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UK Degree Certificate Attestation & Apostille


Simon Colwill - February 14, 2020 - 0 comments

Moving abroad? If so, it is likely that you will need attestation of your UK degree certificate, in order to be able to use it in the country you are moving to. We can assist you with the entire end-to-end process, so you can concentrate on packing!

When preparing to get your degree certificate legalised for use abroad, there a couple of questions you need to determine:

  1. Do you need to apostille the original degree certificate, or a copy of the original?
  2. Do you also need to get the transcript done, or just the degree certificate? If you also need to do the transcript, can the degree certificate and transcript be done in a bundle to make one document, or do you need each done separately?

Ultimately, it is the end user of the documents (i.e. whoever you are sending the documents to) who will decide on the answers to the above. We always recommend you check with them before starting the process to apostille your degree.

What is the UK degree attestation process?

Preparing your degree for use abroad is either a two or three-stage process, depending on the country you intend to use it.

In all cases you will require the degree certificate (and transcript, if required) to be notarised and then apostilled at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Often, this is sufficient and the apostilled degree certificate is then ready to use.

However, in some cases you will then also need the document to be legalised at the consulate of the country in which you intend to use the degree certificate. Countries which also require legalisation at the consulate that we often deal with include China, UAE, Qatar, Vietnam and Thailand. We offer a full notarisation and consular legalisation service.

Unsure what level of degree certificate attestation you need? Call 0208 907 2699 or contact us via enquiry form.

Notarisation and authentication of degrees

Options available for the notarisation of your degree certificate, and the associated costs, depend whether you want to:

  • notarise and legalise your original certificate
  • notarise and legalise a copy of the original

I want to notarise and legalise my original degree certificate

In order to notarise your original degree certificate, we first have to verify it with the university that issued it. We will ask you to sign a letter authorising the university to verify the certificate to us. We normally email the university attaching a scan of the degree certificate and a scan of the signed authorisation letter, and ask them to respond with verification of the degree.

Most UK universities respond within 5 working days, but some can take up to 15-20 working days. We can advise you of the applicable timescales when you contact us. In addition, many universities charge a fee to verify degree certificates to third parties. This fee typically ranges from £5-£15. We can advise you as to whether such a fee would apply in your case.

Once we receive verification, we produce our notarial certificate confirming the degree is authentic and has been verified by the university. We normally print our notarial certificate onto the back of your degree certificate, so the front of the degree is not spoiled. The apostille and any consular stamps/certificates (if applicable) are then attached to the back of the degree.

Full details of our fees for this option are at the end of this article.

I want to notarise and legalise a copy of my UK degree

In most cases, clients want us to notarise a copy of their UK degree certificate rather than the original. Notarising a copy is advantageous because it means that the original is not spoiled in any way and can be used in the future. However, some countries (particularly Latin American countries) often insist the original certificate has to be notarised and legalised.

If you want a copy of your degree certificate to be notarised and legalised then there are two options available to you:

OPTION 1

We notarise a copy of your degree certificate to say it is a true copy of an original document, but we do not verify the authenticity of the original document. Our notarial certificate would be worded something like:

‘I certify that this a true copy of the original. I have not verified the authenticity of the original document.’

In order for us to notarise in this way, you would need to either make an appointment to bring the original certificate into one of our London offices, or post / courier the original degree certificate to us. We also offer a mobile notary service.

It should be noted that some end users do not like degree certificates to be notarised in this way, because the document is not verified. Therefore we always recommend that you check with the end user of the documents before choosing this option. Full details of our fees for this option are at the end of this article.

OPTION 2

We notarise a copy of your degree certificate to say it is a true copy of the original document, and we also verify the authenticity of the original degree with the university. Our notarial certificate would be worded something like:

‘I certify that this is a true copy of the original degree issued to (your name) by (university name). I have verified the authenticity of the degree with the issuing authority and therefore full faith may be given thereto.’

In order for us to notarise in this way, we will need to contact the university to verify the degree. We do not need you to provide us with the original degree certificate, just a good quality scan. We will need you to sign a letter authorising the university to verify the certificate to us. In addition, some universities charge a fee to verify degrees to third parties.

Please contact us to see whether such a fee would apply.

Full details of our fees for this option are at the end of this article.

I need to notarise my UK degree and transcript

We sometimes have clients who need to notarise and legalise both their degree and transcript.

We’d then need to decide whether the two documents can be notarised together in a bundle to make one document, or whether they need to be notarised and legalised separately.

If they are notarised together in a bundle, then we will produce our notarial certificate on our A4 letterhead and this will then be bound together with the degree and transcript in such a way that the documents cannot be separated. The apostille and any consular stamps are then affixed to the back of our notarial certificate.

The benefit of bundling the documents together is that only one apostille is required and one consular stamp. However, some consulates (UAE and Qatar) will not legalise the documents if they are bound together.

If documents are notarised separately, a notarial certificate is produced for each. However, two apostilles will be required as well as two consular legalisations. Read on to see the costs of attesting a UK degree and accompanying transcript.

What are the fees for UK degree certificate authentication and notarisation?

Here is a table of notarisation fees, depending on what option you require:

Your requirementNotarisation feeUniversity verification fee (if charged)?Original degree and/or transcript required?Signed authorisation letter required?
Original degree£60YesYesYes
Copy of degree, no verification£36NoYesNo
Copy of degree, with verification£60YesNoYes
Original degree & transcript in a bundle£108YesYesYes
Original degree & transcript separately£120YesYesYes
Copy of degree & transcript in bundle, unverified£60NoYesNo
Copy of degree & transcript separately, unverified£72NoYesNo
Copy of degree & transcript in a bundle, verified£108YesNoYes
Copy of degree & transcript separately, verified£120YesNoYes

Our apostille attestation fees for UK degree certificates would be as follows:

No. of documentsExpress service fee (1-2 working day turnaround)*Normal service fee (3-6 working day turnaround)*
1£145£50
2£260£90

*All fees include Foreign and Commonwealth Office fees.

For consular legalisation fees and turnaround times for UK degrees, please contact us as these vary depending on the consulate. The level of degree certificate attestation needed varies from country to country.

Want us to apostille a UK degree certificate for you? Call us on 0208 907 2699 or email info@mscnotaries.com

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