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Official Certification

Certificates and documents that are required for application or enrollment in a certified copy must meet the following requirements.

1.  How to get an official certification?

  1. If you need an official certification, you have to go with the original to one of the responsible authorities (consulate, embassy, notary, etc.)
    >> See below: Who is authorised to do an official certification?

  2. The official certification of the original document will be done there, i.e. a copy of the original will be made. On this copy will be put the official attestation clause, as well as date, the signature and the official seal by the responsible officer.
    >> See below: How has an official certification to look like?

  3. This certified copy you have to submit as it is, with the original signature and seal. Copies thereof are not accepted!

2.  Who is authorised to do an official certification?

  • in Germany
    Responsible for issuing an official certification in Germany are all authorities and offices authorized to carry an official seal, e.g. residents' registration offices, the certificate-issuing school or university, notaries, etc.
    Not recognized are certifications of health insurance companies, lawyers, accountants, clubs, certified accountants etc.

  • If you come from an EU-country:
    An official certification of documents by notaries, schools or universities is sufficient.

  • If you come from a non EU-country:
    The official certification must be done by a German consulate or embassy or by an authorized notary.

2.  How has an official certification to look like?

  • An official certification must at least contain
  1. a note, confirming that the copy matches the original document (attestation clause)
  2. the date and the original signature of the responsible person and
  3. the original official seal.
      • An official seal usually contains an emblem.
      • A simple stamp is not enough.
  4. Example

  • The following has to be noted:

    • For multi-page documents, it is sufficient if only one page is provided with the attestation clause and the signature. In these cases, however, all the pages of the document must be fanned, stapled, and sealed so that a part of the official seal leaves marks on each page.

    • Each page can also be certified separately. In this case, care must be taken that the name of the holder of the certificate is printed on each side of the original. If not indicated everywhere, the name must be included in the attestation clause together with a reference to the type of certificate.

    • If there is a copy on the front and back of a page, and if the content of both pages is relevant, the attestation clause must refer to the front and back (e.g. "This is to certify that the copy in front/in the back matches the original."). If this is not the case, front and back of the page must be certified separately.

    • If there is an embossing seal in the paper on the original, this will usually not be visible on the copy. The attestation clause on the copy has to state additionally that the original document contained the embossing seal of the issuer of the document.