Nostrification: The recognition of foreign certificates – an application for certification of the recognition of the equivalence of a foreign certificate, and an application for a decision on the recognition of the validity of a foreign certificate (nostrification) in the Czech Republic.
A foreigner coming to the Czech Republic who wants to work or study here must apply for recognition of the education they have received up until now, which would allow them either to find qualified work or be accepted for further studies. This recognition of foreign education in the Czech Republic abides by the Education Act and implementation decree.
A graduate of a foreign educational establishment who receives a document certifying the attainment of a junior, senior or university education abroad may request the regional authorities with jurisdiction where they live to issue a certificate recognising the equivalence of the foreign certificate in the Czech Republic, or to issue a nostrification endorsement. A certificate on the recognition of the equivalence of a foreign certificate is issued in cases where the Czech Republic is bound by an international contract on the recognition of the equivalence of documents on education with countries where the foreign school is founded and recognised. If the Czech Republic is bound by an international contract on the recognition of the validity of documents on education with the country where the foreign school is founded and recognised, the regional authorities decide whether or not to issue a nostrification endorsement.
In both cases, an applicant who identifies themselves by the appropriate personal document (passport) submits, along with their application for the recognition of equivalence or nostrification, the originals or legally verified copies of documents on the attainment of an education (certificates) and a legalised translation of these documents into Czech. This translation must be carried out by a translator recorded in the list of translators held at one of the regional courts in the Czech Republic. Unless the appropriate international contract stipulates otherwise, the authenticity of the signatures and prints of the stamps on the originals of the foreign certificates, and the fact that the school is recognised in the country where the foreign certificate was issued, must be verified by the appropriate Czech embassy, and by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country in which the foreign school which issued the certificate has its registered office, or by a notary in the Czech Republic.
If the contents and extent of the subjects taught is not clear from the foreign certificate, the applicant submits the framework contents of the sphere in which they received their education.
The individual regional authorities and their education departments which are involved in the process of recognising documents on foreign education always explain to the appropriate applicant the concrete details of the application, depending on the country in which the applicant received their education.
After submitting an application for nostrification, the regional authorities always investigate whether or not the content and extent of the education in a foreign educational establishment is similar to the framework curriculum in the Czech Republic. If it does not differ substantially, the application is passed. If it differs only slightly, or if the applicant could not submit the framework contents of the sphere in which they received their education, the regional authorities order a nostrification examination. Only after this has been passed may the appropriate nostrification endorsement be issued. The regional authorities will reject the application if the content and extent of the education received in a foreign curriculum differ considerably from the equivalent framework curriculum in the Czech Republic. Given that the issue of a decision on nostrification is subject to the Rules of Administrative Procedures, there is a deadline of 30 days stipulated for the issue thereof. The Rules of Administrative Procedures do not relate to the issue of a certificate on recognition of equivalence, but in this case the application is processed within 30 days at the latest. In most cases, this deadline can be considerably reduced.
Alexej and Amir each came to the Czech Republic from a different country. Both had been educated in their own countries as locksmiths and both wanted to work for a Czech company and live in the Czech Republic. The only difference between them was that in the case of Alexej, the Czech Republic had a contract concluded with his home country on the recognition of the equivalence of documents on education, which was not the case with Amir. They filled out the application form and other requisite documents at the regional authorities. Because it was clear from the translation of both certificates that the content and extent of education did not substantially differ from the framework curriculum in the Czech Republic, it was not a problem to issue Alexej a certificate of equivalence and Amir a nostrification endorsement. The administrative fee was CZK 200.