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What students in Colombia must do to legalize their university degree in another country

December 22, 2021

Original Article:

The original article requires translation.

Each government must confirm the suitability of the person requesting recognition of their degree obtained in Colombia, and although these procedures vary between countries, there are some basic requirements that must be met in Colombia.

First, it is necessary to make the distinction between validation and homologation . According to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Education, recognition is the recognition that the government makes of higher education degrees granted by a legally recognized foreign institution; while the homologation corresponds to the recognition of credits or subjects, without necessarily mediating a title.

For the Ministry of Education , the objective of this recognition is that the diplomas acquire the same academic and legal effects as those granted in the country with which Colombia signs the agreement, without this exonerating the professional from complying with the requirements that a nation requires him to practice professionally in its territory.

Steps to follow

1. Present the following documents to the Ministry of National Education :

  • Original of the diploma (with the respective registration)
  • Original of the degree certificate
  • Original of the grades (with hourly intensity, average and rating system or scale)
  • Academic program endorsed by the higher education institution where he studied
  • Payment receipt issued by the Ministry of National Education
2. Fill out the application for the virtual process of the apostille or the legalization of educational documents on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The cost of the apostille is 31 thousand pesos and that of the legalization of 21 thousand. Remember to check prices and directions on the official page . 

3. Official translation into the respective language. The directory of official translators can be consulted on the page of the Colombian Ministry of Relations in its procedures section

4. Complete the request for the virtual apostille or legalization process on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the official translations with acknowledgment of the signature of the official translator before a Notary Public. They are apostilled or legalized upon the signature of the Notary.

5. Legalize before the embassy or consulate of the respective country in Colombia, the procedure carried out in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, if it is not by apostille. This last procedure may have some cost depending on what is established by the embassy or consulate.

Countries that recognize Colombian titles

Argentina: for postgraduate courses and practice of the profession in all areas.

Spain: for postgraduate studies in science, technology and culture.

Bulgaria: for postgraduate and professional practice in all areas.

Uruguay: for postgraduate and professional practice in all areas.

Mexico: for postgraduate and professional practice in the areas of culture, education and science.

Germany: for postgraduate and professional practice in education, economics, law, administration, basic sciences, engineering, architecture, geology, medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, agronomy, zootechnics and psychology.

Validation of titles in Colombia

Colombians who have studied abroad and foreigners who want to make their degree valid in Colombia, must also carry out a series of procedures established by the Ministry of National Education.

  1. Written application in the format provided by the ministry.
  2. Authenticated photocopy of the diploma of the title to be validated, which must be legalized through diplomatic channels or with an apostille stamp. If it is in a language other than Spanish, they must have the respective official translation and its diplomatic legalization.
  3. Original or authenticated copy of the qualification certificate or the study plan issued by the institution, duly legalized, through diplomatic channels or with an apostille stamp. If it is in a language other than Spanish, they must have the respective official translation and its diplomatic legalization.
  4. Photocopy of the identity document (citizenship, immigration, passport).
  5. Receipt of consignment of the corresponding rate.
Degrees in the health area additionally require:

a) Academic Pensum of the programs studied, relating theoretical content and practical activities.

b) List of academic and care activities that the applicant developed during the program.

c) For the medicine program, certification of completion of the rotating internship year (or its equivalent in the country of origin).

d) The validation of a postgraduate degree in the area of ​​medicine must attach that the undergraduate degree granted by a national or foreign institution, in which case, it must be validated.

On the other hand, undergraduate degrees in law must prove the approval of specific studies of Colombian legislation in Colombian Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Special Procedures (Civil, Administrative, Criminal and Labor). These studies may be completed in a Colombian higher education institution that has the qualified registration of the law program, or be accredited with the results obtained in the superior quality exam-ECAES.


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