How to get recognition of Foreign Qualifications?

How to get recognition of Foreign Qualifications? The recognition of Foreign Qualifications can be made through academic recognition or through professional recognition. The academic recognition is the process by which an foreign academic qualification is compared to a Portuguese qualification concerning the level, duration and program content. The professional recognition is the authorization by a competent authority (Ministry, Association, etc) to practise a certain profession or regulated professional activity.
The equivalence is regulated under the Decree-Law Nr. 283/84, dated 21st.June, and is the procedure by which a foreign academic qualification is compared to a Portuguese qualification, concerning the level, duration and program content, being also fixed the scientific area of the granted equivalence.
The recognition is the procedure by which a foreign academic qualification is compared to a Portuguese qualification merely on level and is ruled by the Decree-Law Nr. 283/83, dated 21st. June.
The registration is a new recognition regime of foreign academic level degrees, with objectives and nature identical to the university graduate, master and doctor, awarded Portuguese Higher Education Institutions, conferring to their owners all the rights inherent to these academic degrees. This new recognition regime is ruled under the Decree-Law Nr. 341/2007, dated 12.October.
This system is solely applied if the academic degree in question is included in the list of degrees fixed in the general deliberations issued by the Commission for the Recognition of Foreign Degrees and duly published on the 2nd Serie of Diário da República, available for consultation at
For the doctor degree the registration may be requested at one of the following institutions chosen by the person concerned:
  • Portuguese Public University (Rectory)
  • Directorate-General for Higher Education
  • For the university graduate and master degrees the registration can be requested a tone of the following institutions chosen by the person concerned:
  • Portuguese Public University (Rectory)
  • Portuguese Public Polytechnic Institute (Central Offices)
  • Directorate-General for Higher Education
REMARK: The registration can be requested at any of these above mentioned institutions regardless of the courses they offer.
The request of registration must always be accompanied by the following documents:
  • Original of the diploma or of the document issued by the competent authorities of the foreign Higher Education Institution;
  • Original or certified copy of the document that justifies the final classification, issued by the competent authorities of the foreign Higher Education Institution;
  • A copy of the dissertation/thesis (digital or paper format) for the cases of registration of Master or Doctor degree and translation, only of the front page of the dissertation/thesis, when applicable (see remark hereunder)
REMARK: A translation will requested when the documents are written in a foreign language other than Spanish, French, English or Italian
The translations must always be certified by the competent authorities.
The emoluments owed by the registration procedure cost € 26.70, being this value duly updated on 1st.May each year, based on the change of the consumer average price index in the mainland concerning the past year, excluding the house, published by the Instituto Nacional de Estatística (State Statistic Office), under Nr, 2 of Article 9, of the Decree Nr. 29/2008, dated 10.January).
No. According to the Decree-Law Nr. 341/2007, dated 12.October and the Decree Nr. 29/2008, date 10.January, both the Public Institutions for Higher Education and the Directorate-General for Higher Education are competent for the degree registration.
Yes. The acquisition of the equivalence, under the Decree-Law Nr.238/82, dated 21st.June, does not prevent the request of the degree registration, under the Decree-Law 341/2007, dated 12.October. However, the registration can only add value, if a final classification has not been granted.
If you are the owner of a foreign higher degree and wish to request the equivalence/recognition, you must go to a Portuguese Higher Education Institution that offers courses in the same area or suchlike, where a scientific evaluation of the presented formation will be made.

Yes, the choice is the responsibility of the applicant who shall, however, take into account:

  • The designations of the course (he must pay attention to the fact that the courses that have the same content not always have the also the same designation);
  • The similarity of the educational plan;
  • The duration of the educational plan;
  • The content of the programs.
No. It cannot be granted more than one equivalence to the same foreign higher level qualification documents.
Only by refusal or abandonment of an application can the person concerned submit, at the same or at another Public Higher Education Institution, with regard to another course, a new request concerning the same foreign qualification.
The forms for the equivalence/recognition, under the Decree-Law Nr. 283/83, dated 21st.June, are exclusive to the Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda (National Mint) and are available online, at the official page of Internet (, but they can also be acquired at the official shops (see contacts at:, telephone + 351 217 810 870. Fax +351 217 810 745,
    Model Nr. 524 – equivalence to the Doctor degree;
    Model Nr. 525 – equivalence to the Master degree;
    Model Nr. 526 – equivalence to the University Graduate degree;
    Model Nr. 527 –  recognition of qualifications.
The institutions publish, every year, on Diário da República (Official State Gazette) the payments’ table concerning the equivalence/recognition requests and other certificates. So you must get the information directly at the educational institution where you will request the equivalence/recognition.
No kind of appeal shall apply from the Scientific Council of a Higher Education Institution, except if based on the breach of legal formalities.
No. You can begin the academic recognition process through a legal representative or submitting a request by mail to institution where you intend to request your recognition, always together with the necessary documents for the probatory proceedings.
Yes, by means of a transference and course change process (Decree Nr. 401/2007, dated 5.April), taking directly place at the higher education institutions. For that purpose you must contact the institution where you intend to proceed you studies or the Direcção de Serviços de Acesso ao Ensino Superior of the Direcção-Geral do Ensino Superior, through the Electronic Point or the Internet page of DGES (Direcção-Geral do Ensino Superior).
According to the existing legislation, the translation of documents and works in a foreign language can be requested, if the institution where you apply your request considers it necessary.
No. Under Article 68 of the Notaries’ Code, it is not allowed to intervene as translator the one whom the document refers to, the spouse, the relatives and alike, in the direct line or second degree relative, either of the notary who intervenes at the case or of any of the grantors, representatives or represented.
  • According to the Portuguese applicable legislation the following entities are allowed to translate and certificate translations:
  • Notaries;
  • Portuguese Consulate in the country where the document has been issued;
  • Consulate in Portugal of the country where the document has been issued and capable translator
  • Registrars of any Registry Office;
  • Recorders;
  • Lawyers and Solicitors;
Under the Decree-Law Nr. 244/92, dated 29.October recognized Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
REMARK: O The content of the translation and not the signatures of the persons involved must be certificated.
It means the legislation of the origin country of the grantor allows a Portuguese citizen to request equivalence of his diploma, according to the applicable laws of that country.
Released of the presentation of the reciprocity proof are:
The citizens of the EU countries:
  • The citizens of Brazil and Portuguese-speaking African Countries (PALOP’s);
  • The citizens of the countries that have ratified the Lisbon Treaty;
  • The citizens of the countries with which it has already existed reciprocity, namely: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Peru, Dominican Republic, Thailand, Turkey and Venezuela.
The Portuguese Centre NARIC is the competent authority officially designed to issue the declarations that justify the level of your foreign education, either you have concluded it or not. For that purpose, it is enough to formalise the request with a copy of the diploma or document that justifies the foreign attended education.
The declarations in question aim:
  • To justify the level of the foreign educations for the purpose of requesting equivalence/recognition;
  • To justify the level of foreign educations at the national bodies;
  • To prove the level of education got abroad for IRS purposes, according to Nr. 4 of Article 83 of the IRS Code (Personal Income Tax);
  • To prove the classification grid applicable in the Portuguese higher education system;
Whenever required, for an academic or Professional recognition procedure, the documents issued by foreign higher education institutions shall be recognised by the local Portuguese consular officer and/or legalised by the Handout system, according to the convention concerning the Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (best known as the Hague Convention), signed in the Hague on 5.October.1961.
Where to obtain more informations?

Source: Ministry of Education and Science

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