former are equivalent to the latter for the purposes of pursuing studies at a Spanish educational establishment.
  • General information on the procedurePDF

Foreign qualifications or studies that can be recognised or validated

Recognition or validation may be requested by persons who have completed studies under a foreign education system.

Students from foreign education systems who wish to follow any of the primary education or compulsory secondary education courses will not be required to have any of their studies validated.

Nor will recognition be required for studies in any level, course or modality of the Spanish education system that can be accessed without the need to obtain a compulsory secondary education qualification.

To be recognised or validated, qualifications or studies must meet the following requirements:

  • Studies completed or qualifications obtained must be officially valid in the education system of the relevant country.
  • If the studies have been completed in a foreign educational establishment located in Spain, that establishment must be fully authorised to provide such studies by the relevant education authority in Spain.

The qualification must endorse studies duly approved in the education system of the issuing country. A foreign qualification obtained through a process of recognition, validation or conversion in a third country will not be accepted for recognition purposes in Spain.

  • There must be sufficient equivalence with the corresponding Spanish studies or qualification, on an academic level and with regard to the duration and content of the required studies.
  • The foreign studies must have been passed and fully completed in the education system of the other country. Individual subjects will not be validated. Another requirement is that the candidate must have passed each and every course completed prior to the course to be approved or validated.
  • Applicants cannot have previously obtained the same qualification or studies in the Spanish education system for which they are seeking recognition or validation.
  • Studies carried out in foreign educational systems by students from the Spanish education system are subject to recognition of the Spanish certificate of compulsory secondary education or Baccalaureate, provided that they have passed as many correlated, complete courses as they have yet to complete in order to finish compulsory secondary education or the Baccalaureate, respectively.

The following qualifications or studies will not be recognised or validated:

  • studies pursued in foreign establishments located in Spain outside the provisions of the legislation governing the establishment and authorisation of such educational establishments (Royal Decree 806/1993, of 28 May 1993)BOE;
  • qualifications awarded by foreign institutions or bodies attesting studies carried out in Spanish centres not leading to diplomas with official academic validity;
  • qualifications, diplomas, certificates or studies in a public or private body or institutions which do not constitute academic degrees and are not part of the education system of the foreign country concerned.

Spanish qualifications which can be validated with foreign studies

  • Compulsory secondary education
    • Certificate of compulsory secondary education
  • Baccalaureate
    • Baccalaureate diploma
  • Vocational training
  • Professional artistic education
    • Professional qualification in Music
    • Professional qualification in Dance
    • Qualification of Plastic Arts and Design Technician
    • Qualification of Advanced Plastic Arts and Design Technician
  • Higher artistic education
    • Degree in Artistic Music Education, in the relevant field
    • Degree in Artistic Dance Education, in the relevant field
    • Degree in Artistic Drama Education, in the relevant field
    • Degree in Artistic Education for the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Assets, in the corresponding speciality
    • Degree in Artistic Education in Plastic Arts, in the speciality of Ceramics or in the speciality of Glass
    • Degree in Artistic Design Education, in the relevant field
    • Master’s degrees in Artistic Education recognised by this Ministry
  • Sports education
    • Sports Technician qualification
    • Advanced Sports Technician qualification

Bodies in charge of processing and issuing decisions

ATTENTION: The information shown below is not valid if the address indicated in the application is for the Autonomous Communities of Catalonia (access to the competent serviceNueva ventana), Galicia (access to the competent serviceNueva ventana) or the Basque Country (access to the competent serviceNueva ventana).

  • For foreign qualifications or studies included in any of the equivalence tables approved by this Ministry, the following bodies will be competent to process the case file and issue the corresponding draft decision:
    • The High Education Inspection Areas in the Autonomous Communities and the Provincial Directorates of the Ministry in Ceuta and Melilla, for all applications where the address indicated by the applicant falls within their territories, irrespective of the place of submission.
    • Education Departments of the Spanish Embassies abroad, in respect of all applications submitted in their areas, irrespective of the nationality of the applicant or the education system to which they relate.
  • In the case of other foreign diplomas and studies, this Ministry is competent to process validation or accreditation case files through the corresponding unit.


Tables of equivalence of qualifications and curricula approved by the Ministry of Education.

Education systems with specific regulationPDF:

  • Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Germany, International Baccalaureate, Belgium, Canada, China, European Schools, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Switzerland
  • Education systems included in Annex IPDF to the Order of 30 April 1996:
    • Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, South Korea, China, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Macedonia, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Slovenia, Syria, Sweden, Yugoslavia, United Arab Emirates
  • Education systems in countries that have signed the Andrés Bello Agreement included in the Order of 20 March 2001 BOE:
    • Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, Venezuela.

