How to get the Declaration of Value (DOV) for medical school in Italy

Two crucial elements for a successful admission in Italy are passing the IMAT with a high score and preparing all the documents within the deadlines.

The DOV is one of the most essential documents that both EU and non-EU candidates need to apply to a University in Italy.

Let’s find out what it is, how to get it, and when is the best time to begin obtaining it!

What is a DOV?

The Declaration Of Value is a validation of your high school diploma. Degrees obtained outside of Italy do not have any legal meaning in Italy.

Thus, for your high school diploma to gain legal meaning, it must be “recognized” by the Italian authorities.

So, in the case of applying to a medical school as a foreigner, your high school diploma must be legalized at the Italian Embassy to guarantee its authenticity.

This is done through a DOV (Declaration Of Value) or DV (Dichiarazione di Valore) – a document issued by the country’s embassy where you gained your high school diploma

When will I need a DOV?

All candidates will need it during enrollment after they’ve been accepted. The Declaration Of Value is essential to finalize your enrollment and secure your spot in the University.

Without presenting it within the deadline, you will lose your spot. EU nationals have 4 days to present all the documents needed (including the DOV) after being accepted.

The deadline is stretched for non-EU candidates, as each University will give a different deadline. The reason is that non-EU applicants need physical time between the moment of acceptance and enrollment to obtain a visa. This also gives them more time before arriving at the university and presenting the DOV along with the rest of the documents needed.

This being said non-EU candidates are often asked to present the Declaration Of Value much earlier – during their pre-enrollment. Not all Universities deem the DOV mandatory at the point of pre-enrollment, but as you can see, you must obtain this document as early as possible.

How can I obtain a DOV?

Contact the country’s embassy where you got your high school diploma. Ask the embassy what documents you must prepare besides your original high school diploma. It needs to be legally translated, legalized and apostilled (apostille is an internationally recognized means of legalization) before you hand it to the embassy.

The process varies significantly from country to country. It may take anywhere between 2 weeks and a couple of months. So make sure you apply for DOV as early as possible

What if my embassy doesn’t let me obtain a DOV?

Oftentimes, communication with the embassy seems like running in circles.

They need you to be accepted into an Italian university to release a document. Still, they are unaware of the current procedures in Italy and that a DOV is needed to enroll in a University (the same vicious circle might sometimes be an issue when obtaining a visa).

So, you might try explaining the situation or putting them in direct contact with the University. Or you could go for an alternative.

CIMEA Statement of Comparability: an alternative to DOV

CIMEA Statement of Comparability certification is an online service for certification and comparison of Italian and foreign qualifications. The procedure is done exclusively online at cimea.it. You’re asked to attach your translated high school diploma and personal ID documents.

CIMEA provides two kinds of procedures – an urgent and a standard one. The urgent procedure costs 244€ and issues the document within 15 working days. The standard one costs 122€ and is issued within 30 working days. The CIMEA certificate is normally delivered to you online.

Some Universities could require both an online certificate and a printed version. Bear in mind getting a paper version delivered to you has an additional fee (as stated during the registration on cimea.it)

Questions about the Declaration of Value

Who needs to obtain a DOV?

Every candidate who did not receive their high school diploma in Italy needs it, regardless of nationality.

Do I need both DOV and CIMEA?

No, they are mutually exclusive. Getting one of them is enough.

Do I apply for DOV before or after the IMAT?

Ideally, you apply for Declaration Of Value once you have your high school diploma (if you just finished high school). You certainly should NOT wait until after the IMAT to start obtaining it.

Do I need DOV for pre-enrolment?

Not always. The best-case scenario is if you’re not asked for it during pre-enrolment and apply for it right after pre-enrolling. If you must submit DOV during pre-enrolment, explain the case to the embassy or get a CIMEA certificate instead.

Example case: home country embassy

Say you’re a Brazilian national and obtained your high school diploma in Brazil, but in the past few years, you’ve lived in Ireland and can’t travel to your home country.

Can you obtain your Declaration Of Value from the Italian embassy in Ireland? No. You could only get it in the country where you completed your high school education, in this case, Brazil. If you can not return to issue it there, you should get a CIMEA certificate instead. You would, however, obtain your visa through the embassy of the country you’re currently a resident of, ie. Ireland.

Example case: pre-enrolment

You’re a Non-Eu candidate trying to pre-enroll. During the procedure, you’re asked to attach a DOV. You contact the embassy and ask for the document to be issued, but they answer they need you to have a letter of acceptance from a University before they issue the Declaration Of Value. In this case, the embassy isn’t up to date with the application procedure in Italy.

What do you do? You contact the University asking for an email explaining they need the embassy to issue the document to pre-enroll, then show it to the embassy. If this doesn’t work, go for CIMEA.

Example case: Italian nationality 

An Italian citizen born in Italy who did high school abroad. Do they need a DOV? Yes.
On the contrary, a foreign national who did high school in Italy doesn’t need a Declaration of Value.

While issuing the CIMEA certificate might cost more than getting a DOV, issuing the DOV might come around the same price after legalizing and translating your diploma. If you see your embassy is taking its time, and you fear it might not be ready soon enough, I’d advise you not to risk missing the deadline and resort to CIMEA as an alternative.

The Declaration Of Value is one of the documents needed for the application you could and should prepare in advance. Don’t wait till the last minute or until you find out you’re accepted. Everything happens incredibly fast after the ranking is released, so the more bureaucracy you check out earlier, the better.

Good luck!

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