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FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions


 

Answers to frequently asked questions about the online application can be found in our

FAQ online application.

 


 

General Questions


What is uni-assist's purpose?
Am I eligible to study in Germany according to my prior education?
Do I have to send my application to uni-assist?
Where can I get advise on application matters?

 

Questions about the application procedure


When can I apply?
Which application form should I use?
Can I use one single application form for applying to several universities at the same time?
When filling in the application form I made a mistake. Do I have to send a new application form or can uni-assist rectify it on my behalf?
Which documents should I attach to my application?
Where can I have my certificates authenticated?
Where can I have my certificates translated?
I apply to several universities. How many sets of documents do I have to submit to uni-assist?
Can I apply online?
Can I submit my application documents online?
Why is it not possible to submit authenticated documents online?
Where do I send my application to?
How can I know that my shipment arrived at uni-assist's?
When will I get to know if my application is complete?
My friends also apply via uni-assist. May we send our applications together?
What happens if I send an application to uni-assist for something uni-assist is not responsible for?
What do I have to submit to uni-assist before expiration of the deadline?
I will receive my certificate only after expiration of the deadline. What can I do?
Can I still make changes or submit further documents after uni-assist has received my application?
How long does it take uni-assist to process my application?
I have to apply for my visa, can uni-assist hurry up the processing of my application?
The deadline has already expired but uni-assist did not yet process my application.
What happens if my application documents are not complete?
What can I do if I do not agree to the result of uni-assist's pre-check?

 

Questions on admission


If my application is forwarded to the university, will I then be automatically admitted?
When will I get to know if I get admission?
What happens if I get admission by several universities?

 

Questions on handling fees


How much do I have to pay for the processing of my application(s)?
How much do I have to pay if I apply for several degree courses at the same university?
How can I pay?
Which deadline applies for paying the handling fees?
Shall I send my application first and then pay or shall I do it vice versa?
Will I get a refund if uni-assist does not forward my application to the university?

 

Other Questions


What do I need to be careful of when I apply again?
May I ask a friend or relative to deal with my application?
Will I get my application documents back?
What will happen to my application documents?
What will happen to my personal data?
I have another question that is not listed here.

 


 

General Questions

 

 

What is uni-assist's purpose?

The core task of uni-assist is the evaluation of international school/ university certificates. uni-assist examines if the submitted school/ university certificates are equivalent to German school/ university degrees, i.e. whether they qualify in principle for admission to university studies in Germany. Additionally, most universities entrust uni-assist with the evaluation of further criteria which are subject to preliminary examination. All applications that are complete within the deadline and meet all requirements will be forwarded to the respective university and then be included in the selection and admission process. Only the universities themselves decide on the matter of admission.


Am I eligible to study in Germany according to my prior education?

In order to study in Germany, you have to provide documents sufficient for admission. Depending on your country of origin, this may be your school leaving certificate (e.g. A-Levels, Baccalauréat, Attestat, Matura, etc.), a university entrance examination or a combination of certificates and documentation confirming your years of study.

uni-assist is unable to give any binding information unless you provide us with your certificates as part of an application to one of uni-assist’s member universities.
At www.anabin.de (German only) you can find out whether your certificates are sufficient for studying in Germany. Click on “anabin-Datenbank” in the menu at the top and then choose either the category “Hochschulabschlüsse” or “Schulabschlüsse mit Hochschulzugang” on the left. Please then select your country and you will be given a list of certificates. Click on the certificate that applies to you, you will then see what kind of university admission you have in Germany.


Do I have to send my application to uni-assist?

uni-assist does the pre-check of applications only by order of its member universities. It is up to each university to determine which applicant groups uni-assist is responsible for or not responsible for. Applicants cannot decide themselves: If uni-assist is responsible for an application, then it is mandatory to apply via uni-assist; if uni-assist is not responsible then it is not possible to apply via uni-assist. Please inform directly at the university of your choice on the responsibility for each of your applications.


Where can I get advise on application matters?

