Official certification and translation of application and enrollment documents
All hard-copy documents required for application and enrollment are to be submitted as officially certified copies, unless originals or uncertified copies are specifically requested.
For documents issued in languages other than German, an additional German or English translation is required – either as an original document or as a certified copy.
What does an official certification look like?
An officially certified copy has to always include a statement confirming that the copy faithfully reflects the content of the original, the original signature of the person conducting the certification, and an original official seal.
This seal will usually include an emblem. A seal consisting purely of text is not accepted. Generally, you are required to pay a fee for an officially certified copy.
Each single page of multi-page copies has to be officially certified, or presented with the seal applied in such a way that it is clear that each page is part of a single official document.
If a page is double-sided, then each side must be officially certified or the statement must clearly refer to both sides.
Notarial certifications (with seal and cord) only require a statement on one page of the copy or duplicate.
If the original contains an embossed seal (i.e. one where the seal is merely pressed into the paper), then this will usually not be visible on the copy. If this is so, the statement on the copy must further confirm that the original document bears an embossed seal. Documents containing the sentence “automatically generated and valid without signature” or similar wording can be submitted as uncertified copies or printouts.
Who is permitted to officially certify documents?
Official certifications of documents may be issued by the following:
- In Germany, every public office authorized to use an official seal. This includes: public authorities, citizen registration offices, city halls, district and municipal authorities, parishes and boroughs, offices of mayors, courts of law and solicitors, as well as churches regulated by public law
- The schools and universities which issued the certificates and documents as well as the ministry of education in the country where they were issued
- Diplomatic missions of the Federal Republic of Germany
- The cultural department of the embassy of the country where the certificate was issued
- The authorities and notaries authorized to certify in the respective country = customary certification in the country in question
The following may NOT officially certify documents:
- Charities and welfare organizations, translators, associations, student association bodies, the DAAD, lawyers, auditors, accountants, banks or other credit institutes
- Translators may only certify translations which they themselves have produced and not documents in their original language
Important information concerning translations
Certificates must always be submitted in the language of the country of origin. Should this not be English or German, a German or English translation of the certificate must also be submitted.
Translations of certificates must be made by official bodies, such as the authorized department of the institution issuing the certificate, or by sworn translators.
Translations made by German translation agencies which are not sworn translators will not be accepted.
Translations made abroad can only be accepted if the institution has the status of sworn translator (or equivalent) in that country.
English-language or German-language certificates issued in parallel to certificates in the official language of a country are regarded as original certificates. For exceptions to this rule, please refer to the uni-assist website (info country by country).
Certificates issued in French are not accepted; certified translations in German or English will need to be provided.
Translations not submitted as original copies need to be certified. Only translations bearing the original stamp and original signature of the translator do not require an additional official certification.
Translations not submitted in accordance with these regulations will result in your exclusion from the application procedure and to the rejection of your application!