What is authentication (die Beglaubigung) & where to do it

โ€ข Introduction

If you are going to apply for a German permanent medical license (๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช die Approbation), then you are required to submit some documents. The documents should be in most cases โ€œauthenticatedโ€. The most comprehensive list on the internet of them is here.

If you have the slightest doubt about a certain point or do not understand any information, ask at any time in the main group of our community “Facharzt JETZT” on Facebook and Telegram (groups will appear as a folder). We remind you that this article is a guidance article to help you understand things and you should not rely solely on it. You should always return to the official websites. ๐Ÿ˜Š

โ€ข What does authentication mean?

The authentication could mean one of two things:

(1) It means that the documents are real/authentic

For example, if you studied medicine in Jordan and let the German embassy in Jordan authenticate your university certificate, then this means that the German embassy says that this certificate is real and from a real university in Jordan. When you come to Germany, the authorities here will believe what the embassies say and not simply whatever documents you bring. They know that the German embassy in that country is the best authority to tell them if documents are real or not.

This costs around 30-60 Euro per document, which is nothing compared to the amount of time and stress saved in case they started questioning how real your documents are.

(2) The document is an exact copy of an original document

In Germany, sometimes you are asked during job applications to send copies of your medical license. Of course you do not send the original copy per post. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Then you go to a notary (๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช der Notar) (a lawyer with certain qualifications). They control if your German medical license is real, and then they make a copy of it (this costs around 12 Euro). These copies are then called “authenticated copies” (๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช beglaubigte Kopien). So, when the hospital receives this certified copy, they know that the copy is identical to the original document and that the original document is real. In some cases, the notary cannot say if the documents are real or not. For example, if you asked them to make legalized copies of your foreign medical license. They make the copy and they write: “This is an exact copy of the original document. We cannot verify the authenticity of the original document”

In other words, they attest that the “copy” is certainly authentic but the original document might or might not be. They cannot testify about that! They are not a German embassy.

๐Ÿ’ก The authentication in Germany by a notary or by the Rathaus does not say if foreign documents are original/real or not. It says only, that the copies made are identical to the original documents.

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โ€ข English translations for Beglaubigung

There are many English translations for Beglaubigung:

Authentication = attestation = accreditation = verification = certification
of documents

โ€ข Should you authenticate all of your documents before coming to Germany?

Our recommendation is: yes, but not all of them.

You can see which documents must be authenticated in the tables of the following article:

Required documents to apply for Approbation in Germany (2024)

โ€ข Why is authentication important?

The thing is, to be 100% in the correct path and never get delays in your application for the German permanent medical license ( die Approbation), it is, without doubt, the best guarantee that everything is going to work without interruptions and delays. If a document is missing or needs to be authenticated, the medical license authority will write that to you via mail/E-Mail. Until you get the documents done, you might need to wait weeks or months (yes!); not to mention that you might be already in Germany. The delays do not end there. Sending the documents by mail takes time and sometimes, there are delays in the mail and the documents might get lost (luckily, seldom). The most important negative point, until the responsible employee examines your documents and applications again, he needs weeks. And if this happened to be over Christmas or if your employee was on sick leave or a vacation, then this time could be easily doubled and tripled. The delays in processing your application could be easily from 4 to 12 months.

โ€ข Where to authenticate the documents?

If you want to authenticate the documents in the German embassies, you will face three options:

Direct authenticationAuthentication is not possible“First translate, then we authenticate”
Some documents are authenticated with no translations and no other requests. This is mostly possible if the documents are originally in German or English.In seldom cases, in some countries in the world, authentication is not possible in the German embassies. Please see the next section.
You will be forced to translate firstly into German because the embassies do not want to authenticate documents in foreign languages.
We explain how next. Please continue reading.

โ€ข Authentication is not possible: Countries in which the German embassies do not authenticate the documents

In countries like Ukraine, the German embassies do not authenticate documents from Ukraine. An alternative there is the “Hague apostille”. You get this authentication in every Ukrainian city, and it costs around 25 euros per document.

Valuable information about the alternatives is mentioned in the following page of the German Federal Foreign Office (๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Auswรคrtiges Amt):

Quelle: Website of the German Federal Foreign Office

โ€ข Can I do this โ€žBeglaubigungโ€œ instead in Germany by a โ€žNotarโ€œ?

The Beglaubigung by a Notar in Germany means that the Notar is saying that the copies he is making of the documents are 100% similar to the documents you gave to him. His Beglaubigung DOES NOT SAY anything about the correctness of the documents.
In other words, if you have a document (For example a University certificate) and you want to send it to a hospital or to an Approbation authority, then you go to a Notar. He/she copies them, authenticates them, and then you can send the authenticated copies (and the original documents remain with you and would not get lost).

โ€ข Which documents do we recommend to be authenticated outside of Germany?

This is an article about the required documents for the German medical license. We wrote this information in it.

Required documents to apply for Approbation in Germany (2024)

โ€ข Where to do the translation and what to pay attention to?


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