Each university has a student advisory service for foreign applicants, and their staff will be happy to help you with your questions. On the universities' websites you will find further information on their advisory service and the contact details of the responsible department. Please always contact always the administration (i.e. the immatriculation office) if you have questions concerning your application, never go to the faculty! The faculties can only advise you on the educational content but ; however, the requirements for the pre-check of applications are always set up by the administration.

 


 

Questions about the application procedure

 

 

When can I apply?

You may send your application anytime prior to the expiration of the deadline, even if the application period of the university has not yet begun. However, please note: In case you cannot yet make an application for the study programme of your choice, you have to check if the application period for this course has already begun. In this case, please contact the university of your choice and ask them when an online application via the portal of uni-assist will be possible.

We recommend to apply as soon as possible, at least six weeks before the deadline expires. The advantage of applying early is to ensure an early reply from us regarding the result of our processing. You will then have the chance to submit any missing documents before the deadline expires.


Which application form should I use?

The member universities of uni-assist have decided that an online application via the uni-assist online portal for applicants will be mandatory starting with summer semester 2014:
Register in our online portal, create your application form and submit it electronically to uni-assist. Then print the application form, sign it and send it together with your documents to uni-assist.

Enquire at the university you would like to apply for whether you have to hand in the university's own specific application form. If this is the case, please have the application form sent to you or download it from the university's website. This application form must then be completed, signed and submitted additionally.


Can I use one single application form for applying to several universities at the same time?

No, this is not possible in general. You must complete and hand in a separate application form for each university you wish to apply to.


When filling in the application form I made a mistake. Do I have to send a new application form or can uni-assist rectify it on my behalf?

uni-assist is generally not allowed to make any changes to the statements in your application form, not even if you agree expressly.

However, in most cases it is not necessary to send a new application form. It is important that you fill in your application form complete and truthful. A typo would not be a problem as you have to proove all relevant data – regarding your educational background, your grades and language proficiency – anyway by submitting certificates. If something changes afterwards (f.ex. because you got a new language proficiency certificate), it is not necessary to correct your application form because they were correct when you submitted your application. Even if you wish to change your study wish you may usually inform us accordingly via our contact form.


Which documents should I attach to my application?

uni-assist is not a Student Advisory Service. It is the privilege of the universities to advise you on application matters. Please go directly to the university of your choice for information on conditions to fulfil.

Each university has different requirements and deadlines. They vary not only from university to university but may also vary from degree course to degree course. Therefore, please inform yourself of the exact requirements for each of your applications and then submit everything as required. If you have questions on the requirements, then please address the university's admission office for counselling.


Where can I have my certificates authenticated?

The uni-assist member universities have agreed on a set of standards regarding official authentication. Further information can be found on our website:
 

Standards



Where can I have my certificates translated?

The uni-assist member universities have agreed on a set of standards regarding sworn translations. Further information can be found on our website:
 

Standards

 

Please note that translations have to be certified. However, in case the copy of a translation which you submit bears the translator's original stamp then an additional certification is not necessary.

 


I apply to several universities. How many sets of documents do I have to submit to uni-assist?

We only need one set of documents. Your documents must fulfil all requirements of all universities you wish to apply for. Note that usually all documents have to be certified and submitted in paper form.

Please do not send additional copies, neither certified nor simple copies. We provide your application documents only electronically, your paper documents will be archived at uni-assist's. Expendable copies cause unnecessary work (for us) and additional costs (for you).

However, this does not apply to application forms: You have to submit a separate signed application form for each university you would like to apply for.


Can I apply online?

Yes, you even have to, because the member universities of uni-assist have decided that an online application via the uni-assist online portal for applicants will be mandatory starting with summer semester 2014.


Can I submit my application documents online?

You may upload all those documents which do not have to be certified or do not need an original signature.

If you apply early you may upload your complete application documents and pay the handling fee. uni-assist will then check your application and inform you on the result. Thus you improve your chances to submit an application on paper which is complete and meets all requirements of the university.

We can finalize processing of your application only if you send us hard copies of all required documents together with the printed and signed application form. Your documents must reach uni-assist by the end of the deadline, it is not sufficient to submit only the online application in time.


