449 Fake German Language Certificates for Visa Applications Issued by Goethe Institute in Beirut

449 Fake German Language Certificates for Visa Applications Issued by Goethe Institute in Beirut


1. A total of 449 fake German language proficiency certificates have been issued by the Goethe Institute in Beirut.
2. Two employees of the Goethe Institute in Beirut exploited their system access to falsify data and issue fraudulent language proficiency certificates.
3. German language proficiency is a crucial requirement for foreigners planning to live in Germany.

A total of 449 falsified German language proficiency certificates, often used for visa applications, were issued at the Goethe Institute in Beirut, Lebanon. This incident has been confirmed by the Goethe Institute to the FAZ, and criminal charges are being filed.

Two employees of the Goethe Institute in Beirut used their system access to alter test scores and sell the fraudulent certificates. According to the FAZ report, 245 visas were issued based on these fake certificates, allowing recipients to enter Germany.

The Goethe Institute maintains close and trusting cooperation with visa offices worldwide and the headquarters of the Federal Foreign Office. However, the Institute stated that nothing like this has ever happened in Beirut before.

German embassies frequently verify certificate authenticity with the Goethe Institute when there are discrepancies in an applicant’s language proficiency. In March, an embassy employee identified an invalid certificate through such an inquiry.

Katrin Sohns, a spokeswoman for the Goethe Institute, confirmed that the two employees acted with criminal intent, bypassing the Institute’s security measures. A spokesperson for the Foreign Office emphasized that any fraud in visa procedures is taken very seriously and investigated thoroughly.

German language proficiency is essential for foreigners planning to live in Germany, especially for work or study purposes. Visa applicants often need to prove their German language skills to a specified standard.

Germany's Investigation into Questionable Visa Issuance Practices

Last year, Germany approved 1,233,561 visa applications out of 1,459,560 received, with 1,115,424 being multiple-entry visas. However, reports of questionable visa issuance practices prompted investigations into staff and embassies abroad, including in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Syria, where fake and incomplete documents were allegedly accepted, allowing irregular migration.

Germany remains a top choice for obtaining multiple-entry Schengen visas, as per Schengen Visa Statistics.


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