Recognition in Portugal of foreign academic degrees and diplomas of higher education

Nuno Albuquerque & Mariana Boçon | N-Advogados


Sometimes for a foreign citizen to be able to exercise certain professional activities, obtain other academic degrees or have access to public support for research, it is necessary to proceed to the recognition of the diploma awarded by foreign higher education institutions.


In the case of Portugal, the recognition of academic degrees and diplomas of higher education, awarded by foreign higher education institutions, has been regulated since January 1, 2019, by Decree-Law no. 66/2018, which standardized the procedures for the recognition, making them more automatic, transparent, equitable and simple.


This procedure allows to assign to a foreign academic degree of higher education all the rights inherent to the ownership of the corresponding Portuguese academic degree.


This system applies to:

  • academic degrees, conferred by foreign higher education institutions, identical to the degrees of licentiate, master and doctor conferred by Portuguese higher education institutions;

  • diplomas from non-academic degree courses, awarded by foreign higher education institutions, identical to professional higher technical courses;

  • degrees or diplomas, awarded in association exclusively by foreign higher education institutions, identical to the degrees and diplomas conferred by Portuguese higher education institutions.



For this, there are 3 types of recognition:


Automatic recognition


It allows to generically recognize a foreign higher education degree or diploma, whose level, objectives and nature are identical to the Portuguese degrees of bachelor, master and doctor or of a higher professional technical diploma, which appears in the list of degrees and diplomas established by the recognition committee of foreign degrees and diplomas;


In practice, there is a list of countries whose documentation can be automatically recognized in Portugal.


It is important to note that for diplomas issued by Brazilian Universities, this procedure only applies to Masters and Doctorates to whose CAPES grades 5, 6 or 7 have been awarded.

Level recognition

Allows for recognizing individually, by comparability, a foreign higher education degree or diploma as having a level corresponding to an academic degree or diploma of Portuguese higher education.


Specific recognition

It allows recognizing a foreign higher education degree or diploma identical to an academic degree or diploma of Portuguese higher education, through a case-by-case analysis of the level, duration and program content, in a specific area of training, field of knowledge or specialty.


This modality usually applies to courses whose professional practice requires registration before a professional Order.

Where to apply:

Automatic recognition is required from any public higher education institution or from the Directorate-General for Higher Education (Direção Geral do Ensino Superior).

Both level recognition and specific recognition must be requested from Universities or Public Polytechnic Institutes that teaches the courses.


Who can apply:

The interested party itself or also a legal representative.

Documentation:


The documentation required for all types of recognition is currently delimited in Ordinance No. 43/2020 of 14 February, being requested one of the following documents:

  • a certified copy of the diploma or document issued by the foreign institution for which recognition is required;

  • simple copy of a document issued by the foreign higher education institution with a degree or diploma registration number;

  • diploma or certificate issued by the foreign higher education institution, in original version.


In addition to the documentation mentioned, for specific or level recognition, documents may be requested containing the curricular units in which the applicant obtained approval, digital or digitized copy of the defended dissertation or project work, or the Internship report.

All documentation must be legalized by the Apostille system, under the terms of the Hague Convention, of October 5, 1961.


At the end, with the attribution of recognition, a registration is made on an electronic platform, which assigns a unique number to each recognition and is also available on the website of the Directorate-General for Higher Education.

N-Advogados

Nuno Albuquerque & Mariana Boçon

nunoalbuquerque@nadv.pt


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