Why is it not possible to submit authenticated documents online?

Please be sure to bear the following information in mind: copies of certified documents - regardless of whether they are presented electronically or in paper form - are only simple copies and themselves are not certified. A copy is only certified if it has the original certification stamp on it.


Where do I send my application to?

Please send you application on paper to this address:

uni-assist e.V.
Helmholtzstrasse 2-9, Entrance E, 2nd floor
10587 Berlin
Germany

 

Write the name of the university/ one of the universities you are applying for (no matter which one) in the top line and below the address.


How can I know that my shipment arrived at uni-assist's?

Applicants will receive a confirmation of receipt via e-mail for everything they send to uni-assist – even if the shipment or the payment has not been sent by the applicant himself but by another person or institution.

Only if no e-mail address has been provided or the e-mail address provided is not working, all these confirmations of receipt will be sent by mail.


When will I get to know if my application is complete?

If an application is complete can only be determined upon completion of the evaluation. As soon as your application has been processed, we will inform you by letter and by e-mail on the result of our pre-check. In case you application is not complete, then our notification will list all documents that are missing or do not meet the requirements.

Unfortunately, it is generally not possible to neither check the completeness of an application nor make a list of each single document when we register. Such a check requires special knowledge of all certificates from all countries as well as of all requirements for their complete study offers – and this can only be done by our specialists. Therefore, our post room files only by the categories „appliation forms“, „certificates“ and „further documents“.


My friends also apply via uni-assist. May we send our applications together?

You can of course send documents for several applicants at the same time. However, please make sure that it is clear which documents belong together and which are from a different applicant. It is best if you use an individual envelope for each applicant with a name and an applicant number (if available) on it, and then put all the envelopes in a bigger envelope.


What happens if I send an application to uni-assist for something uni-assist is not responsible for?

uni-assist can only process applications by order of its member universities. All other applications must be rejected in general.

If during the course of processing the application, it turns out that uni-assist is not responsible for your application you will be notified in writing. As a rule, applications that are sent to uni-assist by mistake cannot be forwarded to the universities and in most cases cannot even return the documents. The handling fees can only be reimbursed in part because uni-assist had expenses processing your application. If you apply late then the deadline for your application may already have expired and you would have to apply for a later semester.


What do I have to submit to uni-assist before expiration of the deadline?

Generally all required documents have to be submitted to uni-assist complete and in the required form before the deadline expires. The handling fees must also be completely booked into our account by the end of the deadline. If something is missing or your shipment does not reach uni-assist in time, then the university's requirements are not met and we cannot forward your application to the university.


I will receive my certificate only after expiration of the deadline. What can I do?

Kindly note that we can only forward applications that arrived at our office within the deadline, with all documents complete and in the prescribed form of attestation and translation. The deadline of the university has always to be met, regardless of when we inform you on missing or wrong documents, and uni-assist is not allowed to make any exceptions from this.

However, there are some exceptions at some universities:


Before applying please inform exactly at each university about possible exceptions and on the respective conditions. If a university does not offer an exception and you are not able to submit all of your application documents in time and completely, then you have to apply for a later semester.


Can I still make changes or submit further documents after uni-assist has received my application?

Of course you may do so. As long as uni-assist did not forward your application to the university and the application period has not expired, then you can still make changes or submit further documents. No additional costs apply for this service.

If your application has already been forwarded then uni-assist is no longer responsible. In this case please contact the university's immatriculation office.


How long does it take uni-assist to process my application?

Evaluating of your application(s) usually takes some four to six weeks after we received the application and the payment. We will inform you on the result by mail and e-mail.


I have to apply for my visa, can uni-assist hurry up the processing of my application?

We intend to treat all applicants equal and therefore do not offer any kind of privileges in evaluating applications. Kindly consider that many other applicants have the same problem: If we would favour some applicants then others would have to wait longer – that would be unfair.

Therefore we recommend to apply as soon as possible. With uni-assist's written confirmation that at least one application has been forwarded to the university you may already apply for a study applicant's visa at the German Embassy / German Consulate in your country. However, the letter does not grant a legal claim for the issuance of a visa.


