Exercising a healthcare profession with a foreign diploma from inside the EEA or equivalent in the EEA

When to request?

Request recognition for your healthcare profession from the Government of Flanders, the Agency for Care and Health if you:

  1. have a diploma for your healthcare profession and wish to permanently exercise your profession in Belgium.
  2. obtained your diploma in one of the countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. The European Economic Area is composed of the 28 Member States of the European Union and Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.
  3. or your diploma is deemed to be equivalent in a country of the EEA and you are a European national.  

If you have a specialisation within your profession, first request recognition for your basic profession and thereafter for your specialisation.
In Belgium, dentists always need a specialisation: as general dentist, orthodontist or periodontist.

How to apply?

Send the application form for your profession by post or by e-mail to the Agency for Care and Health:

Attach these documents. You must have them translated into Dutch:

  • A covering letter
  • A copy of your diplomas, certificates or other evidence of your professional training
  • The official programme of your training
  • A copy (front and reverse) of your identity card or passport
  • A certificate of good character issued by the competent authorities of the Member State of origin or the Member State where you last resided. This certificate must be less than three months old
  • Your Curriculum Vitae, primarily about your professional activities and with mention of the country (or countries) in which you engaged in these activities and/or with employment certificates
  • A certificate of professional good behaviour issued by the professional organisation involved (only for the persons involved). This certificate must be less than three months old
  • A certificate of conformity with European Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications issued by the competent authority of the country where the diploma was obtained (this concerns diplomas obtained within the EU and is generally issued by the Ministry of Public Health).  If your diploma is not in conformity with the European directive, please send us certificates of work experience

You can send your application by e-mail: (Attention: in 1 .pdf document, which is preferably smaller then 10 MB)

- to internationaal.niet-universitair@vlaanderen.be for the following health care professions:

  • nursing auxiliaries
  • midwives
  • nurses
  • special professional titles and special professional competences for nurses
  • paramedical professions
  • physiotherapists
  • special professional competences for physiotherapists

- to internationaal.universitair@vlaanderen.be for the following health care professions:

  • doctors (basic medical diploma)
  • doctor-specialists
  • doctors in general medicin
  • dentists
  • dentist-specialist
  • clinical psychologists
  • clinical special needs education
  • pharmacists

If you send your application by e-mail, you don't need to send a copy by post.

If you don't send your application by e-mail, you can send your application by post to:

Agency for Care and Health
Flemish Care Fund and Care Professions Division
Koning Albert II-laan 35 box 38
1030 Brussels

The handling of your application

  1. We first check whether your file is complete. If your file is not complete, we will contact you by e-mail or letter and tell you what you still have to send in.
  2. As soon as your file is complete, you can receive the recognition. 
    • For some professions and titles, recognition is granted immediately, without the file having to be assessed by a committee. That is the case for the professions and titles that are included in the European Directive 2005/36/EC
    • For certain professions we submit the file for advice to the recognition committee of the profession. The committee assesses your file and gives a positive or negative advice, or asks for further information. The committee can also invite you for an interview.
  3. We will send you a ministerial recognition decision or the negative opinion of the recognition committee by post.
  4. Following recognition, the Federal Public Service Health will send you a visa. You don't have to request it. The visa is the certificate that gives you approval to exercise the healthcare profession in Belgium.

European national: definition

  1. Anyone who has the nationality of one of the 28 Member States of the European Union, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.
  2. Anyone who has the status of refugee. 
  3. You are also regarded as a national holding a residence permit for long-term residents for one of these countries or a residence permit as a family member of a European national.
  4. If you are married/legally cohabiting with a European national and established in Belgium, you also qualify as a European national.

Call +32 2 553 1700, the number of the Government of Flanders, any working day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. or send an e-mail.