Welcome Service Tirol

The Welcome Service Tirol is the first point of contact for Tyrolean companies and universities and their international, highly qualified employees.

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Recognition of qualifications

On the subject of recognition of academic qualifications and vocational training, we must differentiate in two respects. Firstly, a distinction is made on the basis of the applicant’s country of origin, as different rules may apply to EU/EEA citizens and Swiss nationals with regard to the recognition of qualifications compared with third country nationals.

Secondly, different recognition procedures are to be carried out depending on the type of qualification involved:

Nostrification of foreign school qualifications

The Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research is responsible for recognising foreign school certificates ("nostrification", in German "Nostrifikation"), regardless of the type of school involved. The Ministry checks whether a school leaving certificate obtained abroad corresponds to the Austrian syllabus. Where major differences are found, recognition may be made conditionally on passing supplementary examinations.

Nostrification is not required for admission to a course of study; rather, the prerequisites must be clarified directly with the relevant university.

Tip: The Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research offers a free assessment of foreign school-leaving certificates, which is often sufficient. This evaluation is intended to facilitate the assessment of the value of school-leaving qualifications acquired abroad, as well as to enable a basic assessment of their comparability with an Austrian school-leaving certificate. The evaluation serves primarily to assist in the job search and can be applied for at www.asbb.at.

Nostrification of foreign university degrees

Nostrification  (in German "Nostrifizierung") of a foreign university degree is the recognition of a foreign university degree as equivalent to an Austrian university degree. It also entitles the holder to use the academic title awarded by the Austrian university.

An important condition for nostrification of a foreign university degree is the actual necessity of formal equivalence of the foreign degree with the Austrian degree. This necessity may exist in particular if someone wants to pursue a professional activity in Austria that is regulated by law (regulated profession/in German "reglementierter Beruf") and requires the respective degree. 

The nostrification can only be sought from a university for whose degree programme the recognition of the equivalence of the degree acquired abroad is applied for. In some cases, more than one university in Austria may be considered for nostrification. As different universities may have different requirements and normally it is not possible to reapply to another university, it is advisable to compare the requirements in advance.

It should be noted, however, that nostrification is primarily relevant for third-country nationals, as very often no nostrification is necessary (or even possible) for higher education degrees from EU or EEA countries as well as Switzerland. This is due to the fact that there are separate guidelines for EU/EEA citizens and Swiss citizens that regulate access to a number of academic professions. For people from these countries, it is more often the "recognition for professional purposes" (in German "Anerkennung zu beruflichen Zwecken") that may be of interest. "Recognition for professional purposes" means the admission of a person to certain professional activities on the basis of qualifications acquired abroad and is primarily relevant for access to regulated professions (examples: doctors, teachers, civil engineers, various trades).  The competence and the type of procedure for recognition for professional purposes depend on the profession in question. Furthermore, Austria has bilateral agreements on recognition with some countries in the world - in these cases, too, no nostrification is necessary, but the procedure must be in accordance with the respective agreement. 

Nostrification is not required for admission to studies in Austria. Information on the requirements for admission to studies can be obtained at the university of interest.

Tip: If official, formal recognition is not necessary for professional practice, you can consider an assessment of your university degree. This is offered by ENIC NARIC Austria, the contact point for all questions of international recognition in higher education. The service point ENIC NARIC Austria is located at the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research and its evaluation of foreign qualifications is intended to facilitate the assessment of their value for third parties and to enable comparability with Austrian qualifications. Above all, it serves as support in finding a job. The evaluation is not a legal decision and is therefore not legally binding. Details, costs and the possibility to register can be found at https://www.aais.at/.

Professional recognition 

In Austria there are no uniform rules for the recognition of professional qualifications acquired abroad.

Vocational training completed abroad can be treated as equivalent to an Austrian apprenticeship qualification upon application to the Federal Ministry for Digitalisation and Economic Location.

Certain professions in Austria are regulated (see also above), which means that it is necessary to prove concrete qualifications and to follow the legally prescribed steps in order to be allowed to exercise the profession. For some professions this applies to self-employment and employment, for others only to self-employment. The exact procedure for the recognition of professional qualifications and admission to the profession depends on various criteria (especially the respective profession and the country in which the qualification was acquired) and is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Due to the complexity of this issue, only an individual assessment can be made as to which procedure is appropriate with regard to the recognition of a qualification. You are welcome to contact us, we will be happy to support you!