Requesting recognition of a foreign diploma for a healthcare profession

A healthcare profession with a foreign diploma

If you wish to reside permanently in Belgium and exercise a healthcare profession, you first have to request recognition or have your diploma declared to be equivalent.

Take note: If you wish to temporarily or occasionally exercise a healthcare profession in Belgium, you frst have to apply for permission. You have to apply using a form from the Federal Public Service Health and send it to visa@health.fgov.be.

This applies to the following professions:

  • Doctors: General Practitioners and other specialists
  • Dentists: General dentists and specialist dentists
  • (Hospital) Pharmacists
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Special needs education
  • Physiotherapists
  • Nurses: first the basic title and then the professional titles and competencies (specialisations) that they can acquire
  • Nursing auxiliaries
  • Paramedical professions: audiologists and hearing-aid specialists, dieticians, occupational therapists, technical pharmaceutical assistant, speech-language pathologists, technologist in medical laboratory techniques, dental hygienist, orthoptists-optometrists, podiatrists, medical imaging technologist, patient transport (PTS) drivers (no emergency transport)
  • Midwives

For the regulated professions of nurse, pharmacist and physiotherapist, you can also submit your application via the European Professional Card, in addition, to directly contacting our service. The EPC-procedure is only applicable for those who possesses the EEA nationality and an EEA-diploma.

What you have to do depends on whether or not your diploma comes from inside or outside the European Economic Area.

Your diploma Your nationality What do you have to do?
from the European Economic Area (EEA)** EEA* Request recognition from the Agency for Care and Health
non-EEA
outside the European Economic Area (EEA)**, but deemed equivalent in an EEA country EEA*
Outside the European Economic Area (EEA)** EEA

Request the specific recognition your diploma from NARIC and your visa from the Federal Public Service Health.

non-EEA
South Africa South-African

South Africans with a South African basic diploma as a physician can request recognition of it from the Agency for Care and Health.

* Your nationality is from the EEA in the following cases:

  • Anyone who has the nationality of one of the 28 Member States of the European Union, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.
  • Anyone who has the status of refugee.
  • You are also considered as a national with a residence permit for long-term residents for one of these countries or with a residence permit as a family member of a European national.

** The European Economic Area is composed of the 28 Member States of the European Union and Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

Exercising a healthcare profession abroad with a Belgian diploma

Do you wish to exercise one of these healthcare professions abroad?

  • Doctors: General Practitioners and specialist physicians
  • Dentists: General dentists and specialist dentists
  • Pharmacists
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Special needs education
  • Physiotherapists
  • Nurses, including the professional titles and competencies (specialisations) that they can acquire 
  • Nursing auxiliaries
  • Paramedical professions: audiologists and hearing-aid specialists, dieticians, occupational therapists, technical pharmaceutical assistant, speech-language pathologists, technologist in medical laboratory techniques, dental hygienist, orthoptists-optometrists, podiatrists, medical imaging technologist, patient transport service (PTS) drivers (no emergency transport)
  • Midwives

And do you have a Belgian diploma for that healthcare profession?

Contact

Call +32 2 553 1700, the number of the Government of Flanders, any working day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. or send an e-mail.