Exercising a healthcare profession with a diploma from outside the EEA

If you wish to permanently exercise a healthcare profession in Belgium and you have a diploma from outside the EEA, your options are the following:

  • if you are an EU national and your diploma is deemed to be equivalent (academic equivalence) in one of the countries of the EEA and if you’ve worked for at least 3 years in this country of the EEA, request recognition of your profession from the Agency for Care and Health
  • if you aren’t an EU national, but you’re equal to an EU national, and your diploma is deemed to be equivalent (academic equivalence) in one of the countries of the EEA and if you’ve worked for at least 3 years in this country of the EEA, request recognition of your profession from the Agency for Care and Health
  • in all other cases you first request the specific recognition of your diploma from NARIC (National Academic Recognition Information Centre) of the Government of Flanders. Then you request a visa from the Federal Public Service Health. This is the case for the following titles:
    • doctors (basic medical diploma)
    • dentists
    • pharmacists
    • clinical psychologists
    • clinical special needs education (clinical orthopedagists)
    • nurses
    • midwives
  • for some titles it is necessary to submit an application for professional recognition after obtaining the specific recognition from NARIC (National Academic Recognition Information Centre) of the Government of Flanders. This is the case for the following titles:
    • paramedical professions: audiologists and hearing-aid specialists, dieticians, occupational therapists, technical pharmaceutical assistant, speech-language pathologists, technologist in medical laboratory techniques, dental hygienist, orthoptists-optometrists, podiatrists, medical imaging technologist, patient transport service (PTS) drivers (no emergency transport)
    • physiotherapists
    • Nursing auxiliaries
  • if you also possess a specialist diploma, you do need to send a demand for recognition of this diploma to the Agency for Care and Health after you've received the visa for your basic diploma from the Federal Public Service Health. This is the case for the following titles:
    • general practitioners (GP), specialist physicians
    • specialist dentists (general dentists, orthodontists, periodontologists)
    • hospital pharmacists
    • clinical psychologists and clinical special needs education (clinical orthopedagists)
    • specialist nurses
    • specialist physiotherapists