The deadline has already expired but uni-assist did not yet process my application.

The deadlines which are set up and published by the universities are effective only for applicants, not for the evaluation by uni-assist. uni-assist fixes separately a different deadline for processing all applications that have been submitted and paid before expiration of the deadline. uni-assist grants to the applicants that all applications are processed in view to this special deadline and the universities will not start their selection process unless uni-assist has forwarded to them all appropriate applications.


What happens if my application documents are not complete?

uni-assist is allowed to forward only those applications which have been paid for, fulfilled all requirements and were complete by the deadline. So if something is missing or not in the prescribed form of attestation and translation, then we unfortunately have to reject your application by order of the university.

However, at the same time we also inform you exactly what is missing or does not meet the formal requirements, and if the deadline has not expired, you may put things straight.
So the advantage of applying early is to ensure an early reply from us regarding the result of our processing. You will then have the chance to submit any missing documents before the deadline expires.

Please note that generally all required documents have to be submitted to uni-assist before the deadline expires, late submissions are not allowed in most cases. The deadline of the university has always to be met, regardless of when we inform you on missing or wrong documents, and uni-assist is not allowed to make any exceptions from this.


What can I do if I do not agree to the result of uni-assist's pre-check?

uni-assist carries out the pre-check of your documents with the greatest care and accuracy.
Should you however feel that we have made a mistake in our pre-check, please write to us. There are no special formal requirements, you may f.ex. use our contact form for your message. State the reasons for your complaint and please include your application number. uni-assist's management will look into your complaint and get back to you in writing. If you still disagree with this response, we will forward your application to the respective university. The university will then issue you a decision vested with legal capacity.
 


 

Questions on admission

 

 

If my application is forwarded to the university, will I then be automatically admitted?

No. uni-assist only evaluates by order of the university if your application could be admitted at all. If this is the case, then we will forward your application to the university's admission office. The responsible staff of the university will check all applications and subsequently decide on the allocation of study places. They will inform you about their decision and all further steps.


When will I get to know if I get admission?

The universities will not start their selection process unless uni-assist has forwarded to them all appropriate applications. This means that the university will be able to inform you on admission not earlier than approximately four to six weeks upon expiration of the deadline. Please contact the university you have applied to directly in order to get precise information on their timeframe.


What happens if I get admission by several universities?

You are free to decide which admission offer you would like to accept. However, in the interests of other applicants you should make you decision as soon as possible and inform all other universities at your earliest convenience that you will not accept their offer. Thus the study places at those universities can be given to other applicants.
 


 

Questions on handling fees

 

 

How much do I have to pay for the processing of my application(s)?

All information on handling fees can be found in our
 

Regulation of Fees


How much do I have to pay if I apply for several degree courses at the same university?

The handling fees are charged per university and semester. This means that the handling fees will not increase if you apply for more than one degree course at the same university.


How can I pay?

All information on payment options can be found under
 

Methods of Payment

Payment methods that are not listed and explained there cannot be accepted.


Which deadline applies for paying the handling fees?

The deadline for payment is always the same as for the choice of study, and out of goodwill we grant an extension of seven days. Meeting the deadline is determined by the day of receipt at uni-assist.


Shall I send my application first and then pay or shall I do it vice versa?

It makes no difference whether you send your application documents first or your payment or do both at the same time. We can start processing your application only after we have received and registered your documents as well as your payment.

If you apply for the very first time via uni-assist, we will not be able to confirm receipt of your payment until we will have received your application, because otherwise we do not have the necessary data. Of course you may register online: Thus you get your applicant number immediately and can indicate on your transfer voucher as well as on your application sent by mail.

You may, of course, send your application first and pay the handling fees only upon receipt of our confirmation. However, it is not necessary to wait: Even if your post gets lost or damaged during transit, you will not lose your money. It will remain as a balance in your account until you use it for another application or ask for reimbursement.


Will I get a refund if uni-assist does not forward my application to the university?

