How to validate foreign educational diplomas

Do you have a school or university diploma from another country? Find out how you can validate foreign diplomas so they are accepted in Italy.


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I have an educational diploma from a different country: is it valid in Italy?

A certificate is a document that shows you have completed a level of education. It helps you to find work or continue with your education.

However, not all certificates from other countries are automatically valid (acceptable) in Italy. If you live in Italy and have a foreign certificate, you will need to get it validated. You will need to go through a process called “recognition of qualifications” (riconoscimento titoli esteri in Italian).

Recognition of qualifications

If you have a certificate from a school in your home country or in another country, you can convert your certificate so that it is valid here in Italy. The Italian embassy in your country will first need to legalize and translate your certificate.

There are two types of recognition:

Equipollenza

In this case, your certificate is declared equal to an Italian certificate. It will be converted to an Italian certification. It will always be valid and you can use it for many purposes. It will be valid throughout Italy.

Who can apply for equivalenza?
Italian citizens, European citizens, Swiss citizens, refugee status holders. Other nationals cannot apply.

Equivalenza

This recognition is only made for specific purposes: for example, for work or school application. You will not be able to use this recognition for other purposes.

Who can apply for equivalenza?
Italian citizens, European citizens, Swiss citizens, refugee status holders. Other nationals cannot apply.

Where can I submit my application?

There are two processes for submitting applications: one for school and one for university.

School

You will need to submit your certificate at your regional school office (ufficio scolastico regionale).

How to find your regional school office
In your internet search, type “ufficio scolastico regionale” and [name of your town].

University

Students with a foreign certificate who want to continue their education at a university, apply directly at the university they want to attend. The university could ask you to take extra exams and courses before they validate your qualifications. European and international students who have a certificate from their home country or another country can apply this way to university in Italy.

If you are a European or international student and you want to validate your master’s degree, you must apply to the Ministry of Education.

What if I earned educational certificates, but I do not have my documents?

People with refugee status may not have their certificates and documentation to prove their educational background. However, you can ask the school or university to recognize your qualifications even without a certificate!

How do I do this?

You will need to submit an official request, which is called riconoscimento titoli di studio senza documentazione in Italian.

Go directly to the school or university with your documents and a self-declaration with the details of the course you attended. The school or university will tell what else you need to include. Then their teachers’ commission will consider your application.

The commission will decide whether to recognize your application or if you need to take more classes and tests first.

Study visas

If you are not an EU national and you want to study in Italy, you will need to apply for a study visa from the Italian embassy in your country. Even if you have recognized certificates, you will need a study visa. Do you need a visa?