Legalisation and translation guidelines

All documents required for application must be submitted in either German or English.

Unless there is an agreement concerning exemption between the country of origin and Austria, documents (certificates, records, confirmations etc.) from other countries must be legalised and certified if they are to be recognised in Austria. Legalisation can apply to either the original document or a certified copy. The purpose of legalisation is to confirm the authenticity of the signatures and seal. Documents from a higher education institution in another country have the full evidential value as domestic public documents if they have the required certification. Documents from countries with which Austria has concluded a bilateral agreement concerning exemption from legalisation are exempt.

Depending on the terms of the agreement, documents or certified copies of them from another country therefore require

  • no legalisation (as long as there is a bilateral agreement in place);
  • the apostille of the issuing country (Hague Convention);
  • full diplomatic legalisation (no agreement).

The Legalisation List in Higher Education available from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (last update 2020) makes clear which groups are present for the issuing country and for the documents that need to be submitted.

Exemption from any legalisation

This rule applies to the following countries:
Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden.

Legalisation in the form of the apostille

If an apostille must be affixed to a document, the competent authorities for the issuing state can be found at this link. The following countries signed the Hague Convention:

Albania, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, China - only Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao, Cape Verde, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Denmark, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Georgia, Greece, Grenada, Guyana, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea (Republic), Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malta, Marshal Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niue, Oman, Panama, Palau, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Russian Federation, Saint Christopher and Nevis, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, São Tomé and Principe, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Suriname, Swaziland, Switzerland, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu and Venezuela.

The apostille is only issued correctly  if the signature of the person issuing the document in question (e.g. Rector*in, Director*in etc.) is confirmed. Certification of the signature of the translator or notary public is not sufficient.

Full diplomatic legalisation

If the documents require "full diplomatic legalisation", the provisions below for each certificate/diploma are mandatory:

  • First step: Legalisation by the competent sectorial Ministry (e.g. Ministry of Education) of the country of origin;
  • Second step: 'Overlegalisation' by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country of origin;
  • Third step: Legalisation by the Austrian diplomatic representation in the country of origin.

Please note that legalisation cannot be done by the diplomatic representation of the respective country in Austria or by the Legalisation Office of the Federal Ministry of European and International Affairs.

Important information for applicants from the Peoples Republic of China who have passed the National College Entrance Examination ('Gaokao') in China but who have not yet completed their first semester: Please have your documents of your university entrance examination ('Gaokao') and the document of your admission's letter for a bachelor's degree programme to a state-recognised university in China verified by the "China Academic Degrees & Graduation Education Development Center" (CDGDC) . Please attach the CDGDC verification to your application for admission to study in Austria.

In case you have already completed one semester of your degree at a "211"-university or at least three semesters at a state-recognised university in China at the time of your application for admission to study in Austria, you have to have your documents verified by the Academic Evaluation Beijing, as the CDGDC verification is not accepted by the Austrian institutions of higher education ( in such cases.


All documents required for a complete application must be submitted in either German or English. If the original document is not issued in one of these two languages, the document must be translated. The translation must be prepared by a sworn and officially accredited translator.

Please note that the original document must show all required stamps of legalisation prior to translation. All stamps, seals and legalisation notes must also be translated.

The translation must be attached to the original document by the translator.

List of translators sworn and certified in Austria

Suspension of Legalisation

The execution of the legalisation of documents from certain countries can be suspended by the Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs if reliable examination of the genuineness or correctness of contents of these documents cannot be guaranteed.

At present, this applies to:
Afghanistan, Burundi, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Congo – Democratic Republic, Iraq,  Korea- Democratic People's Republic, Myanmar, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan.

For third-party states (outside of the EU and the EEA, with the exception of Switzerland), the following applies:

If you have submitted documents to Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences (FH Vorarlberg) and there is any doubt about the authenticity of these or the documents are not sufficient for a decision to be made about whether the entrance requirements are met, FH Vorarlberg reserves the right to charge a deposit of EUR 250.00.

If the verification has shown the authenticity and accuracy of the documents and you meet the admission requirements, the deposit will be refunded to you. Bank charges and fees are at your expense. Please provide us with the bank details (bank, account owner, BIC, IBAN) to which the refund should be made, otherwise the transfer can be made back to the account from which the amount was transferred.

It may also be necessary for you to send the original documents (or certified copies of these) to FH Vorarlberg before you will be included in the admission procedure. It is therefore in your interests to apply early.

Important for applicants from third-party states (outside of the EU and the EEA, with the exception of Switzerland): the final application date is March 1st! The duration for applying and obtaining a visa and/or residence permit may vary by country of origin. We recommend that you inform yourself as soon as possible.