Officially certified copies or certificates
You can have the documents you submit officially certified in your home country or in Germany.
In Germany, certified copies can be issued by
- a German, seal-bearing authority,
- a notary,
- a translator who has been officially certified in Germany to translate from the respective language,
- a consulate, or the embassy of your home country in Germany.
Outside of Germany, certified copies can be issued by
- German embassies and consulates,
- the school or university which issued the certificate. These are allowed to create officially certified copies of certificates they have themselves issued. In such cases, the certificate must be authenticated by the head of the school or the decan / university rectorate, using the official seal of the school / university. We cannot accept copies which have been authenticated by the secretary’s office.
- a public notary (no private notary).
In doing so, the following procedure must be followed and the following wording used:
In Germany, the following attestation clause must be included:
"Die Übereinstimmung der vorstehenden / umstehenden Kopie mit dem Original des (name of certificate) wird hiermit amtlich beglaubigt."
The place, date, signature and seal of the certifying authority must be added beneath the attestation clause.
Certified copies may be issued in the following forms:
- Collective certification: If a certificate consists of several single sheets, evidence must be furnished to prove that each individual sheet comes from the same original document. The attestation clause and the signature need only appear once if the sheets are fanned and affixed together such that a part of the official seal is imprinted on each individual sheet.
- Each sheet individually: each sheet can also be certified individually. If this option is chosen, please ensure that the name of the certificate holder appears on each page of the original document. If not, the name must be included in the attestation clause on the respective sheet.
Please be aware that it is not enough to hand in a simple copy of a certified copy. An official certified copy can only be issued by a certified administration or institution. Certified copies are always issued with an original stamp and an original signature. The certification must always be made from submitted originals. Certification of only part of the document is not enough. Certifications and legalizations in foreign languages must always be translated.
Officially certified translations of certificates
Certificates which are issued in the following languages do not have to be translated:
English, French, Italian, Catalan, Latin, Portuguese, Rumanian, and Spanish.
Certificate translations may only be made from an original certificate, not from a copy of a certificate! The translator must confirm this accordingly in their attestation. The attestation must also indicate the source language of the document.
Certificate translations which are issued in Germany must
- be completed and certified by a translator in Germany who has been sworn in for the respective language pair,
- be stamped with the official stamp of the translator, bearing the clause "Öffentlich bestellter und beeidigter Übersetzer" and stating the languages for which the translator has been sworn in,
- include the address of the translator.
Certificate translations which are issued abroad can be authorized ... (choose one of the following options)
- by an officially sworn translator for this language; the translator's seal must include the following phrase: "Öffentlich bestellter und beeidigter Übersetzer“ ("Publicly appointed and sworn translator"); the translator's address must appear on the translation.
- in the German embassy / German consulate in the holder’s home country, including the following certification clause: "Gesehen in der Botschaft (im Konsulat) der Bundesrepublik Deutschland" or
- by a notary public, or
- in Germany, in the embassy or consulate of the holder’s home country,
- in Germany, by a sworn translator who checks the translations which were completed abroad and adds his or her own official stamp.
Submitting copies of certificates
Please only send us officially certified copies of your original certificates and original translations. Your documents will remain in the possession of International Admissions for the entire duration of the application/registration process, and cannot be handed back to you, even temporarily.