Recognition of foreign education in the Czech Republic
Many people move to the Czech Republic without realising that their university diploma or their children’s high school diploma might not be internationally valid. A “recognition” of foreign education is an essential requirement to start studying at Czech schools. In general, the only education valid in the Czech Republic is the one obtained from a Czech school hence every foreign diploma needs to be recognised by the state to be used in official matters. However, the original certification can still be naturally used in private or informal matters.
The most common situation would be a person with a foreign high school diploma who wants to pursue a Czech university degree. To enrol at a Czech University, an applicant has to provide a recognised completion of secondary education.
Scope of regulation
Recognition of foreign education is a broad legal subject intertwined with international treaties on recognition of official documents. The regulation even differs for recognition of foreign education, which is the topic of this article, and a recognition of professional qualification, which we have addressed in “this” article. The recognition process for elementary and secondary education is also different from the recognition of a university degree.
Recognition of elementary and secondary education
Only a diploma that certifies the completion of elementary, secondary or higher professional education can be recognised. The issuing school also needs to be a part of the foreign state education system. The recognition is processed by Regional Authority (Krajský úřad) in a region of applicant’s permanent residence. The applicant must provide an officially certified copy of the legalised diploma and an officially certified copy of the legalised transcript of completed courses with an hourly schedule. The second document usually causes the most difficulties to obtain. When in doubt, the recognising authority may order a so-called “nostrification exam” which will verify the applicant’s knowledge level.
The whole process takes between 30 and 60 days, and if the application is rejected, you have 15 days to appeal. The biggest flaw of the system is the inconsistent practice of different regional authorities. An application that would be immediately approved in one region might be thoroughly inspected in another one.
Recognition of university education
The recognising authority of completed bachelor’s and master’s degree or a doctorate are the Czech, public universities with a respective study programme. However, there might be a specific recognising authority for education from your country based on a bilateral treaty. There is no additional exam that would verify your knowledge. The whole process takes between 30 and 60 days, and if your application is rejected, you have again 15 days to appeal.
Even though recognition of your education might seem only like a minor formality, it should not be sidetracked. The process itself can take a considerable amount of time when done incorrectly and needs to be planned. Simultaneously, some of the required documents are quite specific and have to be verified (“legalised”) in the country of origin.
Should you have any question, do not hesitate to contact our law firm or seek assistance with the process of recognition of your education.
JUDr. Monika Rutland, partner
rutland & partners, law firm
tel: +420 226 226 026