How to get a certified copy of a document for your Australian visa application

Australian visa application

Knowing how to get certfieid copies of your 
documents is essential for a visa application.

Today, I'd like to highlight one of the most important parts of any Australian visa application; the process of having a document made into a certified copy.

What is a certified copy? 

A certified copy is a photocopy of an original document that is stamped as being a true copy of the original by an individual authorised to do so. 

The majority of the documents you submit to an Australian skills assessing body or to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) as part of your visa application process must be certified copies.

Who can certify my documents?

Your country of residence is generally what determines who you can approach to certify copies of your documents; for example, the following individuals are all able to certify documents in the UK:

  • Solicitor (lawyer);
  • Justice of the Peace;
  • Commissioner for Oaths; OR
  • Member of the Notary Public.

However, some skills assessing bodies are quite specific about who can and can't certify copies of documents, as well as the wording that must appear on a certified copy.  As a result, it's important that you check this beforehand so the person certfiying your copies of documents is eligible to do so and uses the correct wording.

How many certified copies will I need to make of my documents?

Remember, you will probably need to submit certified copies of documents at:

  • The skills assessment stage (e.g. VETASSESS, TRA, ANMC);
  • The visa application stage to DIAC; AND 
  • Possibly for licensing purposes once in Australia as well.

Therefore, we recommend that you have three certified copies of your documents made. Additionally, if you are including any translated documents, please note that you will need to submit a certified copy of both the original document AND a certified copy of its translation.

How can I have my documents translated?

If your documents are not in English, you should arrange for a translation into English by an accredited translator. You should include both the original and translated documents in your application.

How should my certified copies appear?

When certifying documents, the authorised person needs to include the following statement on each document:

  • The signature and title of the person certifying the document;
  • The date that the document was certified;
  • The name of the person certifying the document  (this should be clearly printed or evident in the official stamp);
  • The address of the person certifying the document;
  • The phone number and, if possible, the email address of the person certifying the document; AND
  • Where possible, an official stamp indicating the status of the person certifying the document (i.e. Justice of the Peace, Commissioner for Oaths, Member of the Notary Public, or a solicitor indicating the name of the law firm).

- Lauren Mennie is Casework Department Manager for the Australian Visa Bureau