Step 1 Make sure that your document can be recognized
First of all, make sure that your document can be recognized.
Which types of documents can be recognized?
Only the documents of achievement for basic, secondary or tertiary professional education can be recognized. Only such foreign school documents or certificates can be recognized that prove the completion of the basic, secondary or tertiary professional level of education. This education must have been obtained in a school that is in the country of origin accredited by local the Ministry of Education.
Such documents as certificates of qualification, retraining course certificates, etc., can not be recognized. School reports issued by schools not accredited by the Ministry of Education in the country of your origin can also not be recognized.
Step 2 Find out where to apply for recognition
The office where you apply for recognition is commonly called the recognition authority (uznávací orgán). Recognition authorities are education departments in each regional authority (krajský úřad). In Prague it is Prague City Hall (Magistrát Hlavního města Prahy).
Which recognition authority (regional authority or local council/townhall) am I supposed to contact?
What to do if I am not a resident in the Czech republic?
According to the Ministry of Education's interpretation of effective legislation it is not currently possible to determine which regional Department of Education is "locally responsible" for processing applications for applicants with no address in the Czech Republic and because of that it is impossible to process the application at all (see http://www.msmt.cz/vzdelavani/skolstvi-v-cr/nostrifikace-uznani-zahranicniho-zakladniho-stredniho-a).
However by 1st October 2020 the novelized School law comes into effect which - again - makes applying from abroad possible. The application will automatically be processed by whichever regional Department of Education it will be filed to. ( §108 of the School Law now states: „In case it is not possible to determine the locally responsible regional authority (...), it will be determined by the place where the application was filed")
Step 3 Make sure you have all required documents.
Which documents do I need to enclose with the application for recognition?
Here we present the list of required documents as mentioned on official websites of regional authorities and on the application form. Upon opening the appropriate section, you can find a detailed explanation of the term, a description of how the documents should look and advice as to how to get them.
1. Completed application form
Download the application form from the websites of the regional authority where your legalization will be processed. The list of the regional authorities can be found here.
2. Certified copy of legalized foreign school report/diploma prepared by a Czech notary (notář) and translated by the Czech court interpreter (soudní tlumočník)
You are NOT supposed to surrender the original diploma/school final report but a copy. It must be a copy of the diploma that has been legalized in the country where it was issued. Authenticity of the copy must be certified by a Czech notary and the document has to be translated into the Czech language by the Czech court interpreter.
3. Certified copy of the legalized list of school subjects (mathematics, physics, English language etc.) with the number of hours prepared by the Czech notary and translated by the Czech court interpreter.
As well as the documents/diplomas, the list of subjects is supposed to be legalized. With the application you are submitting a COPY certified by the Czech notary and a certified COPY of the translation prepared by the Czech court interpreter. Proceed in the same way with the copy of the translated diploma as you did with the diploma itself.
What is the list of school subjects with the number of hours?
It is the list of subject/courses that you have completed during your study. The number of hours refers to the number of hours/time spent on learning the subject/course throughout your entire study.
What is the appropriate form of the subject list with the number of hours?
This document does not have a prescribed form. It should include the list of all subjects which you have studied (during the study certified by your diploma). For each subject, it should be specified how many school hours were devoted to the subject. It can be, for example, the school curriculum certified by the school which indicates what subjects were taught and how many hours they were given.
If you are not sure that your list of subjects meets the requirements, you can contact the competent regional authority officers and consult with them about possible ambiguities to avoid confusion.
4. Proof that the school which issued your diploma/school report is integrated in the education system of your country.
The school which issued your diploma has to be an institution accredited by the ministry of education of the same country/state where it is situated. In most cases it is apparent from the diploma. In case it is not clear from the document, you should ask the ministry of education in your country for the certificate that your school is accredited within your country‘s educational system.
5. Proof of payment of administrative fee: 1000 CZK
The payment of administrative fee can be made by bank transfer or in cash at the cash desk of the regional authority (in Prague at Magistrát hlavního města Prahy).
When transferring money from a foreign account you should pay attention to the amount which, after the conversion, must be exactly 1000 CZK. If the amount transferred is different, the regional authority can not accept the payment for the recognition procedure and the application shall be considered as null and void. The regional authority officers recommend paying the administration fee directly at the cash-desk of the regional authority.
6. Identity document of the applicant
A passport or ID card can serve as an identity document.
7. Proof of a place of stay in the Czech Republic
The proof of a place of stay can be served by, e.g. a lease agreement or a copy of passport with the stamp of the Alien Police referring to your place of stay.
If you don't come from an EU country you must report within three days after your arrival to the Alien Police division of the regional police force and report your place of stay. You can not report to any other regional police division. You must always report to the regional police division covering the municipality where you will be staying.
