foreign diplomaThe equivalence of a foreign degree in France is the procedure which evaluates a foreign degree in relation to the French nomenclature of training levels and the European qualifications framework.


  • Why asking for a certificate

Submitting a request for recognition of a degree can be used for the purpose of continuing your studies, finding a job or obtaining mention of a French-speaking course as part of your naturalization request. It can also be called upon for any other project for which it would be useful.

To be certified, the foreign degree must be recognized by the competent authorities of the country where it was issued and attest to academic and/or professional training.

If you wish to work in France, it is important to emphasize that the certificate does not condition your job search procedures. An employer may, however, ask you for it in order to better understand and assess your background and academic level. It is important to note that the comparability certificate is not an authorization to practice a regulated profession.

A regulated profession is a profession for which access and its exercise are subject to the possession of a specific professional qualification and/or to registration with a professional body in order to be able to exercise it.

The Criteria for recognition of degrees are different according to the type of organization of your studies and according to the type of profession envisaged.
Furthermore, legally, there is no automatic equivalence between a foreign degree and a French degree. You must go through a competent body to do your equivalence.

In addition, the equivalences of foreign degrees in France differ according to the type of profession. Indeed, each type of profession and each sectoral directive has its own criteria.

In this article, we will focus on the following points, namely:

  • Equivalences for non-regulated Professions
  • Equivalences for regulated
  • Professions governed by a sectoral directive.
  • Professions not governed by a sectoral directive

Foreign degree comparability in France

The principle of equivalence between a degree (or an equivalent title) obtained abroad and a degree (or an equivalent title) issued by the Ministry of National Education or by the Ministry of Higher Education does not exist in France. A certificate of comparability and a certificate of recognition of periods of study can be obtained from the Ministère.

The first establishes a comparison between a foreign final degree and a level of the French and European qualifications frameworks.

The second assesses periods of study that did not lead to the final degree and is mainly useful in the context of further studies: it can help the head of the establishment to authorize an exemption from studies. .

It is possible to have your foreign degree recognized in order to study or work in France. If you wish to work in France with a degree obtained abroad, the recognition criteria are different depending on whether your profession is regulated or not.

A special procedure is also planned for sports teaching degree. Namely, that the comparability certificate is an official document, under the sole responsibility of the France center.

This document has no legal value and is not mandatory.

Requests are therefore processed on a case-by-case basis by the administrations or higher education establishments.

1. Unregulated profession

It is your future employer who will assess the qualifications or degrees presented and the professional level. He may ask you to provide him with a certificate of comparability. This is an opinion on the evaluation of the foreign degree. This certificate describes the level of studies of the foreign degree and compares it to the French level of studies using an analysis grid that applies the principles of international texts.

There is no automaticity in the responses and certificates issued. Only a degree recognized by the country of issue can be the subject of a certificate of comparability.


2. Regulated profession

2.1. Professions governed by a sectoral directive

These are the following professions: Doctors, nurses, dentists, midwives, veterinarians, pharmacists and architects. EU citizens who graduated in their country can freely exercise the professions mentioned above in any Member State.

But their qualifications must be certified by the professional association on which their profession depends. Indeed, citizens of countries outside the EU must check with the French corporation or that of their country of origin.

2.2. Professions not governed by a sectoral directive

These are often professions in the health sector, law, architecture, transport, etc. In this case, the degree must be recognized by an official professional group. For information, contact the government ministry concerned or the group in question.

How to apply for a certificate


  1. Check eligibility
  2. Prepare the documents
  3. Submit the file
  4. Pay the fees
  5. Wait for the result (up to 4 months)

The procedure for applying for recognition is carried out only online. The documents to be uploaded to the platform for filing applications for the recognition of foreign degrees are:

  • A valid double-sided legible identity document (identity card, passport, residence permit, resident card).
  • The final degree in its original language (if you do not have it, send the certificate of achievement);
  • Proof of the official duration of studies in the original language issued by the institution: transcripts or degree supplement. If the user does not have these documents, he can attach a certificate justifying the duration of the training delivered by the establishment;
  • The translation into French of the degree and proof of duration, carried out by a sworn translator or by the official authorities of the country of origin. 


Thus, to conclude our article, the Equivalence of the foreign degree in France can only be done via the center established by the Ministry. He can provide you with a certificate of recognition of your foreign degree, known as a certificate of comparability.

In addition, we have focused on the following points, namely:

  • Equivalences for non-regulated Professions
  • Equivalences for regulated
  • Professions governed by a sectoral directive.
  • Professions not governed by a sectoral directive

In addition, depending on whether the profession is regulated or unregulated, the procedures may vary. Thus, you must have an idea on all these points to obtain your equivalence.


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