Recognition of foreign university degrees in Austria
A university degree can be an important qualification if you want to work in Austria. There are, however, some issues you need to consider if you want a recognition (nostrification) of the university degree you acquired abroad.
EU, EEA countries, and Switzerland
You do not need a nostrification in Austria for university degrees that were acquired at a university in the EU, an EEA country, or in Switzerland. Instead, there is a quicker way to get your degree recognised (see Berufsanerkennungsverfahren - recognition guide).
Persons with a university degree from third countries need a nostrification in Austria. They need to apply to a public university, University of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule), or University of Teacher Education (Pädagogische Hochschule) for a nostrification of their university degree provided there is a comparable degree in Austria. The competent university checks within three months whether and until when any supplementary examinations are required.
First contact point
The National Academic Recognition Information Centre ENIC NARIC AUSTRIA at the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy (bmwfw) is the first contact point for all questions regarding the recognition of international university diplomas in Austria. Foreign university diplomas can be validated free of charge until 1 October 2016. This validation is often sufficient to prove and use your qualification on the Austrian labour market. You can submit an application online at Recognition Information Application System (AAIS).
Initial information in several languages is available from the Anlaufstellen für Personen mit im Ausland erworbenen Qualifikationen (AST), i.e. the contact points for persons with foreign diplomas, and from the Austrian Integration Fund (ÖIF).
In addition to getting your foreign university degree recognised you also need to apply for a Beschäftigungsbewilligung (work permit) in Austria.
Regulated and non-regulated professions
In Austria, there is a difference between regulated and non-regulated professions.
Regulated professions are, for example, architects, doctors, nurses, teachers, physiotherapists and some specific trades or businesses:
List of regulated professions in Austria including competent authorities: 121 KB PDF (German)
In addition to a recognition of your university degree, the competent interest groups, e.g. the Medical Association, check other relevant skills such as German language skills that are essential for the job. In this last step, it also matters whether you intend to be self-employed or employed.
For all non-regulated professions you can start your job search immediately provided you hold a validation of the ENIC NARIC AUSTRIA. Your prospective employer should recognise the validation of your university degree as "helpful expert report" and take a decision according to the specific job requirements.