Nostrification of diplomas and certificates awarded abroad
A foreign certificate may be recognised as an equivalent to a Polish certificate of graduation from a primary or secondary school according to an adequate international agreement. When no such agreement exists, the certificate can be recognised in a nostrification process.
The list of agreements is available on the Bureau for Academic Recognition and International Exchange website. Pursuant of international agreements the Republic of Poland recognises education documents, degrees and scientific titles from the following countries:
Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, 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 following, no longer existing countries:
Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia (SFRY), GDR, USSR.
The so-called international Matura IB (International Baccalaureate) diplomas and European Matura EB (European Baccalaureate) do not require recognition.
Only certificates of graduation awarded outside of Poland may be recognised. Certificates of advancement, meaning a confirmation of finishing a particular year, will not be recognised but may be used as a basis for admission to a specific level.
A person responsible for the recognition of school certificates awarded abroad is an educational authority (kurator oświaty) adequate to the place of residence of the person applying for recognition. In the absence of such an authority - an authority with territorial jurisdiction over the office of the institution where the person applying for recognition intends to submit his foreign certificate.
The following documents have to be attached to the application for a recognition certificate:
- The application for recognition proceedings;
- A written statement that a given certificate has not previously been an object of recognition proceedings in Poland;
- In case of certificates issued by an institution which does not operate under the education system of a country which is a party to the Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents, the original of the certificate or its duplicate legalised by a Polish consul in office in the country where the certificate was issued, has to be submitted.
If a certificate was issued by an institution operating under the education system of a country which is a party to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents, the original of the certificate, its duplicate or a notarial copy with an “apostille” provided on the document or attached to it have to be submitted.
Persons who have studied abroad applying for recognition of a graduation certificate or a certificate of completing another level of education abroad as an equivalent to a Polish certificate of graduation from a public primary or lower secondary school, have to additionally provide a certificate on the duration of study at educational institutions outside Poland.
In case of applying for recognition of a foreign graduation certificate as an equivalent to a Polish certificate of graduation from a public vocational school, a high school, a profiled high school, a technical school or a professional school, a transcript of records including the number of hours of classes, as well as the expected duration of studying at schools abroad, has to be provided.
Recognition of a school graduation certificate or a maturity certificate awarded abroad requires providing an additional certificate confirming that this certificate allows applying to university.
It is also required to attach a Polish sworn translation of the certificate (after its legalisation/adding apostille), and of the other documents made up in a foreign language. The translation has to be made by a Polish sworn translator entered in the list of sworn translators, kept by the Minister of Justice or by a Polish Consul in office in the country in the education system of which the document was issued.
The last required document is a copy of the page with personal data from an identification document such as an ID card, a passport or a residence card.
The applications for recognition are examined within no longer than a month.
When it comes to diplomas and scientific degrees from foreign universities, Poland recognises documents awarded in countries with which it has executed agreements on recognition of education. If a diploma was issued by a country which is not on the list, it has to, just like a school diploma, be legally recognised.
Diploma recognition is performed by authorised universities:
- in case of recognition of higher education diplomas – universities adequate to the course of study abroad, which have the authority to award PhDs (the list of authorised universities);
- in case of recognition of scientific degrees - universities adequate to the course of study abroad, which have the authority to award PhDs with “habilitation” - doktor habilitowany (the list of authorised universities).