Academic recognition is a formal written confirmation of the value of a higher education diploma or another similar qualification, issued by an educational institution recognized by a competent state authority as part of the system of secular higher education of the country concerned.
The Recognition procedure is intended to help graduates of foreign higher education institutions who are willing to continue their education or to start work in Bulgaria.
The e-services portal and the unified information system facilitate the submission of documents and online tracking of the procedure.
We provide information on inquiries from citizens and institutions about the academic status of foreign higher education institutions and the legitimacy of diplomas issued by them, the level and nature of different degrees and other topical issues.
Section 1. WHICH DOCUMENTS CAN BE SUBMITTED FOR RECOGNITION?
Qualifications, certifying HIGHER EDUCATION at Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or without degree:
- issued by educational institutions, recognized by a competent national authority as part of the system of secular higher education of the country concerned;
- acquired in accordance with the higher education legislation of the country on the territory of which the education had been provided,
In order to be subject to academic recognition in Bulgaria, your qualification must provide academic rights in the country in which it is issued.
Which qualifications are subjects to negative recognition decision:
- Qualifications which do not formally confer higher education in the country in which they are issued;
- Qualifications, which do not meet the state requirements for acquiring higher education in Bulgaria;
- Qualifications, which are issued in violation of the legislation of the country in which the higher education institution is based or the legislation of the country on the territory of which the education had been provided.
The following types of documents are not allowed to assessment:
- 1. A document, that is not a diploma or another similar qualification for higher education, which had not been issued by an educational institution, recognized by a competent state authority as part of the system of secular higher education of the respective country.
- A diploma, issued by a foreign higher education institution, recognized by a competent state authority of the country in which the higher education institution is situated as part of its system of secular higher education, but the education had been provided in structures on the territory of another country, the creation of which and the operation of which violate the legislation of the corresponding country.
- A document certifying the completion of a higher education, which- after a verification- is found that had not been issued by the respective higher education institution.
Section 2. WHICH ARE THE COMPETENT RECOGNITION AUTHORITIES?
The recognition of higher education, acquired in foreign higher education institutions is carried out by different competent authorities depending on the purposes of recognition. The common regulatory framework for all recognition authorities is the Ordinance on Academic Recognition, while the specific administrative procedures are subject to internal regulations of the different authorities.
Ordinance on Academic Recognition (in Bulgarian)
2.1. I wish to continue my education in Bulgaria
If you wish to continue your education in Bulgaria, to apply for PhD studies or to complete a further education or training, the competent authority for the recognition of your foreign qualification is the Rector of the accredited Bulgarian higher education institution you have chosen to study in.
After selecting a higher education program and a specialty in an accredited Bulgarian higher education institution, you can apply directly to it for academic recognition.
2.2. I wish to pursue a non-regulated profession in Bulgaria
In case you wish to pursue a non-regulated profession in Bulgaria with your foreign higher education, you have direct access to the labor market, and you can contact directly the potential employer, who is competent to recognize your foreign qualification.
You can contact NACID if the potential employer or other Bulgarian authority explicitly requires from you a certificate for academic recognition, issued by our center.
The certificate for recognized higher education is an official written confirmation of the value of your foreign qualification in Bulgaria. It is intended to facilitate your access to the labor market rather than to permit it.
See Section III of NACID's Regulations (in bulgarian)
CONTINUE TO STAGE 3 from the right-hand side of the menu.
2.3. I wish to work in Bulgaria but my profession is regulated
What is a regulated profession?
“Regulated profession” is an activity or a set of activities of public importance and / or essential for the life and health of persons the exercise of which is determined by law, regulation or administrative provision for the possession of a specific professional qualification , capacity or membership in a state recognized professional organization.
The pursuing of a regulated profession, acquired outside Bulgaria, requires special recognition of the right to exercise it in Bulgaria. Recognition in these cases is in accordance with Directive 2005/36 / EC and the Law on the recognition of professional qualifications.
List of regulated professions in the Republic of Bulgaria
You can check which are the regulated professions in Bulgaria and which are the competent authorities, responsible for recognizing the right to exercise each regulated profession.
In alphabetical order
After you have clarified which is the competent authority, responsible for recognizing your regulated profession, you should contact it directly for recognition of the right to exercise the profession in Bulgaria.
Section 4. WHAT SET OF DOCUMENTS SHOULD I PRESENT TO NACID?
Citizens seeking academic recognition of higher education acquired in foreign higher education institutions need to submit the following documents at the Front office of NACID:
Filled-in Application Form for Academic Recognition , available online in
- Original and a copy of the higher education qualification or another similar document, issued by an educational institution recognized by a competent state authority as part of the system of secular higher education of the respective country. The diploma must be accompanied by a translation into Bulgarian by a so-called "Sworn translator". See section 3. from the right menu.
- Original and copy of the Diploma Supplement, as well as original and copy of a European Diploma Supplement if you have one.