No. The handling expenses are charged for the one-time processing and evaluation of your application documents by uni-assist. uni-assist is allowed to forward only those applications which have been paid for, fulfilled all requirements and were complete by the deadline.

This means that paying the handling fees does not qualify your application for being forwarded to the university. After having processed your application we cannot reimburse the handling expenses, even if your application has not been forwarded to the university.
 


 

Other Questions

 

 

What do I need to be careful of when I apply again?

uni-assist is obliged to archive all application documents for one year after you applied. If you apply for another uni-assist member university within this period of time you do not have to submit anything we already have. However, there are some things you should know so we compiled the relevant information for you:
 

 Applying again



May I ask a friend or relative to deal with my application?

You may, of course, commission a friend, relative or an agency to deal with your applications. However, uni-assist will need an authorization by you to be able to provide information to another person or agency or to accept changes in your applications initiated by somebody else. This authorization must be issued either in German or English and signed by you. It remains valid until it is revoked in writing.

We provide two different samples. You may use one of these or draft one on your own. Sign the authorization personally and send it to us by post, by fax oder upload it into your online account.
 
1. limited authorization: By using this sample you permit the authorized person or agency to gather extensive information on your applications. This means, we would answer to this person all questions we would also answer to you.
 
Download limited authorization
 
2. comprehensive authorization: By using this sample you permit the authorized person or agency to gather extensive information on your applications and to act on your behalf, for example to sign application forms, indicate changes of your choice of study or even withdraw an application.

Download comprehensive authorization


Will I get my application documents back?

uni-assist does not send any documents back in general. We are obliged to archive all application documents for one year after you applied. If you apply again within this period the retention period will start again. Upon expiration of the retention period the documents will be shredded.
 

Please do never send us any originals but only authenticated copies of them!


What will happen to my application documents?

Our postal department records all mail and stamps it with the arrival date. Since we record everything manually, a delay between the actual arrival of the post and its registration in our system can occur. As soon as the documents have been recorded with the arrival date, we will automatically send you a confirmation of receipt via e-mail.

Your documents will be placed in a wallet and filed in our archive. Each applicant has their own wallet in which all of their documents are kept, so that nothing can get lost. Any later deliveries will be stamped with the date of arrival and placed in the personal wallet as well.

The wallet will remain in the archive until the handling fees have been paid and all previously submitted applications have been processed. We process all received applications in order of their arrival, determined by the date on which the post and payment arrive at uni-assist.

During processing, all documents are sorted, with any surplus copies removed and placed separately in the wallet. The application will then be scanned, so that the administrators responsible for the university you have applied to can examine your documents, even if your application cannot actually be forwarded on. Pages have to be scanned one by one and cannot be oversized, otherwise we will have to cut them down. Cutting documents down causes authentication seals to lose their validity, in which case the documents will only be valid for any other applications via uni-assist, and only up until they first leave our offices.

Once scanning is complete, your wallet will be returned to the archive where it will remain until it is needed again. If you send us any new documents, we will process and scan your application again. Your application documents are sent on to the universities electronically, all paper documents will remain in uni-assist’s archive in case any questions should come up later.

Upon expiry of the retention date, your documents will be destroyed.


What will happen to my personal data?


All application documents that have been submitted on paper will be kept at uni-assist for a period of one year. After that they will be destroyed. Digital data will be stored for a period of four years and then deleted. During storage, all data privacy regulations will, of course, be respected:

Only uni-assist and the universities applied to can access the data. Your data will never be given to third parties and no statistics will be made which would allow any conclusions about individual applicants.

Please find further information on data privacy on our website:
 

 Data Privacy


Universities also delete forwarded application data after a period of up to four years. However, after you have enrolled at a university, your data will be kept at least during the whole period of study – in most cases, even several decades.


I have another question that is not listed here.

Please call us or send your enquiry to us via our contact form. However, please note that we only are able and allowed to answer questions connected to the processing of your application:

uni-assist is not a Student Advisory Service. It is the privilege of the universities to advise you on application matters. Therefore please contact the university of your choice directly if you have questions about requirements, deadlines or responsibilities for your choices of study.