    • Countries that have signed the Andrés Bello Agreement not included in the Order of 20 March 2001: Mexico, Dominican Republic, Paraguay



Deadline for submitting applications

Open permanently

Application form(s)

The application is made through the button "Access to online processing service" at the top of the page.

Once you have completed the application, remember to print it and submit it to the official register, together with the other documents required for processing.

Mandatory documentation

Mandatory documents to be submitted with the application (the documents must be official and, where appropriate, duly legalised and accompanied by official translations into Spanish):

  • Evidence of payment of the corresponding fee except where recognition of a compulsory secondary education certificate is requested.
  • Certified photocopy of document attesting to identity (NIF (tax identification number) / Passport / NIE (foreigner's identification number) / other document). A photocopy of the NIF does not have to be provided if the applicant consents to the verification of their identity data through the Data Verification System established by Royal Decree 522/2006 of 28 April 2006, in which case consent must be expressly indicated.
  • As appropriate, an original letter from the person concerned authorising the representative to act on their behalf, together with a document attesting to the representative’s identity (NIF / Passport / NIE / other document). The NIF or NIE does not have to be provided if the data subject consents to the verification of identity data through the Data Verification System established by Royal Decree 522/2006 of 28 April 2006, in which case the consent must be expressly indicated.
  • Verified copy of the official qualification or diploma for which approval is sought or, where appropriate, official certification attesting that the applicant has passed the relevant final examinations.
  • Verified copy of the certification accrediting the courses completed, showing the subjects followed, the qualifications obtained and the academic years in which the applicant attended the respective courses.
  • When the studies prior to those done abroad have been carried out under the Spanish education system, a verified copy of the official academic certification accrediting these studies, or of the school record or qualification record and/or academic history.

For recognition or validation for Spanish studies of courses under the special scheme (artistic and sporting courses), evidence must also be provided of:

  • Pre-professional internships or work experience (for sports education studies).
  • The prior educational requirements set out in the applicant’s home education system for commencing the studies for which recognition or validation is sought, as well as the studies actually carried out by the applicant.
  • The official duration of the curriculum followed.

The following documents may be required to obtain recognition or validation for Spanish artistic and sporting educational courses::

  • academic certification of the courses held, including the following information:
    • total duration of the course of study completed in order to obtain the qualification awarded;
    • duration of each of the subject courses followed by the applicant in order to obtain the accredited qualification.
  • Verified copy of the academic certification attesting to the studies corresponding to special courses undertaken prior to those for which validation is required.
  • Verified copy of the certificate issued by the education authorities of the country of origin providing evidence of the following:
    • academic validity of studies at national level;
    • academic level of the qualification or studies in the education system of the country of origin;
    • the academic level awarded by the qualification obtained, where applicable;
    • studies accessible in the applicant's home education system with the academic qualification provided.

In the case of applications for recognition of higher artistic education, a certified photocopy of the diploma or, where appropriate, of the academic certificate attesting that the applicant has passed their initial secondary education studies (Baccalaureate or equivalent) must be provided..

The investigating body may request all the documents it considers necessary to establish equivalence between the foreign studies carried out and the Spanish diploma or studies with which recognition or validation is sought.

Legalisation and translation of documentation

All documents relating to these procedures must be official and issued by the competent authorities, in accordance with the legal system of the country concerned

Legalisation of documents issued abroad

Legalisation is the procedure for validating the signatures of the authorities responsible for signing a document in order to attest their authenticity, so that the document can be submitted in a third country.

For educational qualifications or academic certificates, legalisation generally involves recognising the signature of the educational authority issuing the original document (not the signature endorsing its authentication or translation).

No legalisation is required for documents issued in European Union Member States or signatories to the Agreement on the European Economic Area. Likewise, documents issued by Switzerland under a bilateral agreement with the European Union are also exempt from legalisation.

In other cases, documents issued abroad that are submitted for validation in these procedures must be duly legalised in accordance with the following conditions::

  • Documents issued in countries which have signed the Hague ConventionNueva ventana of 5 October 1961. The single legalisation or ‘apostille’ issued by the competent authorities of the country is sufficient.
  • Documents issued in other countries: these must be legalised through diplomatic channels. The generally established procedure for this purpose is as follows:
    • Ministry of Education of the country of origin for qualifications and certificates of study and in the corresponding Ministry for birth and nationality certificates;
    • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country where these documents were issued;
    • the diplomatic or consular representation of Spain in that country.

