If you are a non-EU citizen considering using your foreign degree to get enrolled into a study course or get a work permit in Italy, then you should know that you must validate your diploma in order use it in our country as a valid certificate. This is when you should apply for a Declaration of Value (DOV) at an Italian Embassy or Consulate.
What is the declaration of value?
The Declaration of Value is a document which attests that a degree earned in an educational system other than the Italian one, is valid on the Italian territory. It is released by the diplomatic representation in the foreign country and it is written in Italian.
In fact, you must know that educational or professional degrees earned abroad are not automatically recognized in Italy, meaning that they do not automatically have legal value in our country. Therefore, you might have to obtain a Declaration of Value, which has the sole purpose of describing the value acquired by the degree in the country of origin, to make it valid in the eyes of the Italian authorities as corresponding to an Italian one.
In what cases do you need a declaration of value?
You might need to obtain a declaration of value for the following purposes:
- Enrollment at universities, or pursuit of postgraduate studies (master’s degree, doctorate, etc.);
- Spending the degrees in dealings with public administrations;
- Obtainment a Blue Card work permit.
Here are some examples of competent Italian authorities, and reasons you might need a DOV:
- Educational institutions (in cases in which you still have to complete compulsory school studies);
- Territorial Departments (formerly Provincial Education Offices) for pre-university level degrees;
- Universities, in order to obtain the equivalence of foreign degrees;
- The Ministry of Education, University and Research for academic equivalency of foreign doctorates (Ph.D.);
- The various Ministries regarding professional recognition (for the purpose of practicing regulated professions);
- The local Italian Immigration Offices, in case you want to obtain a Blue Card work permit to get hired by an Italian employer.
Can I apply for an Italian visa without the Declaration of Value?
You cannot apply for a Blue Card work visa without a Declaration of Value. However, if you have graduated in Italy, you do not have to provide a DOV. Also, for other types of Italian work visas, the Declaration of Value is not required.
Finally, the DOV is not required if you obtained the title within an EU country. Please consider that the Italian Council of State has also pronounced itself on the matter (judgment no. 4613 of 4/9/07), noting that:
[…] with regard to qualifications obtained within the E.U., the Declaration of Value cannot be recognized as playing a decisive and discriminating role. In fact, the public administration must justify its decisions with regard to the educational content of the diploma. It has to do so not simply in relation to extrinsic aspects with respect to the professional skills and abilities attested by the qualification, as formally is the Declaration of Value, but on the basis of a substantial assessment, through the use (to be evaluated case by case by the person in charge of the procedure) of all the investigative tools normally available […]
How to get a declaration of value for Italy?
The Italian Diplomatic Representations abroad are the authorities responsible for releasing a declaration of value. In details, the application must be submitted at the Italian embassy or consulate competent for the area that is the closest to the city where the institution that issued the foreign title is located.
Here you can find a list of all the Italian embassies and consulates in the world.
What are the documents required for the Italian Declaration of Value?
To get the declaration of value, you must therefore first of all get in touch with the Italian diplomatic representation competent for the region where your degree was released. The Italian diplomatic representation will usually advise you on the needed documents and grant you an appointment to hand over your documents.
If the country where the title was issued has signed the Hague Convention (Oct. 5, 1961), the so-called Hague Apostille will need to be affixed to the title before applying for the Declaration of Value.
Furthermore, the degree must be translated into Italian language and the competent consulate usually have a list of official translators that you can contact to translate your certificate.
Finally, if you need to obtain the DOV for work reasons, note that usually the consulates require a letter of intent by your future employer, in which they confirm the willingness to hire you in the near future.
What is the timeframe for obtaining my Declaration of Value, and what should I do if this is delayed?
The processing time highly depends on the workload of the diplomatic representation. The possibility to expedite the process ultimately relies on the availability of the diplomatic officer.
In certain circumstances, for instance to enroll into some University courses, the DOV can be replaced by a Statement of Comparability released by the Information Centre on Academic Mobility and Equivalence (CIMEA).
What information does it hold?
The Declaration of Value includes the following details:
- Surname, first name, date and place of birth of the holder;
- Institution that issued the title;
- Date of issue of the title;
- Registration number;
- Educational institution in which you completed or attended the courses;
- Field, specialization, faculty;
- Length of the course of study;
- Overall final examination average;
- Grade system in force;
- Qualifying profession following the conclusion of the studies;
- Brief descriptions of the national education system in accordance with the Teaching Law of July 24, 1995 No. 84.
Declaration of value: form
Here you can find an example of a declaration of value form. Keep in mind that it is only an example, the actual format may be different.