What is a certified copy?

A certified copy is a copy of a document that has been legally certified in Germany. It means a stamp would be attached to the copy that proves it is identical to the original document. Many authorities do not want your original documents, but a certified copy of them- as the originals must be preserved from loss or any other damage.

During the authentication process, it is verified that the copy is identical with the original. A special stamp and the signature of the person who carried out the authentication process is added to the document as an official guarantee- this stamp must be visible on all pages of the document.

Please note: Most authorities don’t accept certified copies of a certified copy. You need to have the original document as well. For instance, if you have a certified copy from Afghanistan and make another certified copy from it in Germany, the second copy won't be accepted by German authorities.

Where Can I have my documents certified?

 

If you are not in Germany but need a certified copy of a document for German authorities, you can go to the German embassy in your country. Keep in mind that the service will cost you money.

Please note: The German Embassy in Damascus is currently closed. The next German diplomatic mission for Syrians is located in Beirut (Lebanon) and you can obtain your certified copies from there. You can find a full list of the German embassies and diplomatic missions online.

Which documents are required for obtaining a certified copy?

The person in charge will check your copy (or make a copy of the original, in case you haven't already) as well as the original document. If the document and copy are identical, you will be handed a stamped and signed copy (i.e. authenticated copy) which equals the original. The amount you have to pay for the service differs based on the city where you live and the authority you have chosen.

Please Note: In case you receive financial support from the Jobcentre, submit the payment receipt to the Jobcentre staff responsible for you as they may refund your money.