Legalization of foreign certificates and diplomas (information for foreigners)

Diplomas of graduation obtained outside of Poland must be certified with an apostille or legalized.


Apostille is a certificate on the basis of which official documents (including diplomas) issued in the territory of one state are considered legal in the territory of another country. Apostille has been introduced by the Convention abolishing the requirement to legalize foreign official documents drawn up in the Hague on October 5, 1961 (Journal of Laws of 2005 No. 112, item 938) and concerns countries that have adopted this convention. Those countries in the attached link

Apostille can be obtained in a country that issued a document. On the Hague Convention page there is a list of Apostille institutions.


Legalization is a confirmation of the authenticity of the document (eg certificates or diploma) issued in another country. It should be done if it is not possible to obtain apostille, because the country that issued the document has not adopted the Convention to abandon the requirement to legalize documents. If the state in which the candidate received a certificate or diploma is not on the list of signatories of the Hague Convention, the candidate should legalize this document.

Usually the legalization of the document is made by Polish consul in the country where the document was issued. To do this, please contact the consulate.

Recognition of certificates and diplomas

Most matriculation certificates do not require any activities before Polish offices because they are recognized by law. If the certificate held by the candidate has been issued in one of the countries listed below, it does not have to obtain an additional decision on its recognition.

A matriculation certificate must give you the right to take up studies in the country of its release.

The following certificates are considered from law:

  1. Issued by a school or an educational institution operating in the education system of the European Union Member State, Member State of organization of economic cooperation and development (OECD), the Member State of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) – Parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, entitling to apply for reception For higher education in these countries.
  2. Diplomas International Baccalaureate (IB) and the Certificate of European Baccalaureate (EB).
  3. Covered by international agreements concluded by Poland with other countries. Detailed information on international agreements concluded by Poland can be found on the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.

If the certificate does not belong to any of the above-mentioned categories, it must be considered as a document confirming the right to apply for higher education by means of an administrative decision issued by the relevant Education Curator.

Diplomas of higher studies

If the diploma of higher education obtained abroad gives the right to continue the education or the beginning of the PhD research in the state of its release, it also entitles you to undertake a respective degree in Poland. However, the above principle does not apply when:

  1. a university that issued a diploma was not an accredited university on the day of issuing a diploma or implemented a study program without accreditation on the day of issuing a diploma,
  2. it did not work in the Higher Education System,
  3. the program of higher education or its part was implemented contrary to the provisions of the state issue of the diploma.