You can also fulfill your reporting obligation within the same period at the Ministry of the Interior (Departme
nt for Asylum and Migration Policy) offices. The Alien police of Department for Asylum an Migration Policy officer will stamp your passport. With the application for recognition of your diploma you will enclose a copy of your passport with the stamp given by the Alien Police or Department for Asylum and Migration Policy. The list of the offices of Alien Police and Departments for Asylum and Migration Policy of Ministry of Interior can be found here.
If you come from an EU country, you are supposed to report your stay within 30 days after your arrival in the Czech Republic. The reporting place is the Department for Asylum and Migration Policy (Ministry of Interior).
What to do when I don't have an official place of stay in the Czech Republic?
In case you are not officially registered to a residence in the Czech Republic, contact any regional authority. The regional authority will contact the Ministry of Education to determine the local competent recognition authority. In other words the Ministry of Education, at the request of the regional authority which you contacted, will determine a regional authority responsible for complying your application for recognition.
What do I do when I can not obtain a diploma/school report or a list of subjects with the number of hours?
If you don't posses the required document you can not apply for recognition.
The only exception is if you are holding a subsidiary protection status or you are granted asylum in the Czech Republic. Then you can replace the missing documents with a declaration of honour.
Step 4 Submit the application
Submit the application with all attachments at the regional authority which you looked up in step 2 (according to your place of stay).
You can submit your application with the required documents in 3 different ways.
Choose the way:
The easiest and surest way is to appear at the competent regional authority and submit the application in person. The regional authority officer can then check your application with all attachments and point out possible shortcomings.
2. Through your representatives who have your official authorization (power of attorney) to act on your behalf
Your application can be submitted by your representative who is empowered by you to represent you in the process of recognition. The authorization of your representative must be demonstrated by official power of attorney in writing. power of attorney template
The form necessary for appointment of your representative you can find here.
3. Submit by mail/correspondence
Theoretically you can also submit your application by mail. You are supposed to collect all required documents and send them by mail (not e-mail) to the competent regional authority. The regional authority officers do not recommend this way. If you decide on this possibility, please, contact the officers of the regional authority and consult with them on the situation. There are also extra expenses for postage (mail service),
Step 5. Wait for the execution of your request
At the moment you submit a complete application with all required documents, the period of processing your request begins. If your application is not complete, the recognition authority will call upon you to remedy the deficiencies and the period for processing your request will cease to run.
How long is the period for processing the recognition application?
The time-limit for processing the request given by law is 30 days. In difficult and complex cases, the time-limit can be prolonged to 60 days. After submitting the application you need to wait for the observations that the competent authority is supposed to file in the set period. We can recommend you to pay attention to the mail coming to the address that you put in the application as your contact address. You can also authorize a representative who will receive your mail and inform you about it. The authority may also ask you to supplement the document.
You can not speed up the procedure by further inquiry about the state of the process. Contact the authority only if you have not received the decision within the 30 day period.
What is happening during the process?
Regional authority officers are comparing the list of subjects you studied incl. the number of hours with the curriculum of the Czech school.
Here you can find a detailed diagram of the Czech education system.
The curriculum and number of hours differs according to the studying program that you studied.
Recognition bound by an international agreements
If you completed your education in countries which have signed a bilateral agreement on recognition with the Czech republic (Slovakia, Hungary, Germany, Poland, Slovenia), a foreign school reports the content of your study program as equal to the Czech education certificates and the number of hours will not be compared. After submitting all required documents, the Regional Authority will issue a certificate recognizing the equivalency of the foreign school report in the Czech Republic. Bilateral agreements, nevertheless, do not cover all types of education. If you received your education in one of the mentioned countries, you should make sure which types of education the agreement covers. More details can be found here.
What may be the result of my request?
1. Successful result
If the content and scope of your study program does not essentially differ from the curriculum of similar program in the Czech Republic, your application will be successful. Within 30 days from the submission of your application to the Regional authority, you will receive a decision and a recognition supplement to your diploma/school report. Your education is then officially considered as equal to the same type of education in the Czech Republic and your diploma can be used as a required document of education, eg. for the university admission process.
2. nostrification examination
If the Regional Authority officers find during the recognition procedure that the content and scope of education completed in a foreign school partially differs, you will be ordered to perform a nostrification examination. The nostrification examination will compensate the difference in the subjects or number of hours.
3. Negative decision / application rejected
If your education significantly differs from similar study programs in the Czech Republic your application may be rejected.
What shall I do if my application has been rejected?
If you receive a negative decision, within 15 days from the date of receipt of the notification you may appeal the decision to the higher authority of the regional authority or City Hall, which is the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic. You will submit your appeal to the regional authority or City Hall which originally proceeded your request.
What to do if I do not succeed with my appeal?
If you do not succeed with your appeal against the negative decision, you may study the program once more in the Czech Republic.