4) Recognition of foreign documents

Foreign school leaving certificates and studies diplomas are legalized in Polish diplomatic posts of countries which issued the documents.

Documents relating to education, issued outside Polish borders are recognized either on the basis of international agreements or through the procedure of nostrification. Documents are subject to nostrification, if they have been issued by a country with which Poland has not signed agreements on mutual recognition of educational documents or this agreement ceased to apply.

Nostrification of school and secondary school certificates issued abroad:

Nostrification of school certificates obtained abroad shall be conducted by the School
Superintendent having jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence and, should the applicant have no such place of residence, the Superintendent of Schools having
jurisdiction over the head office of the institution where the applicant intends to submit his/her school certificate obtained abroad.

Appropriate authorities for Opole: Superintendent of Schools Office in Opole, ul. Piastowska 14, 45-082 Opole, tel. (77) 45-24-568

What shall be recognized as equivalent to a Polish maturity certificate is a secondary
school-leaving certificate or maturity certificate obtained abroad if it authorizes its
holder to seek admission to any category of higher education institutions in the country within the education system of which the institution that issued the certificate operates.

A person seeking nostrification of his/her school certificate obtained abroad needs to submit the following documents at the Superintendent of Schools Office:

  •       an application for conducting the nostrification procedure,
  •       the original certificate or its duplicate legalized by the Consul of the Republic of Poland appointed for the country in which the document was issued. Should a school certificate obtained abroad be issued by an institution operating within the education system of a country being a party to the Hague Convention of 5th October, 1961, Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Journal of Laws of 2005, No. 112 items 938 and 939), a person applying for nostrification of his/her school certificate obtained abroad shall enclose with the application the original of his/her school certificate or its duplicate, or its true notarized copy with an apostille provided on the document or attached to it. Should a person choose to submit a true notarized copy of his/her school certificate, he/she must also present to the nostrifying authority, for viewing purposes, the original of the school certificate, or its duplicate.
  •       Declaration that the submitted certificate has not been so far a subject of nostrification procedure in Poland
  •       Polish translation of the certificate / diploma and other documents made out in a foreign language, made by:
  •       sworn translator entered on the list of sworn translators kept by the Minister of Justice, or
  •       consul of the Republic of Poland appointed for the country in which education system the document has been issued
  •       a photocopy of the document confirming the identity of the applicant,
  •       in the case where the petitioner is acting by the statutory representative (parent, carer) or proxy, he files a document confirming the action on behalf of the applicant, in particular the authorization

Depending on the type of certificate applicant may also need to submit other documents:
1) a certificate stating that the certificate entitles to apply for admission to higher education of all types of higher education college in the country issuing the certificate if the person is applying for nostrification of matriculation certificate, on which there is no such endorsement

Such a certificate may be issued by:

  • ​​      the educational authorities of the country in which education system the document has been issued – accredited in the Republic of Poland diplomatic mission or consular office of the country in which education system the document has been issued
  •       the consul of Republic of Poland in country in which education system the document has been issued

2) a document outlining the curriculum, covering in particular the list of classes indicating the ratings obtained from them and the number of hours worked on the lessons, if the person is applying for recognition of foreign certificates as equivalent to a Polish certificate of completion of a public vocational school, public high school, upper secondary school, technical college or public high school.

3) document certifying that the planned curriculum for primary school education abroad is at least 6 years, in junior high school 3 years - at least 9 years altogether, assuming that the start of education has been no earlier than at 6 years of age if the person is applying for recognition of foreign certificates of completion of public elementary school and middle school as equivalent to Polish certificates


Recognition of diplomas issued by foreign universities:

  •      If the diploma is not recognized under an international agreement on recognition of equivalence in the training, then one should apply according to the principles of nostrification.
  •      A diploma must be nostrificated according to Ministry of Education regulation of 24 February 2006 (Journal of Laws nr 37, items 255). Faculty councils which are entitled to award doctoral degrees in a specific area or discipline of science are also entitled to nostrificate diplomas issued by foreign universities. The applicant can independently choose the department which will at his/her request conduct the nostrification procedures. The request should be addressed to the faculty council. The application ought to be accompanied with declaration that the document has not been so far a subject of nostrification procedure in Poland. The process of nostrification involves comparison of Polish curriculum with the one that has been undergone abroad. Should these programmes be stated as not equivalent the university may decide to request the university curriculum completion by passing additional exams or credits.
  •       There is a possibility of exemption from the diploma nostrification – the release of the recognition is intended only to recognize entitlement to further education, and only at the university, which released the applicant from the nostrification duty.

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Biuro ds. Badań Naukowych
i Współpracy z Zagranicą

Collegium Minus, Pl. Kopernika 11a
45-040 Opole
tel. +48 77 54 15 969 (wew.5169)
fax: +48 77 54 15 969 (wew. 5169)

tel. +48 77 54 15 975 (wew. 5175)
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