Certification of signatures
By certifying a signature, the consular officer confirms that the person indicated in the document was physically present and signed it in front of him or her. It is a simple form of authenticating a signature.
Following a change in the law, the German missions will no longer be able to carry out identity checks in connection with opening a bank account, taking out a loan and similar purposes. Please ask your bank for further information. The legalisation department is only allowed to certify your signature if you are a student applying for a visa for Germany and need to open a blocked account.
For the certification of a signature, please bring:
- your valid passport
- the document to be signed
The fee for the certification of a signature is dependent on the purpose of the certification as well as the value of the matter and can vary between the USD equivalent of 15 to 250 Euros, payable in USD CASH ONLY.
For certified copies, please bring:
- the original documents,
- copies of the original document which need to be certified,
The current fee for the certification of a photocopy is the USD equivalent of 10 Euros payable in USD CASH ONLY.
No fee is charged for study-related true certified copies (please bring the letter from the University.
Foreign documents or certificates are often only recognized by the authorities of a state if their authenticity and evidentiary value has been determined by a special procedure. A range of internationally accepted procedures has been developed for this purpose. In most cases, documents which are to be used in legal procedures in Germany have to be proven authentic through means of either an „Apostille“ or legalization.
An „Apostille“ is a certificate of authenticity issued by a designated authority in a contracting state to The Hague Convention on Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents of 5 October 1961. Zimbabwe, unlike Germany, is not a contracting state to this convention. Thus „Apostilles“ cannot be issued for Zimbabwean documents; they need to be legalized before being submitted to German authorities.
Zimbabwean personal documents as birth certificates, marriage certificates etc. have to be certified by the Zimbabwean Foreign Ministry. Please note that for legalization the original has to be stamped, therefore the document cannot be laminated.
The current fee for the legalization is the USD equivalent of 25 Euros payable in USD CASH ONLY.