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Recognition of Foreign Qualifications

In today’s working world, a premium is placed on the mobility of workers and businesses. For many professions, workers require official recognition of their foreign qualifications in order to enjoy such mobility. Within the framework of the Swiss-EU Bilateral Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons, Switzerland works closely with the European Union and has adopted the EU’s system of mutual recognition of professional qualifications issued by EU member states. Nationals from non-EU states are also entitled to apply for recognition of their foreign qualifications in Switzerland.

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The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) is the national contact point for the recognition of professional qualifications in Switzerland and can answer general questions on this topic.

From 1 September 2013 two different procedures apply for EU/EFTA citizens:

  • Recognition procedure on establishment
    If you intend to settle in Switzerland permanently and pursue a regulated profession, you must have your qualifications recognised. Detailed information on how to do this and who to apply to can be found under the heading Recognition procedure on establishment.
  • Declaration procedure for service providers
    If you are an EU/EFTA citizen and want to provide services in a regulated profession in Switzerland for a maximum of 90 days per calendar year, you must first provide a declaration to SERI. You will find detailed information on the declaration procedure, who is responsible and what you have to do under the heading Declaration procedure for service providers.

Frequently received requests

Click on one of the links below for more information regarding your specific request.

I possess professional qualifications that I obtained in an EU/EFTA state and I would like to work more than 90 days per year in Switzerland (establishment)

The first step is to find out whether the profession that you want to carry out is regulated in Switzerland. Professions are regarded as regulated if legal and administrative regulations require that they may only be pursued by persons holding specific professional qualifications. You can find a list of professions/activities that are regulated in Switzerland under the heading Recognition procedure on establishment.

Contact the agency responsible for recognition in order to begin the recognition procedure. SERI is not the only competent recognition agency for professional qualifications. Depending on the procedure and the profession, other authorities in Switzerland may be responsible for recognising foreign qualifications.
If you work in a non-regulated profession, you do not require your professional qualifications to be recognised in order to work in Switzerland.

I possess professional qualifications that I obtained in an EU/EFTA state and I would like to work a maximum of 90 days per year in Switzerland

First of all you have to find out whether your profession is one that requires you to make a declaration to SERI. You will find a list of professions that require a declaration and information on the declaration procedure under the heading Declaration procedure for service providers.


I possess foreign qualifications that I obtained in a non-EU/EFTA state and I would like to work in Switzerland

The first step is to find out whether the profession that you want to carry out is regulated in Switzerland. Professions are regulated if their exercise is made dependent on holding a degree, diploma or other proficiency credentials and they are subject to statutory regulation. You can find a list of professions/activities that are regulated in Switzerland under the heading Recognition procedure on establishment.

Contact the agency responsible for recognition in order to begin the recognition procedure. SERI is not the only competent recognition agency for professional qualifications. Depending on the procedure and the profession, other authorities in Switzerland may be responsible for recognising foreign qualifications.
If you work in a non-regulated profession, you do not require your professional qualifications to be recognised in order to work in your chosen profession in Switzerland. Your employer is free to decide whether you work here or not.

I would like to know how to find work

For questions regarding how to find work or for individual occupational guidance, contact the occupational information office in the corresponding Canton or consult the European Job Mobility Portal (EURES).

I would like to use my Swiss qualification to work in an EU/EFTA member state

The first step is to determine whether the occupation or profession you would like to carry out is regulated in the EU/EFTA member state. Contact the corresponding agency or national contact point for information about how to obtain recognition of your Swiss qualifications in the host country.

I would like to use my Swiss qualification to work in a non EU/EFTA member state

In order to work in a non EU/EFTA member state, you will first need to gather information about the conditions and procedures applying to the recognition of qualifications in the host country. Contact the corresponding agency or the Swiss embassy in that country.

I would like to study in Switzerland

For information regarding admission requirements in Switzerland, contact the corresponding institution (school, university, university of applied sciences, etc.). Additional information can be found here:

I would like to study abroad

For information regarding admission requirements abroad, contact the corresponding institution (school, university, university of applied sciences, etc.). Additional information can be found here:




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