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Recognition of foreign professional qualifications in Estonia

If you have acquired your education or worked in another member state of the European Union or the European Economic Area, and wish to work in Estonia, check whether your qualification (education and/or work experience) is also recognised in Estonia. Work traditions and education systems may differ in member states. Therefore, the professional qualification you have acquired abroad may differ from the requirements set for similar jobs in Estonia. This means that before commencing work in Estonia, you should check if, and to what extent, the foreign professional qualification is recognised locally.

Is my professional qualification recognised in Estonia?

Check whether the position you wish to apply for in Estonia is in the list of regulated professions. If so, you need to undergo the recognition process for the professional qualification before commencing work.

Regulated professions or professional activities are those that require specific education or work experience, as set in Estonian legislation.

How are professional qualifications recognised?

If you wish to commence work in a regulated profession in Estonia, you must apply for recognition of your qualification. To do so, contact the competent authority in your area of activity. The competent authority decides whether the education or work experience you have acquired abroad is sufficient for working in the same profession in Estonia. If so, the professional qualification you have acquired abroad will be recognised, and you will be able to work in the regulated profession. If there are substantial differences (e.g. in the content of the education or professional activity), the competent authority may impose compensation measures (adaptation period or aptitude test).

The competent authority will let you know which documents are necessary for the recognition procedure. If necessary, the competent authority has the right to require translations of documents.

Receiving a decision may take up to 4 months. Read more about the recognition decision.

Applying for a job abroad

If you wish to commence work in another state of the European Union or European Economic Area, on the basis of education or work experience that you have acquired in Estonia, you should first find out whether the profession is regulated in that member state. If the profession or professional activity is regulated in the receiving county, you will need to apply for recognition of your professional qualification there.

If you wish to know what is required for the recognition of your education and/or work experience in a particular country, contact the contact point of that country.

In order to assist the free movement of professionals in the European Union and the European Economic Area, Directive 2005/36/EC has been created for the recognition of professional qualifications. In Estonia, the recognition of professional qualifications is coordinated by the Ministry of Education and Research.

Text made by Ministry of Education and Research
Last modified 22. February 2016

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