Recognition of secondary school graduation diplomas (baccalauréat/maturité)

In order to carry out certain professions in Luxembourg (for teaching, the Bar or medical professions), an official approval of diplomas may be necessary.

But in order to apply for an approval of a higher education diploma in Luxembourg, candidates must first apply for the equivalence of their foreign secondary school graduation diploma to the Luxembourg secondary school graduation diploma (bac).

The application for recognition as equivalent of a secondary or professional school graduation diploma obtained abroad must be sent to the Department for the recognition of diplomas (Service de la reconnaissance des diplômes).

Who is concerned

The recognition of the equivalence of a secondary school graduation diploma obtained abroad in relation to the Luxembourg secondary school graduation exam (bac) may be required for:

  • people who want to apply for the approval of their higher education diploma in Luxembourg in order to carry out a specific profession (e.g.: physician, dentist, veterinary or pharmacist, who have obtained their diploma outside the EU, and teacher or lawyer who have obtained their diploma outside Luxembourg);
  • for people who wish to validate their diploma in order to enter the Luxembourg job market or study in Luxembourg;

The following diplomas are normally recognised as equivalent to the Luxembourg "baccalauréat":

  • A-Level (United Kingdom);
  • Abitur/Reifeprüfung (Germany, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, etc.);
  • Baccalauréat (France);
  • Bachillerato (Spain);
  • Certificat d’enseignement secondaire supérieur (Belgium);
  • High School diploma (United States, Canada);
  • Maturità (Italy, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, etc.);
  • Maturité (Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Switzerland, etc.);
  • Selectividad (Spain), etc.

The recognition of equivalence of a secondary school diploma obtained abroad is not necessary for its registration in the register of certificates.

Prerequisites

Diplomas which have been obtained in a signatory country to the Paris and/or Lisbon conventions on the mutual recognition of diplomas

Secondary school diplomas delivered in a country signatory of a convention on the mutual recognition of diplomas are in principle recognised in Luxembourg, provided that:

  • they attest a schooling period of at least 12 consecutive years of successful studies;
  • and they provide access to higher or university education in the country of origin.

However, it is important to stress that the recognition of diplomas is not automatic and is decided upon on a case by case basis.

List of the countries who have signed the Paris and/or Lisbon conventions of the Council of Europe on the mutual recognition of diplomas:

  • Member States of the European Council: Albania, Germany, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Moldavia, Montenegro, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Romania, United Kingdom, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine;
  • Non-Member States of the European Council: Australia, Belarus, Israel, Kazakhstan, New-Zealand, Kyrgyzstan, Holy See (Vatican City).

Diplomas obtained in a country which has not signed these conventions

Secondary school diplomas delivered in a country which is not a signatory party to an agreement on the mutual recognition of diplomas are only recognised in Luxembourg if they meet the conditions required from the signatory countries (see above) and provided the applicant holds:

  • either a diploma issued by a recognised higher education establishment located in an EU Member State which provides proof of successful completion of a higher education study cycle of at least 3 years (bac+3, 180 ECTS credits in any subject);
  • or a formal registration for higher education studies in an EU Member State, and that the graduation exam covered the following subjects:
    • at least 2 languages (including French or German);
    • social sciences;
    • natural sciences;
    • mathematics;
    • technology;
    • fine arts and music;
  • or a diploma issued by a higher education establishment recognised by a third country which provides proof of successful completion of a higher education study cycle of at least 3 years (bac+3, 180 ECTS credits) and that the applicant obtained:
    • a level B2 language certificate under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, for Luxembourgish, French or German, or;
    • proof of 3 years of studies of one of the 3 aforementioned languages during the school years, or;
    • a certificate attesting that either the Luxembourgish, the French or the German language were one of the subjects passed at the secondary school graduation exam.

International Baccalaureate Diploma

The International Baccalaureate Diploma is recognised in Luxembourg provided that, in addition to the criteria defined by the International Baccalaurareate Organisation in Geneva, it meets the following conditions:

  • the International Baccalaureate exams must cover:
    • 2 languages (group 1: language A1, group 2: language A2) of which at least one must be:
      • either French;
      • or English;
      • or German;
    • one subject of each of the following disciplines:
      • group 3: "individuals and society": including history, geography, economics, philosophy, psychology, business and management;
      • group 4 "sciences": including biology, chemistry, physics;
      • group 5 "mathematics and computer science": mathematical studies standard level, mathematics SL, mathematics higher level, computer science;
    • and choose between:
      • either group 6 "the arts": including visual arts, music, theatre and film;
      • or a second subject chosen from groups 1 to 5.
  • at least 3 subjects must be studied to a higher level (HL), the others to a medium level (ML);
  • the education of the pupil must span over at least 12 years of primary and secondary studies;
  • during his studies, the pupil must have completed a study cycle of 4 years in a foreign language other than both A1 and A2 languages.
Failing this, the International Baccalaureate may be recognised in Luxembourg under the same conditions as the secondary school graduation diplomas obtained in countries that are not signatories of the Paris and/or Lisbon conventions (cf. above).

Costs

Applications for recognition of secondary school graduation diplomas are subject to the payment of a tax of:

  • EUR 75 for diplomas issued in a country signatory of the Paris and Lisbon conventions;
  • EUR 125 for diplomas issued in a country not signatory of the Paris and Lisbon conventions;
  • EUR 125 for diplomas issued by the IBO (international baccalaureate).

