- Polish citizenship, Polish passport - Legal service

Polish citizenship guide


Legalization of foreign certificates and diplomas

All foreign certificates and diplomas must be legalized in Poland.
Foreign documents related to one’s educational background are recognized in Poland:

  • by virtue of international agreements concerning education recognition or
  • by official recognition.

Poland recognizes education documents, degrees and titles from the following countries:
Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Cuba, Libya, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Germany, Russia, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Syria, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Hungary, Vietnam
And from the countries which no longer exist: Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, The German Democratic Republic and The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
In order for the diplomas issued in the above-mentioned countries (with whom Poland has signed appropriate international agreements) to be recognized one needs to turn to the Department of Higher Education Organization and Supervision of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.

Detailed information on official recognition of a foreign certificate, diploma or a degree is available at the website of the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education:
Documents from the countries with which Poland has not signed an agreement concerning mutual recognition of education documents must be officially recognized.
Official recognition of school certificates and secondary school graduation certificates is done via a department called a voivodeship education office relevant to a foreigner’s Polish place of residence or a university they are going to study at. The addresses of voivodeship education offices in Poland are available at:
Secondary school graduation certificates: International Baccalaureate (IB) and European Baccalaureate (EB) do not need to be officially recognized.
A foreigner who is applying for an official recognition of their school or secondary school graduation certificate should submit the following documents at a relevant voivodeship education office:

  • official recognition application;
  • original or duplicate of a certificate issued abroad: legalized or apostilled;
  • statement that the certificate has not yet been under the recognition procedures in Poland;
  • confirmation that the certificate entitles to apply for all types of universities if it has not been stated so in the certificate;
  • sworn translation into Polish of the certificate and confirmation - if the certificate has been issued in a foreign language.

Official recognition of a university graduation diploma issued abroad is done by a relevant Polish university council. A foreigner applying for the recognition of such a document needs to submit the following documents at a chosen Polish university:

  • diploma recognition application;
  • original or duplicate of the diploma issued abroad legalized or apostilled;
  • copy of a school certificate, secondary school graduation certificate or university diploma confirming that the candidate has been accepted to the university and received a diploma which now he would like to have recognized;
  • biography in Polish;
  • statement that the diploma issued abroad has not yet been under the recognition procedures at any Polish university.

Recognition procedure run by a Polish university ends with issuing by the university council a decision about recognizing a foreign diploma as an equivalent of a Polish university graduation diploma. The council may also issue a negative decision and do not recognize a foreign diploma.

In some cases a foreigner may be exempted by a university council from the obligation of having the diploma recognized. The exemption applies to EU citizens who are applying for doctoral studies. They need to submit an application to the university council asking for the exemption from the diploma official recognition procedure.
A certificate (school or secondary school graduation certificate) or a diploma submitted along with an official recognition application should be legalized via apostille or consular legalization.