Diploma Recognition in France

When relocating to France for work or studies, foreigners may need to have their higher education diploma recognized (such as completion of a bachelor’s degree, etc.). Universities need to assess the level of knowledge of prospective students for continued education, while employers need to verify the qualifications of professionals before offering them a position.

Educational documents are not always equivalent even within the European Union, let alone from institutions in third countries. This is why many EU countries have adopted rules for evaluating diplomas of foreign nationals obtained in their countries.

In this article, we will explain how to obtain diploma recognition in France.

Previously, we discussed the potential earnings in French companies that immigrants can expect.


In France, there is no legal principle of diploma equivalence, as in Germany, where documents from certain foreign universities are equated with higher education obtained in the country.

In France, to confirm the presence of relevant education, one must obtain a certificate of comparability (French: attestation de comparabilité). This document compares the foreigner’s higher education diploma with the French education system based on parameters such as:

  • List of disciplines,
  • Amount of material covered,
  • Volume of practical sessions completed.
The only organization authorized to issue a certificate of comparability is the National Information Center for Academic Recognition of Foreign Diplomas, France Education International (ENIC-NARIC France Center). It is part of the ENIC-NARIC European network, with representations in most European countries.

If a comparison with the French system is not possible, this organization issues certificates indicating the period of education or training abroad, simply documenting this information.

The certificate of comparability includes the degree, specialty, institution, date, country, duration of study, and the corresponding level in the French education system.

It is worth noting that this document does not have real legal force and is not mandatory. In other words, you can find employment in France without confirming your diploma since the decision ultimately rests with the employer. The certificate simply helps to compare your education with the French system. However, this may also be necessary in specific cases. Read on to find out the details.

The ENIC Center is not authorized to recognize diplomas for professionals intending to work in regulated professions (in fields such as medicine, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, architecture, law, etc.). Such assessments can only be issued by specialized institutions (academy rectorate or relevant ministry).

Why is Recognition of a Foreign Diploma Necessary?

The certificate of comparability can be used when searching for employment. A prospective employer evaluates the presented qualifications or diploma as well as the professional level.

During interviews, candidates may be asked for the attestation de comparabilité to better understand and assess the candidate’s education and academic level.

The criteria for recognizing a diploma vary depending on the completed education and type of profession, as well as industry directives. Due to the numerous factors influencing evaluation, only a competent authority can translate foreign education into French.

In the general procedure, only higher education diplomas in a specialty allowing for unregulated professions are recognized. Applicants can apply for a certificate at the ENIC/NARIC Center. In most cases, candidates will receive the document without any issues.

This option is suitable, for example, for professionals in the IT field and other areas of activity that do not require special permits to work in France.

A regulated profession is one where access depends on having a specific qualification, and in some cases, a license, such as doctors, psychologists, or lawyers.

The suitability of a specialist for a regulated profession in France can be assessed in two ways:

  • The employer or company administration independently conducts a background check on the candidate for the vacant position.
  • The candidate submits a written request to the academy rectorate (which conducts training in the relevant profession), attaching a copy of their diploma and transcripts, a translation of the diploma and transcripts into French by a sworn translator, and details of all educational courses and internships. The request can also be sent to the relevant ministry.

For example, the recognition of medical diplomas in France is handled by the Ministère de la Santé, de la Famille et des Personnes Handicapées (Ministry of Labor, Health, and Solidarity).

How to Have a Diploma Recognized with ENIC-NARIC

Applicants with foreign academic or professional qualifications can submit an online application to obtain a certificate of comparability. It’s important to reiterate that this document does not have legal force on its own, meaning it does not serve as permission to engage in work activities in regulated professions.

Diplomas are not accepted if they are:

  • Issued by French institutions abroad,
  • If the total volume of education is less than 200 hours,
  • For certain regulated specialties (in fields such as medicine, psychology, law, etc.).

Additionally, certificates of language proficiency and documents of professional training without a university diploma are not accepted.

The evaluation of the situation (whether one is eligible for the certificate) costs 20 euros. An additional 70 euros are required for the actual document.

To request the certificate, you can do so online on the Center’s website. Prepare electronic versions of the following documents:

  • Identification document.
  • Original diploma and original transcript with grades. If a transcript is unavailable, a certificate from the university proving the duration of study is required.
  • Translation of the diploma and transcript into French. Only sworn translators (those who work with courts) are allowed. An apostille is not required.

Scanned documents should not exceed 2 MB. If additional documents are needed, you will be notified via email.

After the diploma is evaluated, a link to the certificate will be sent to the provided email. It should be saved onto your device as soon as possible since the link has a limited validity period.

If the Center rejects the application, the email will specify the reason for the rejection. However, there is a small consolation: if the certificate is not issued, payment is not required.

What to Do If Your Diploma Is Not Recognized?

An application may be rejected for several reasons: insufficient documentation, the diploma does not meet the Center’s parameters, or the education cannot be aligned with the French system. It’s important to note that rejection isn’t based on the origin of the diploma (EU country or non-EU country) but rather on its alignment with French standards.

In such cases, the final decision rests with the employer. You may need to prove your abilities through alternative means, such as work experience. Since the certificate is not mandatory, employers may hire foreigners without it.

Backup plan: even if your educational level is insufficient for employment, it might be enough for admission. Pursuing a master’s degree in France can enhance your job prospects with a local diploma.

In addition to confirming diplomas and job hunting, immigrants have many other concerns, such as finding a service for sending money transfers back home.

The Korona app facilitates money transfers from France to over 50 countries in Europe and Asia. Transfers with currency conversion are sent without any commission fees.


The application is simple and user-friendly, offering a choice of 13 interface languages and round-the-clock customer support via chat. Download the Korona app right now, available on the App Store and Google Play.

In our blog, we share more about life and education in Europe. Feel free to check it out and read other articles.