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How to get a foreign degree recognised in France
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Is it possible to study or work in France with a degree obtained abroad? The answer is yes! But in some cases you will first have to get your diploma recognised in France. However, this does not apply to students taking part in an Erasmus or bilateral exchange programme. The latter apply the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), which allows academic recognition between member countries. But what about other students, French or not? Here is a case-by-case deciphering and instructions for use.

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I want to continue my studies in France after obtaining a degree abroad

If your diploma is not directly transferable to France, the decision is made by the host institution where you wish to continue your studies. An educational commission will assess whether recognition of the diploma is necessary. In this case, you will need to obtain an comparability certificate. The latter allows you, as its name indicates, to compare your diploma obtained abroad with the corresponding French diploma level (more details below in this article).

> Read also: Students: where to study abroad?

I want to work in France with a degree obtained abroad

In the case of a job search, the recognition of your diploma depends on whether the job you wish to have is regulated or not. 

A regulated profession is one that requires a specific diploma recognised by a competent authority in order to be practised. This is the case for lawyers, architects, doctors, craftsmen, etc. To find out whether your profession is regulated in France, you can consult the database on the European Commission's website

Are you not aiming for a regulated profession? Then it is up to you to convince your recruiters of the level and quality of your foreign diploma (possibly by sending them the brochure presenting your course or syllabus, and your detailed transcript of records). But some employers may also require a comparability certificate.

How to have a foreign diploma recognised for a regulated profession?

The procedure varies for all professions:

  • Paramedical professions: contact the Direction régionale de l'économie, de l'emploi, du travail et des solidarités (DREES) of the region in which you are applying.
  • Psychologists: take the necessary steps on the website of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research.
  • Commercial and craft professions: contact the Chamber of Trades and Crafts in your locality.
  • Legal professions (excluding lawyers): contact the Ministry of Justice.
  • Professions that depend on a national order or council (e.g. doctors, lawyers): contact the relevant body directly.

How do I get my comparibility certificate?

The comparability certificate is issued by the Enic-Naric Centre. Each case is studied on a case-by-case basis by an expert. In order to obtain your certificate, follow these steps: 

  1. Gather the necessary documents: identity document, diploma in its original language and translated into French (except for exceptions), proof of the duration of the training;
  2. Submit your application online (no application possible by post);
  3. Make the first payment of the application fee of 20€;
  4. If your application is successful, make the second payment of 50€;
  5. Follow the progress of your application online.

Please note that processing times are 3 months on average.

Once your diploma is recognised, you should also think about insurance!

If you are a foreigner, you will benefit from the French health system. However, the latter does not cover you 100%. To complement this, APRIL International offers several international health insurance plans, whether you are a student or an expatriate.

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