Professional recognition of foreign qualifications
Purpose for the recognition of foreign professional qualifications
If profession is regulated in Latvia, and you have been educated and have rights to practice profession fully and independently in your home country and you want to practice it in Latvia.
A regulated profession is a profession with specific requirements for education and training and the professional qualifications are specified in the law “On the Regulated Professions and the Recognition of Professional Qualifications”.
The list of regulated professions in Latvia is also available in the Academic Information Center Database of regulated professions.
There are no education and training programs with a special structure as referred to in the Article 11(c)(ii) of EU Directive 2005/36/EC.
The European Professional Card
The European Professional Card is an electronic document equivalent to a decision on the recognition of professional qualifications. European Citizens who have rights to work in the EU country or with the EU obtained professional qualification in the profession of nurse, physiotherapist, pharmacist, mountain guide and real estate agent (the latter two are not regulated in Latvia, therefore no recognition of professional qualification is required for working in these professions in Latvia) can apply for the European Professional Card. In Latvia, applications for the European Professional Card are handled by institutions which issue certificates of recognition of professional qualifications, that is, in the nursing profession – Health Inspectorate, physiotherapist – Latvian Association of Professional Medical Organizations, pharmacist – Latvian Pharmacists Association.
The European Professional Card is available to both those professionals wishing to establish their own permanent professional activity as well as those wishing to provide a temporary service.
The fee for processing the application is 80EUR for persons who have obtained professional qualification in Latvia in order to apply for recognition of professional qualification in another EU country and 240 EUR for persons who have acquired professional qualification abroad in order to apply for recognition of professional qualification in Latvia.
Information on how to apply for a European Professional Card is available on the European Commission's My Europe website.
Documents to be submitted
If a person wishes to have his / her professional qualification recognized for permanent professional establishment in Latvia, the applicant shall submit the following documents to the information institution (in most cases AIC):
- Application (application is available here) (See Annex 1 Cabinet Regulation No. 827)
- A copy of ID document (passport – EU ID card)
- Documents approving education and professional qualification (Diplomas and their supplements (Transcripts)) etc.
- Documents from the home country on the rights to practice a profession in that country (certificates, licenses, registration, etc., if any are available)
- A document on professional experience (if any is available)
- For doctors, veterinarians, pharmacists, nurses, midwives, dentists, architects – certificate of a good standing (absence of any disciplinary action) from the home country
Documents (except ID document) should be translated into Latvian (notary certified translation is not required).
Documents issued outside the EU (except Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Moldova, Ukraine, Uzbekistan) must be legalized in the Republic of Latvia.
The cost for professional recognition procedure is EUR 240. Payment shall be made to the account of the Information Institution, unless the recognition of professional qualifications is requested through the European Professional Card Platform (in this case, the payment shall be made to the account of the body issuing the certificate of recognition of professional qualifications). If necessary, the institution that issues the decision on recognition of professional qualification can inform the applicant about additional costs regarding professional aptitude test, adaptation period or obtaining and evaluating additional information.
Ukrainian civilians leaving Ukraine or those who are not able to return to Ukraine because of armed conflict caused by Russian Federation have rights to an exemption from the fee (except the fee for recognition of professional qualification in health care professions).
Documents for recognition of professional qualifications for EU nurse, pharmacist, and physiotherapist can also be submitted electronically via the European Professional Card online platform.
Teachers who are using secure electronic signature issued in Latvia and have obtained professional qualification in the EU, other EEZ countries or Ukraine, can apply for recognition of professional qualification filling out e-application form here.
Procedure for the recognition of professional qualifications
The following procedure for the recognition of professional qualifications for permanent professional establishment has been set:
- The Information institution (see also database) receives the documents and examines them. If necessary, requests additional documents.
- The information institution prepares a statement about the education received and sends it to the competent body (see also database).
- Competent body – The institution, which issues the decision on recognition of professional qualification, compares the content of the professional qualification obtained abroad with the requirements set for a particular profession in Latvia, and makes a decision regarding the recognition of the professional qualification, partial recognition with additional requirements, non-recognition or recognition of a part of profession.
- The decision must be taken within 3 months (for EU doctors, veterinarians, pharmacists, nurses, midwives, dentists, architects), within 4 months for other professional qualifications acquired in the EU, within 6-12 months for professional qualifications obtained outside the EU since the submission of all documents to the information institution.
- The decision must be taken within 3 months, if applicant to recognition of professional qualification is Ukrainian civilian.
The decision may be appealed in accordance with the procedure prescribed by the Administrative Procedure Law.
Procedure for temporary service providers
If a citizen of a European Union or EFTA Member State who pursues a permanent professional activity in his or her country wishes to provide short-term services (of limited duration or occasional nature) in a regulated profession in Latvia, the procedure for recognition of professional qualifications described above does not have to be performed.
However, those working in certain professions must submit a declaration to the body issuing the certificate of recognition of professional qualifications. In some professions the provider of temporary professional services may be asked undergo a proficiency check before the provision of the temporary services for the first time (the list of such professions is available in the database of regulated professions, declaration form is available here).
Regulated professions in which the provider of temporary professional services does not have to submit a declaration: experts on buildings’ energy efficiency, rating, ship's engineer, master of the ship, radio specialist (in maritime), sworn advocate, assistant of sworn advocate, patent attorney, military paramedic, real estate appraiser, sworn auditor.
The relevant professions, the content of the declaration and the procedure for submission thereof are determined by the Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 47 of January 21, 2021 ”Procedures for Provision of Temporary Professional Services in a Regulated Profession in the Republic of Latvia”.
Above mentioned regulation sets a fee for the proficiency check, if it is performed – 100 EUR. Ukrainian civilians have rights to an exemption from this fee.
It is possible to apply for a temporary services in nurse, pharmacists or physiotherapist profession using the European Professional Card.
Medical practitioners, pharmacists, assistants to pharmacists, teachers (professional education, leisure education and foreign languages teachers), construction professionals and electrical engineers – Ukrainian civilians can also apply for the provision of temporary services in Latvia.
Law regulating the procedure for the recognition of foreign professional qualifications
The law “On the Regulated Professions and the Recognition of Professional Qualifications” and the regulations issued by the Cabinet of Ministers pursuant thereto regulate the recognition of professional qualifications acquired abroad. The law contains legal provisions arising from the Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005 on the recognition of professional qualifications.
The requirements for knowledge of the official (Latvian) language also apply to those who wish to practice in their professions in Latvia. These requirements are determined by the Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 733 of July 7, 2009 “Regulations Regarding the Extent of the Knowledge of the Official Language, the Procedures for Examining the Proficiency in the Official Language and the State Fee for Examining the Proficiency in the Official Language”. For instance, physicians, nurses, physician’s assistants, veterinarians, teachers, land surveyors, sports specialists must know Latvian language at the C1 level.
Further information on the procedure of recognition of professional qualifications can be obtained from the Academic Information Center, www.aic.lv or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further information on the legal framework of the recognition of professional qualifications can be obtained from the coordinator of the professional qualifications recognition. The Coordinator of the professional qualifications recognition approved by the Cabinet of Ministers is Inese Sture, Senior Expert of Policy Initiatives and Development Department, Ministry of Education and Science, e-mail: email@example.com.
More information on the recognition of professional qualifications in the European Union is available on the European Commission website.