Certification of documents
Polish public documents intended for circulation in foreign states are certified through:
Apostille – in the case of documents intended for circulation in states that are parties to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (Journal of Laws of 2005, no. 112, item 938). An up-to-date list of states parties to the Hague Convention of 1961 is available on the HCCH website or at the legalisation centre: http://www.hcch.net/index_en.php?act=conventions.status&cid=41
Legalisation – in the case of documents intended for circulation in states that are not parties to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961.
The authorities competent to issue the apostille are:
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerstwo Spraw Zagranicznych)
ul. Krucza 38/42, 00-512 Warszawa
Tel.: +48 22 523 9845, +48 22 250 0116
Office hours: 9.00 am – 2.00 pm, Monday to Friday.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Al. Szucha 21, 00-580 Warszawa
- National Agency for Academic Exchange (Narodowa Agencja Wymiany Akademickiej; NAWA) – in respect of diplomas of graduation with supplements, copies of diplomas of graduation, certificates of diplomas and post-graduate certificates, duplicates of diplomas and post-graduate certificates, certificates of graduation, doctoral and postdoctoral diplomas, as well as their duplicates and copies — in the case of doctoral and postdoctoral degrees awarded by the authorized organizational units of the university.
National Agency for Academic Exchange
ul. Polna 40, 00-635 Warszawa
Tel.: +48 22 390 35 80
- Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (Ministerstwo Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego) – to issue the apostille certificates exclusively in respect of certificates, diplomas, indexes or authentications issued by art schools; documents issued by schools, other than mentioned above, intended for legal transactions with foreign countries.
Ministry of Culture and National Heritage
Department of Art Education and Cultural Education
ul. Mikołaja Kopernika 36/40, 00-924 Warszawa
Tel.: +48 22 551 55 99
- Ministry of National Education (Ministerstwo Edukacji Narodowej) – to issue the apostille certificates in respect of certificates issued by schools and vocational schools in Poland, mentioned in Article 8 paragraph 2 letter c of the Educational Law (Consolidated text: Journal of Laws of 2018 position no. 996) and by schools, vocational schools and school consultation points at the diplomatic representations, consular offices and military representations of the Republic of Poland.
Ministry of National Education
Al. Szucha 25, 00-918 Warszawa
Tel.: +48 22 347 41 00
- School superintendents (kurator oświaty) appropriate for the seat of the school – in respect of promotion certificates and certificates of graduation as well as indexes issued by schools; documents issued by schools, continuing education facilities and practical education facilities, other than mentioned above, intended for legal transactions with foreign countries.
- Directors of Regional Exam Commissions (Okręgowa Komisja Egzaminacyjna) – in respect of certificates of completion of primary and secondary education at the level of external exams, certificates of secondary education, annexes to the secondary education certificates, certificates confirming professional qualifications, diplomas and certificates issued by regional exam commissions.
The stamp duty charged on certification of documents amounts to: PLN 60 for the apostille and PLN 26 for the legalisation of documents (legal basis: Act of 16 November, 2006, on Stamp Duty, Journal of Laws of 2018, item 1044 with amendments). Payment is due to be made for every certified document.
Stamp duty may be paid in cash at the cashier’s desk located on the premises of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or by wire transfer made to the following account:
Urząd M.St. Warszawy, Dzielnica Śródmieście, ul. Nowogrodzka 43
Bank Handlowy w Warszawie S.A.
60 1030 1508 0000 0005 5001 0038
Payments from abroad:
SWIFT CODE: "CITIPLPX"
IBAN: "PL 60 1030 1508 0000 0005 5001 0038"
Public documents include acts of civil status, administrative and court documents, notarial deeds and official certificates which are placed on documents signed by persons in their private capacity. Pursuant to the convention, they do not include administrative documents dealing directly with commercial or customs operations. The issuance of an apostille or legalisation of a document is not necessary when either the laws, regulation or practices in force in the State where the document is produced or an agreement between two or more contracting states have abolished or simplified it or exempt the document itself from legalisation.
Following documents require authentication before being legalized (before apostille is being issued – if applicable) by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
- notarial acts and court documents shall be authenticated by the president of the competent regional court;
- certificates, diplomas, indexes or authentications of higher education institutions shall be authenticated by the National Agency for Academic Exchange (Narodowa Agencja Wymiany Akademickiej);
- certificates, diplomas, indexes or authentications issued by art schools shall be authenticated by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (Ministerstwo Kultury I Dziedzictwa Narodowego);
- master craftsman’s certificates and craftsman’s certificates shall be authenticated by the Association of Polish Crafts in Warsaw (Związek Rzemiosła Polskiego);
- primary school, middle school and high school certificates and documents shall be authenticated by the competent school superintendent (kurator oświaty);
- primary school and high school diplomas, A-level certificates (matura diplomas) shall be authenticated by the competent director of Regional Examination Board (Okręgowa Komisja Egzaminacyjna);
- documents of consulting points and schools abroad established by the Minister of National Education shall be authenticated by the Ministry of National Education (Ministerstwo Edukacji Narodowej);
- copies from the National Court Register shall be authenticated by the entitled official of the General Information of the Court Register (Centralna Informacja Krajowego Rejestru Sądowego);
- copies from the Central Register and Information on Economic Activity (Centralna Ewidencja i Informacja o Działalności Gospodarczej) shall be authenticated by the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology (Ministerstwo Przedsiębiorczości i Technologii);
- commercial documents shall be authenticated by the Polish Chamber of Commerce in Warsaw (Krajowa Izba Gospodarcza) and by regional chambers of commerce.
Applications for the issue of the apostille or for legalisation of documents may be filed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs personally or by a third person (no additional authorisation is required) and the application is analysed “on the spot”. Documents may be sent by mail, also from abroad. In the case of documents sent by mail, you must include proof of payment of the stamp duty (copy of a bank wire transfer or printed electronic account statement) in your mail and provide your return address. Certified documents will then be sent back to you by mail, also to an address abroad. The document certification period is 2-3 weeks.