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I am a Ukrainian citizen. I have applied for a bachelor's degree program at the University of South Bohemia (Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic), and they have accepted my application on the condition that I will get my secondary school leaving certificate (the certificate is issued by a Russian school, and has the apostille on it) nostrificated (recognized/certified as equivalent) by the interview/exams date, which is the 18th of June.

So now I'm in trouble. From multiple sources I have figured out that I need to submit documents for nostrification personally. To do that I need to go to the Czech Republic. For that I need a short term visa. The problem is that the university can't make me an invitation for the visa to handle nostrification, they can only invite me to exams.

I tried to find some Czech agencies to assist such situations, but they seem to be slowpokes, and do not respond to emails. The nostrification procedure takes 30-60 days, so I must hurry up, or I'll be screwed. All I have right now (aside from a ton of papers, that should confirm my certificate) to present to visa issuing authorities is a letter from the university that states I need to go through nostrification procedure, a bunch of email correspondence with University and a government official from Prague, who confirmed, that I have to present all the papers personally.

So, what should I do? How do I get a short term visa to submit my nostrification documents and to take the nostrification exams 30-60 days afterwards? Finances are not a problem in my case.

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The requirement for university applicants to affirm their high school diploma (aka nostrification) will be abolished on September 1st 2016. The relevant paragraph from the updated law is:

d) zahraničním dokladem o zahraničním středoškolském vzdělání, který byl získán absolvováním studia ve středoškolském vzdělávacím programu na zahraniční střední škole působící podle právních předpisů cizího státu a který v daném cizím státě opravňuje jeho držitele k přístupu ke studiu v bakalářském studijním programu nebo v magisterském studijním programu, který nenavazuje na bakalářský studijní program; ustanovení § 90 odst. 2 věty druhé a § 90 odst. 3 se použijí obdobně, přičemž vysoká škola může také vyžadovat předložení doplňující informace o obsahu a rozsahu zahraničního středoškolského studia a potvrzení příslušné zahraniční střední školy nebo jiného příslušného zahraničního orgánu o tom, že absolvent studia ve středoškolském vzdělávacím programu dané zahraniční střední školy je v uvedeném cizím státě oprávněn ucházet se o přijetí ke studiu v bakalářském studijním programu nebo v magisterském studijním programu, který nenavazuje na bakalářský studijní program.

This means that:

  1. Universities can now accept legalized and translated copies of high school diplomas, instead of the nostrificated version.
  2. Universities may request additional information from the applicant, such as a list of studied subjects.
  3. The high school diploma must be sufficient to enter a university in your home country. So if you graduated high school in Russia, that particular diploma must be good enough to study in Russian universities.
  4. Universities may request an official confirmation regarding the paragraph above

Whatever the exact requirements are is essentially up to each individual university, however what matters is the process is now under their full control. While this wouldn't help any of the current applicants, future students can now stop worrying about this issue.

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