Procedure for medical specialists wanting to exercise their profession in Belgium

In order to exercise your profession in Belgium (temporarily or definitely), you need to obtain a Belgian specialist RIZIV-number.

Step 1: validation of your medical degree

Your medical degree must be validated by the ‘Agentschap Zorg en Gezondheid’ (Agency for care and health of the Flemish government).

Exception: if you obtained your medical degree in a country outside of the EEA, you require recognition of the equivalence of your degree from NARIC (National Academic Recognition Information Centre of the Government of Flanders.

  • One of the conditions for NARIC to recognise the equivalence of your diploma is that you are sufficiently fluent in Dutch. The level required is European level B2.
  • More info regarding NARIC:

Step 2: visum

Following recognition of your medical degree, the FOD (Federal Public Service Health) will automatically issue your visum.
It allows you to exercise the healthcare profession that your medical degree entitles you to in Belgium.

Exception: if you requested recognition of the equivalence of your degree from NARIC, you need to apply for a visum from the FOD yourself.

Step 3: registration with the 'Orde der artsen'

Next, you need to enroll at the Nationale Raad (national council of the order of doctors).

After approval, you receive the necessary information to register with the ‘Orde der artsen Vlaams-Brabant’ (Order of the doctors of Flemish Brabant).

Step 4: Validation of your specialist degree with the Agentschap Zorg en Gezondheid

Next you submit your degree as a specialist to ‘Agentschap Zorg en Gezondheid’.

You can simultaneously submit the documents for recognition as a general doctor and as a specialist.

Step 5: registration with the RIZIV

After that, you can register with the RIZIV in order to obtain a RIZIV-number as a specialist.


If you obtained your medical degree and your specialist degree in an EEA country we estimate a maximum of 4 months after you started the procedure.

However, the time needed for this procedure may vary depending on your nationality, the country where you obtained your medical degree and the country where you obtained your specialist degree.

For some specialties (e.g. cardiac surgery, clinical biology) Belgium does not automatically recognise the specialist degree obtained in other EEA countries and a specialty committee will have to decide. The procedure will therefore take longer.

Also be advised that not all specialty trainings exist in exactly the same form in all countries. For example, Belgium has no specific medical microbiology or clinical pharmacology specialist training for doctors.

A detailed list of equivalent specialist trainings in the EEA is available in Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005 on the recognition of professional qualifications annex V.

Last edit: 31 August 2022