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Bonafide Certificate – Introduction, Application and Format

By Annapoorna


Updated on: Feb 9th, 2023


19 min read

Bonafide certificates hold high value and importance since time immemorial. A bonafide certificate is a certificate issued by an organisation to certify that a particular person belongs to that organisation. Usually, educational institutions issue this certificate to its students. Companies may also do so for their employees.  

What is Bonafide Certificate?

The word ‘Bonafide’ means ‘in good faith’. It is a certificate of evidence showing that an individual belongs to a particular course or class of an institute, school or college for a specific period. It is a reliable identification document issued by a college or employer.

The bonafide certificate is a document issued by a recognised academic institution attesting the fact that an individual is enrolled in that institution’s programme and seeking the mentioned degree. It is a legitimate certificate that students can use to get admission to a different college, school or university. 

An employee can also obtain a bonafide certificate from the employer. The bonafide certificate issued by the employer indicates that the employee is working with the employer. Bonafide certificates are acceptable as supporting evidence when applying for visas, requesting financial aid, etc. They confirm and validate the identity of students or employees, making them able to claim specific advantages.

The contents of the bonafide certificate vary as per the different purposes it is required for by an employee or a student. Thus, its format varies for students and employees.

What is Bonafide Certificate Needed For?

A bonafide certificate can be used for various purposes. It is widely used in administrative work, such as switching jobs, changing schools, requesting a loan, applying for a visa or passport, and other travel-related matters. Below are the purposes for which a bonafide certificate is required by students and employees.


  • To apply for educational loans 
  • To visit an industry for a project
  • To attend a seminar, conference or workshop in other colleges
  • To avail student travel concessions or passes
  • To apply for a passport application
  • To get the membership of a public library
  • Student’s visa extension


  • To open a bank account
  • To take a loan from a bank
  • To seek employment elsewhere
  • To attend an official seminar or conference

Different Types of Bonafide Certificates

These are the types of bonafide certificates issued based on their uses:

  • To students

Universities and colleges issue bonafide certificates to their students verifying the fact that they are bonafide or real students enrolled in their educational institutions. Student details, such as roll numbers, names and the length of the course, are included on the bonafide certificate. An institute or university can issue a bonafide certificate to part-time students or off-campus university students taking a work-study program.

  • To employees

Employers or companies issue the bonafide certificate validating an employee’s identification and position within the company or organisation. Bonafide certificates are vital documents that help to protect a company from fraud and identity theft.

These are the types of bonafide certificates issued based on their period of use:

  • Temporary bonafide certificate

Temporary bonafide certificates are issued for a maximum of six months and are renewable after their expiry period.

  • Permanent bonafide certificate

Permanent bonafide certificates are valid throughout the academic programme or employment.

Application for Bonafide Certificate

For Students

A student has to apply in writing to the head of the college/institute to get the bonafide certificate. Some institutions may have a prescribed bonafide certificate application format which the students need to fill out and submit to the institute for getting the bonafide certificate. Some institutions may require the first-year and direct second-year students applying for the bonafide certificate to attach a leaving certificate from the earlier college along with the application form.

For Employees

An employee has to apply to the head of the organisation/department in writing to get the bonafide certificate. Usually, in companies, employees need to write/email a simple bonafide certificate letter to the HR department to get the bonafide certificate. The bonafide certificate will contain the employee’s name, joining date and position in the company.

Sample Formats for Bonafide Certificate

For Students

While every college may have its own bonafide certificate for students format, it will definitely contain particulars, such as the college name printed on the letterhead, date of issuing, details of the student to whom it is issued, and signature by the head of the institution. Thus, the following format has been provided as an example of what the bonafide certificate format would look like:

For Employees

Every company/organisation has its own format for the bonafide certificate, but it will contain particulars, such as the company name printed on the letterhead, date of issuing, details of the employee to whom it is issued, and seal of the company. Thus, the format for bonafide certificate issued by a company would look like this:

Bonafide Certificate Download 

Bonafide Application Format

For Students:

College or school students should write a request application/letter to the head of the institute to get the bonafide certificate from the institute. The request letter should contain the reason for which the bonafide certificate is required. The bonafide certificate letter format for students are as follows:

For Employees:

Employees should give a application/letter to the HR of the company to get the bonafide certificate. The application should contain the details of the employee and the reason for which the bonafide certificate is required. The format of the bonafide certificate application for employees are as follows:

Required Documents for Application

Following are the documents required to be given along with the application for bonafide certificate:

For Students

  • Photocopy of ID card
  • Fee receipt, if any fees are to be paid while submitting application form
  • Admission receipt
  • Marksheet

For Employees

  • Copy of Employee ID card
  • Copy of PAN card
  • Copy of Pay slip

Why Bonafide Certificate is Important?

A bonafide certificate is an important document for a student. A student might require a bonafide certificate for various purposes, such as getting a bus or metro pass, getting an educational loan, getting a membership of a public library, etc. Similarly, a bonafide certificate may be required by employees at any stage of their career for getting loans, while changing jobs, etc.

