Certification and translation of documents
An official certification confirms the authenticity of a document, such as a photocopy of a transcript. The University of Würzburg will only accept certifications conducted by German notaries or authorities with permission to bear an official seal. Furthermore, any documents that are in a language other than German, English, French, Italian or Spanish must be officially translated by a recognized authority. For Master's degrees only documents in German and English are accepted.
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,
- a notary, who authenticates the copies with an apostille stamp.
- 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.
- If a certificate consists of several single sheets, evidence must be furnished to prove that each individual sheet comes from the same original document. This may be issued in the following forms:
1. Collective certification: 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. (see photo here).
2. Each sheet individually: each sheet can also be certified individually. If this option is chosen, please ensure that your name appears on each page of the original document. If not, the name must be included in the attestation clause on the respective sheet.
- If both the front and back pages of a copy are relevant, the certification (Beglaubigungsvermerk) must confirm both sides, e.g. »We hereby certify that the copy matches the original« (»Hiermit wird beglaubigt, dass die vor-/umstehende Kopie mit dem Original übereinstimmt«). Otherwise, the front and the back sides of each page must be certified separately.
- Please be aware that it is not enough to hand in a simple copy from 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.
- In addition, color copies must be certified by a raised (embossed) seal of a public authority. In this case, the original certificates must be shown upon matriculation.
- For Master's degrees: Certificate documents sent to us directly from your university in a sealed envelope can be accepted without a certification (Beglaubigungsvermerk).
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 vereidigter 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
- in the German embassy / German consulate in the holder’s home country, including the following attestation clause: "Gesehen in der Botschaft (im Konsulat) der Bundesrepublik Deutschland zur Legalisation....” or
- by a notary with apostille stamp in the holder’s home country, 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.
- All degrees except Master's: Certificates in English, French, Italian or Spanish do not need to be translated into German.
- Master's: Only German and English is accepted.
- The translation of documents must be done by an approved authority office or by a publicly appointed and sworn translator.
- The translation must be directly taken from the original and not from a copy of the original. The translator must specifically verify this in the certification. In addition, the original language of the documents must be noted.
- Translations or certifications issued by private persons or completed personally by the applicant will not be accepted.