Translation of documents

Article 15(1) of Law 39/2015 of 1 October 2015 on the Common Administrative Procedure of Public Administrations states that the language of procedures handled by the General State Administration must be Spanish. Accordingly, official translations into Spanish must be provided for any documents issued abroad that are submitted for consideration in the procedures for validating foreign non-university studies.

Official translations may be done by::

  • sworn translators, duly authorised and registered in SpainNueva ventana
  • any diplomatic or consular representation of Spain abroad;
  • the diplomatic or consular representation in Spain of the country in which the applicant is a citizen or, as appropriate, of the country in which the document was issued;
  • an official translator based abroad whose signature has been duly legalised.

Authenticating and verifying documents

In principle, unless the unit processing the application requests the original documents, verified copies of all the required documents must be submitted. The verification or authentication is carried out by the relevant authority (usually the registration unit receiving the documents), providing evidence that a copy corresponds faithfully to the original document it reproduces. The copy must be made once the originals are authenticated..

Submitting the application

The application may be made at:

  • The General Register of this Ministry (C/Los Madrazo, 15)
  • Information and Registry Offices of Government Delegations/Sub-Delegations in the Autonomous Communities, or Provincial Directorates of this Ministry in Ceuta and Melilla
  • General Registries of Spain’s diplomatic representations abroad.

Applications and submissions may be submitted to any of the administrations mentioned in Article 16(4) of Law 39/2015 of 1 October on the Common Administrative Procedure of Public Administrations. Consulting the registration officesNueva ventana

Conditional enrolment form

Article 15(2) of Royal Decree 104/1988 of 29 January 1988 provides that education centres may grant conditional admission to those students whose validation or recognition procedures have commenced and are pending decisions on the dates when the corresponding admission periods end.

Regarding the above, and in order to allow applicants to be registered conditionally within the statutory time limits, either in educational establishments or in official examinations, applications may be accompanied by a document signed by the applicant or their legal representative and compliant with the template published as Annex II to Order ECD/3305/2002. Once stamped by the registration unit where the application was submitted, this document will act as a letter of reference certifying that the application has been submitted and, within the period of validity of the application, will enable the registration on the same terms as if the recognition or validation had been granted, albeit on a conditional basis and for the time limit set out therein. The note is issued under the personal responsibility of the applicant and does not affect the final decision on the case file. If the decision to validate is not favorable, the conditional registration and the results of any examinations taken by the applicant as a consequence thereof shall cease to have effect.

Final decision



Decisions on recognition or validation case files are made by an order issued by the office holder of this Ministry, signed by delegation by the office holder of Directorate-General for Territorial Evaluation and Cooperation.

The content of the recognition or validation orders is contained in individual credentials issued by the Subdirectorate-General for Academic Organisation, which will be issued to applicants. This will have the same effects as the documentation that students under the Spanish education system are required to provide as evidence that they have successfully completed the studies in question or, where appropriate, that they have the corresponding Spanish qualification.

The time limit for the decision on the approval or validation files is 3 months, starting from the date on which the file is correctly completed.

Failure to issue a decision on the validation case files within the time limit amounts to tacit rejection, under Additional Provision 29 of Law 14/2000 of 29 December 2000 on fiscal, administrative and social order measures.

This tacit rejection has the sole effect of allowing the corresponding appeals to be lodged, through administrative channels or administrative courts. The Administration is still obliged to issue an express decision, which is not determined by whether the administrative silence is positive or negative.

Information following the final decision



The decision in the procedure closes the administrative formalities and may be challenged by lodging an administrative appeal with the same administrative body that issued the decision, or an appeal with the administrative courts.

Notification of the decision to the applicant includes information on the legal remedies available, the body to which they should be addressed and the time limit for doing so.

Additional information



Queries on the procedure can be made by any of the means listed on the Administrative Information page Nueva ventana

SIA Information

  • Title of the procedure: Homologación y convalidación de títulos y estudios extranjeros no universitarios
  • Code: 051270

Single Digital Gateway information

Single Digital Gateway quality label
  • Let us know your opinion to evaluate the information of the procedure
  • Let us know your opinion to evaluate the processing of the procedure

Esta web utiliza cookies propias para facilitar la navegación y cookies de terceros para obtener estadísticas de uso y satisfacción.

Puede obtener más información en el apartado "Cookies" de nuestro aviso legal.