The Diploma supplement, with the exception of the European Diploma Supplement, must be accompanied by a translation into Bulgarian by a so called "sworn translator". See section 3. from the right menu.
- Copy of identity document and a document certifying the change of the applicant's names if such a change has occurred.
Within 14 days following the submission of the documents, the originals can be received back from the applicants or their representatives.
NACID may also require additional documents which are relevant for the recognition sought. They must be submitted within the specified time (usually two months) from the date of receipt of the notice.
Some higher education institutions explicitly require your consent for NACID’s verification requests. In such cases, your assistance is obligatory. Our Front office experts will advise you when submitting the application.
Section 5. HOW CAN I SUBMIT MY APPLICATION?
The applications for academic recognition may be submitted by individuals or legal entities in three ways:
5.1. Personal submission of the application at the front office of NACID with an ID document.
You need to provide an original and a copy of the identity document. The original is returned immediately after comparing the data with the copy.
5.2. Submission of the application by an authorized person at the front office of NACID
In cases where the authorized persons are parents, children or spouse of the applicant, they can certify their status as legal representatives with a document certifying the civil status (birth certificate, family relationship certificate, etc).
Lawyers can certify their status as representatives with a power of attorney or a written power of attorney from citizens, for which no notary certification is required.
When the representatives are organizations (within the meaning of § 1, item 2 of the Administrative Procedural Code), the citizens are represented by a written power of attorney with a notary certification of the signature. When submitting an application, organizations are represented by:
- Representatives by law (with a copy of the certificate of current status);
- person authorized by a legal representative, with a written power of attorney with a notary certification of the signature (with a copy of a certificate of good standing).
If the name on the diploma is different from the name on the identity document, a document certifying the identity of the names must also be attached.
The power of attorney is valid only in the original.
Upon re-authorization, the power of attorney's authorization must explicitly state "TO RE-AUTHORIZE" or similar text.
5.3. Submission of the application electronically.
Only applications accompanied by all the necessary documents are accepted for recognition.
Section 7. HOW MUCH TIME WILL THE WHOLE PROCEDURE TAKE/LAST?
The normative period for processing the documents and taking a decision is 2 months from the date of submission of all necessary documents.
In cases where no additional documents are required, the period is about one month.
In cases where there are vague circumstances, additional information and/or documents are required from the applicant. They must be submitted no later than two months from the date of notification.
If necessary, a request for additional information may be sent to the higher education institution which had issued the higher education qualification or to the competent authorities of the country on the territory of which the higher education had been acquired.
Some foreign higher education institutions explicitly require your consent for NACID’s verifications. In such cases, your assistance is obligatory. Our Front office experts will advise you when submitting the application.
Section 8. WHAT ARE THE STAGES OF THE PROCEDURE?
The academic recognition procedure in NACID includes the following main stages:
- Verification of the academic status of the higher education institution that has issued the diploma and the completed higher education programme. Verification of the academic status of the institution conducting the training in cases where it is different from the higher education institution that issued the diploma.
- Verification of the authenticity of higher education qualifications.
- If any of the earlier verifications had been concluded with a negative result, the procedure will not continue, for which a written notification will be made to the applicant.
- Assessment of the compliance of the data from the presented diploma and diploma supplement with the state requirements for acquiring higher education in the Republic of Bulgaria. This is the actual assessment and recognition, and it is applicable for the diplomas, for which all previous verifications had finished positively.
- Adoption of a decision for recognition of the higher education degree with professional qualification if such is present, for Refusal of recognition or for termination of the procedure.
- Issuance of a legally binding decision: certificate for recognized higher education; decision for refusal; or a termination decision.
When making the final decision, the following indicators are taken into consideration:
- way of enrollment of students;
- duration of education;
- total study load of the subjects and/or credits gained;
- the proportion of the courses and their study load which provide the fundamental, the special and the specializing learning;
- the proportion of the courses and their study load which provide the theoretical and practical learning;
- the learning outcomes as a set of knowledge, skills and competences acquired during the period of education;
- way of graduation.
The assessment takes into account the acquired educational and qualification degree as certified by the documents submitted by the applicant.
When there is no educational degree specified in the documents, the recognition authority shall decide which educational and qualification degree corresponds to the acquired higher education according to the Bulgarian legislation.
A detailed scheme for the recognition procedure
Section Contact information about Academic Recognition
Section Contact information
Address NACID, Front Office
50, Dr. G.M. Dimitrov Blvd.
1125 Sofia, Bulgaria
phone (+359 2) 817 38 31
(+359 2) 817 38 36
(+359 2) 817 38 49
mobile (+359) 0700 44 849 (info-centre)
A telephone call – at the cost of an inner-city call from anywhere in the country.
Mobile phone call – at the standard tariff of the respective mobile operator.
Business hours Each working day from 08:00 until 18:30.