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Frequently asked questions regarding the Statement of Comparability


Required documentation

Required documentation

What documents do you need to provide?

Please consult our list of documents specified for each country.

If you find our instructions unclear, please send your question by e-mail, naming the credential in its original language.

Do not send us scanned documents to obtain a preliminary assessment, since this work is an essential part of our fee-bearing service. We cannot judge documents but as a coherent body and in the material form of the required copies. Please send us only the documents named specifically for each country. If something is missing, you will be informed by e-mail accordingly.

Questions concerning the legal certification of documents

Questions concerning the legal certification of documents

What is a legal certification?

A legal certification is a stamp displaying the official note that the above/foregoing/succeeding document is a true (photo)copy of the original. It serves to ascertain the authenticity of educational credentials.

What makes up a legal certification?

  • the note certifying a document as a true copy
  • the official stamp/seal of the certifying authority
  • the official signature of the certifying person

Never send a copy of the certified copy!

Who is authorised to issue a certified copy?

Copies may be certified by any public authority entitled to use an official seal, e.g. municipality, town or county administration, notary public.

Not all town halls or citizens offices in Germany certify photocopies in a foreign language without a German translation. If this is the case at your local town hall or citizens office, please contact a notary public to certify your photocopies.

Devoid of the power to issue certified true copies are: corporations, translators, lawyers, public accountants, etc.

Is it possible to have copies legally certified abroad?

Yes, by a notary public or a public administration empowered accordingly. In case of doubt, an additional certification in Germany is needed.

Translators are not empowered to certify true copies.

Questions concerning translations

Questions concerning translations

May I have my documents translated abroad?

Yes, by a publicly sworn translator. Please mind, if certified copies of a translation are required: The translator himself or herself is not empowered to issue certified copies.

Where can I find a sworn translator in Germany?

Click on: www.justiz-dolmetscher.de or ask the nearest court of justice.

Questions concerning the time needed to process the documents

Questions concerning the time needed to process the documents

How long does it take to issue a Statement of Comparability?

You will receive the Statement of Comparability three months after we received all the documents needed and after you have paid the fee.

Why might the time needed to process the documents differ from country to country?

Every year 110 specialists of the ZAB (Central Office for Foreign Education) answer 27.000 official requests concerning international qualifications, they issue 21.500 Statements of Comparability and answer 32.000 enquiries made by telephone. They also maintain and update the database "anabin".

Applicants come from over 100 countries. Changes in world politics might cause a sudden increase in questions concerning certain countries. Since our specialists need specific language skills and knowledge about the educational system of the relevant countries, it is not possible to simply distribute the reqests to other specialists.

What should I do if I cannot hand in the requested missing documents right away?

Our applicants come from all over the world and some come from crisis areas and countries with armed conflicts. We therefore understand if a document cannot be submitted right away. If that is the case, please do the following:

  • Please send us an e-mail.
  • Give the reasons why you are unable to present the required documents.
  • Let us know when you are planning to submit the documents.
  • Inform us in time if you have to exceed this time limit.
  • Make sure you contact us if you cannot hand in the documents at all.

In case we should not receive an answer concerning missing documents after several reminders, we will discard the application. You will then receive a 70% refund of the fee.

Will I get back the documents which I handed in?

We will send back your documents along with the Statement of Comparability.

Questions regarding mailing an application

What do I have to do if I am using regular mail?

Submit your documents as a regular letter addressed to our mailing address.

What do I have to do if I am using a courier service?

Submit your documents to our address for courier services.

Please state in the dispatch note that you are covering all of the costs yourself: transport fees as well as additional costs such as taxes or customs charges. Otherwise, we cannot accept the shipment. Please contact your courier service in case of questions.

How to I prepare my documents for shipment?

Please do not use folders, document sleeves or plastic sheet protectors. Just submit loose pages in a regular envelope.