A bonafide certificate serves as a proof of evidence for a student or employee that they belong to that particular institute or organisation, respectively. It demonstrates that a student or employee is studying or working in a specific institution or organisation. It is easy to procure a bonafide certificate when compared to other identification documents. Usually, schools, colleges or companies will be able to issue it in 10- 15 days. 

Use of Bonafide Certificate

Since the bonafide certificate acts as proof of being part of an organisation, it is usually demanded in the following cases:

  • A student seeking to obtain student concessions offered by public transport agencies such as city buses, local trains, and metros may be required to produce this certificate while applying for the concession.
  • The certificate may also be required while applying for a passport.
  • Visa applications sometimes require this certificate especially in cases where a separate student visa is issued to students who are studying abroad or where a work visa is issued to an employee of a company.
  • Certain lending institutions offer loans to students at concessional rates. The student may be required to produce this certificate to receive this benefit.
  • The documents produced before various traffic authorities to apply for a driving license may include a bonafide certificate as additional ID proof.
  • Certain conferences, seminars, or other such events are conducted exclusively for students/employees and entry to such events may be granted on production of this certificate.
  • To apply for various student scholarships.
  • The bonafide certificate is extensively used in the carrying out administrative functions, especially in matters like changing schools, obtaining admission to an educational institution, applying for a loan, changing jobs, applying for travel documents such as passport and visa, etc.
  • Corporates may have tie-ups with businesses to provide additional perquisites. For example, a company may have a tie-up with a taxi service to provide a concession for their employees. The employees may prove their eligibility with the help of this certificate.


A bonafide certificate is a simple piece of paper but is worth a great deal as it signifies that a student or employee belongs to an institute or organisation, respectively. It allows students and employees to further their prospects in life. It helps them to go for higher education, get better jobs or apply for a loan, visa or passport. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I obtain my bonafide certificate?

You can get a bonafide certificate by writing a request application for issuing a bonafide certificate to the head of a school or college. Employees can get a bonafide certificate by writing an application for issuing a bonafide certificate to the head of the department or HR department. It should be accompanied by the necessary documents. 

Why does a student need a bonafide certificate?

A student may require a bonafide certificate for admission to other schools/colleges, availing scholarships, getting bus/metro passes, while attending seminars/workshops, getting educational loans, getting passports/visa, etc.

What can I use a bonafide certificate for?

You can use a bonafide certificate to get a passport made, extension of visa, apply for an educational loan, avail travel discounts, attend seminars and workshops, and change schools/colleges/companies.

Are a bonafide certificate and study certificate the same thing?

No. A bonafide certificate shows that you are a student of the school or college while a study certificate validates the fact that you studied a certain subject or course at a school or college. A bonafide certificate is issued while being part or studying at the school or college while a study certificate is issued after leaving or completing the course in a school or college.

What is the validity period of a bonafide certificate?

The validity of the bonafide certificate will depend on the purpose it is issued for and the company/institute that issues it. Some companies/institutes may issue a temporary bonafide certificate based on its use. Temporary bonafide certificates will be valid for a period of six months to a year. If the company/institute issues a permanent bonafide certificate, it will be valid till the student is in a particular class or till the employee is working in the company.

How long does it take to get a bonafide certificate?

Generally, it takes 10-15 working days to issue a bonafide certificate after you have applied for it.

What is a bonafide certificate for scholarship?

A bonafide certificate is an important document to get a scholarship for a course. To grant a scholarship, the institute or authority granting the scholarship will require proof that the student is studying the course for which scholarship is applied for. A bonafide certificate acts as a proof of evidence that a student is studying that particular course in a particular institute. It is one of the documents required to get a scholarship.

How to get bonafide certificate from college online?

Students can get a bonafide certificate from a college online by visiting the college website and clicking on the online application for bonafide certificate. They can fill the online application on the college website and attach the required documents to get the bonafide certificate online. 

How to get bonafide certificate from company?

Employees can get the bonafide certificate from the company by writing or emailing the application for issuing the bonafide certificate to the HR department, manager or the head of the department. The self-attested documents must be attached with the application to get the bonafide certificate.

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About the Author

I preach the words, “Learning never exhausts the mind.” An aspiring CA and a passionate content writer having 4+ years of hands-on experience in deciphering jargon in Indian GST, Income Tax, off late also into the much larger Indian finance ecosystem, I love curating content in various forms to the interest of tax professionals, and enterprises, both big and small. While not writing, you can catch me singing Shāstriya Sangeetha and tuning my violin ;). Read more


Quick Summary

Bonafide certificates are essential documents issued by educational institutions or employers that certify the individual's affiliation with the organization. They are crucial for various purposes such as admission, visas, loans, employment verification. They come in different types based on usage and duration. Applications for bonafide certificates require written requests with specific supporting documents. Formats vary for students and employees. A bonafide certificate serves as a proof of identity easily obtainable within 10-15 days.

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