The payment of the tax is mandatory in order for the application to be processed, but does not mean that the application will be successful. For each application, the conditions of recognition of equivalence must be met.

The tax must be paid by transfer on the bank account of the Registration Duties, Estates and VAT Authority (Administration de l'enregistrement, des domaines et de la TVA):
IBAN LU13 1111 0011 4679 0000,
BIC code: CCPLLULL
Communication: Taxe reconnaissance des diplômes, MENJE, Surname of the applicant, Date of the application

The applicant must join the proof of payment to the application.

In case of a rejection of recognition of equivalence the tax is not reimbursed.

A copy of the certificate of equivalence may be issued subject to the payment of a EUR 10 tax.

How to proceed

Diplomas which have been obtained in a signatory country to the Paris and/or Lisbon conventions on the mutual recognition of diplomas

To have their secondary school graduation diploma recognised as equivalent, applicants must send a complete application file by post to the Department for the recognition of diplomas, including:

  • the application for recognition of the diploma, specifying the reason for the application;
  • a curriculum vitae stating, among other information, their school curriculum and their date and place of birth;
  • a copy of a valid identity document (ID, passport, residence permit);
  • a copy of their diplomas/certificates;
  • a proof of payment of the tax.

All copies of documents issued by countries outside the EU must be certified true to the original by a competent authority (communal administration, embassy or consulate).

If the documents are not drawn up in German, French or English, an official translation by a sworn translator must be attached. The translator's stamp must be affixed partly on the translation and partly on the source document. Each document must be signed by the translator.

Diplomas obtained in a country which has not signed these conventions

To have their secondary school graduation diploma recognised as equivalent, applicants must send a complete application file by post to the Department for the recognition of diplomas, including:

  • the application for recognition of the diploma, specifying the reason for the application;
  • a curriculum vitae stating, among other information, their school curriculum and their date and place of birth;
  • a copy of a valid identity document (ID, passport, residence permit);
  • a copy of their diplomas/certificates;
  • a residence certificate attesting residence in one of the EU Member States;
  • only for beneficiaries of the international protection status: a document attesting that the applicant was granted this status in Luxembourg;
  • proof of payment of the tax.

Applicants must also attach:

  • a certificate/diploma attesting the successful completion of at least 3 years of higher education or university studies in an EU Member State, or;
  • proof of registration in a higher education establishment or university in an EU Member State, as well as the list of the subjects passed for the secondary school graduation diploma (e.g. transcript of grades), or;
  • a diploma issued by a higher education establishment recognised by a third country which provides proof of successful completion of a higher education study cycle of at least 3 years (bac+3, 180 ECTS credits) together with:
    • a level B2 language certificate for Luxembourgish, French or German under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, or;
    • proof of 3 years of studies of one of the 3 aforementioned languages during the school years, or;
    • a certificate attesting that either the Luxembourgish, the French or the German language were one of the subjects passed at the secondary school graduation exam.

All copies of documents issued by countries outside the EU must be certified true to the original by a competent authority (communal administration, embassy or consulate).

If the documents are not drawn up in German, French or English, an official translation by a sworn translator must be attached. The translator's stamp must be affixed partly on the translation and partly on the source document. Each document must be signed by the translator.

Granting the recognition

In the event of missing documents, the Department for the recognition of diplomas sends a letter to the applicant asking him to complete his application. If the applicant fails to send the missing documents within 3 years, he will have to submit a new application.

Once the application is complete, the Department for the recognition of diplomas sends a response within 2 to 6 weeks.

In the event of an emergency, the applicant may prefer to send an application for the recognition of the level of studies without final diploma (the applications are processed more quickly).

The applicant can, with the help of a lawyer, file a judicial appeal before the administrative tribunal in Luxembourg against the decision taken by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth (ministère de l'Education nationale, de l'Enfance et de la Jeunesse - MEN).

More information can be provided by the Department for the recognition of diplomas (email: reconnaissance@men.lu).

Forms / Online services

Demande de reconnaissance de diplôme de type baccalauréat / diplôme de maturité

Les informations qui vous concernent recueillies sur ce formulaire font l’objet d’un traitement par l’administration concernée afin de mener à bien votre demande.

Ces informations sont conservées pour la durée nécessaire par l’administration à la réalisation de la finalité du traitement

Les destinataires de vos données sont les administrations compétentes dans le cadre du traitement de votre demande. Veuillez-vous adresser à l’administration concernée par votre demande pour connaître les destinataires des données figurant sur ce formulaire. Conformément au règlement (UE) 2016/679 relatif à la protection des personnes physiques à l'égard du traitement des données à caractère personnel et à la libre circulation de ces données, vous bénéficiez d’un droit d’accès, de rectification et le cas échéant d’effacement des informations vous concernant. Vous disposez également du droit de retirer votre consentement à tout moment.

En outre et excepté le cas où le traitement de vos données présente un caractère obligatoire, vous pouvez, pour des motifs légitimes, vous y opposer.

Si vous souhaitez exercer ces droits et/ou obtenir communication de vos informations, veuillez-vous adresser à l’administration concernée suivant les coordonnées indiquées dans le formulaire. Vous avez également la possibilité d’introduire une réclamation auprès de la Commission nationale pour la protection des données ayant son siège à 1 Avenue du Rock'n'Roll, L-4361 Esch-sur-Alzette.

En poursuivant votre démarche, vous acceptez que vos données personnelles soient traitées dans le cadre de votre demande.

Who to contact

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