How To Authenticate Certificates Photocopies For Admission Abroad

As an international student applying for admission into universities abroad, you need to authenticate your credentials (certificate and documents). This applies mostly to universities in European countries like Germany. As an applicant, you cannot escape this process even if it is a free tuition admission.

The process of certificate authentication for admission abroad can be easy or difficult, depending on the choice you make. Some people have done this alone while others have been assisted to authenticate their certificate. In this post, we will show you a step by step process of authenticating certificate photocopies for admission abroad.



There are several documents you need to provide during the admission application process and the common ones include;

  • Birth Certificate or Attestation of Birth (from National Population Commission)
  • Education Qualification: School Leaving Certificates (primary), Secondary/high school result (e.g WAEC, GCE and NECO), University Certificate, University Academic Transcript, English proficiency result (e.g. TOEFL)
  • International Passport, etc.

In some cases, you may be required to scan the original copies of these documents and send with online application. In another way, you may be required to send authenticated photocopies of these document to the admission office.

What do we mean by authenticated copies? It simply means you are telling them they are true copies of the original documents. The photocopied documents will be compared with the original to confirm authenticity and stamped by the authorized bodies. These schools abroad want to make sure the photocopies have not been altered.


1.) Document authentication can be done by the authorities that issued them. For example, photocopy of WAEC certificate can be authenticated by WAEC, your B.Sc. certificate authenticated by your University and so on. Can you see the problem with that? You have to take different documents to different places.

2.) Another option which is also widely used is to take it to take the original documents and the photocopies for authentication at the country’s Embassy in your country. There are rules as to how many sets of documents you can authenticate at once, so you have to make sure you know all that before you go. Information like this can be found on the consulate’s website.

You also need to know of you are to book an appointment before you go to the embassy. This can usually be done online and you will be given a day and time to appear with your documents. If you get there late, you will not be attended to and you may not be given another appointment anytime soon.

3.) The last option available is notarization of documents and certificates. To me, it is the easiest step but it will cost you some money. In this case, you just get a form of sworn affidavit and stamps on all your photocopies indicting that the photocopies are true copies of the original documents. This can be done by going to a Notary close to you. If you don’t know anyone, you can ask a lawyer about it.

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