If your original degree is misplaced, damaged, or archived, learn how to turn your degree copy into an internationally legalised document.

The copy must be certified as a true copy by an FCDO-registered solicitor or notary in the UK.

Some countries, especially the UAE and Latin America, require the original certificate to be apostilled.

Please remember that we cannot provide specific advice on the procedures and requirements for document acceptance and legalisation for individual countries.

We recommend directly contacting the relevant authorities of the country in question to confirm their specific requirements.

How to legalise a copy with an apostille

Simplified guide to apostilling your degree copy.

  • Send us a copy of your degree: to begin, please forward us a clear copy of your degree. A clear scan or direct PDF download is preferred.

  • FCDO-solicitor certification: upon receiving your document, our FCDO-registered solicitor or notary will verify and certify it.

  • Apostille acquisition: following certification, we’ll take the lead in obtaining the apostille for your degree.
  • Additional attestation, if needed: depending on your destination country, further attestation might be needed.

  • Opt for an e-apostille: we offer an e-apostille service, providing a digital version of the apostille that’s efficient and easy to manage, assuming the requesting authority accepts an e-apostille.

  • Completion and delivery: in most cases, you will need a physical copy, which can be collected or shipped to your address.

Of course, you can send us the original, too – and our solicitor or notary can make a copy of the original and certify the copy of the original to get an apostille.

Often, clients prefer to have a copy of their UK degree certificate certified or notarised rather than the original.

This approach preserves the original document, leaving it unspoiled for future use.

Requirements for a solicitor or notary to certify a degree copy

To certify a copy of a degree, solicitors or notaries require specific documentation and information to ensure the authenticity of the document.

Here are examples and detailed explanations, along with additional information:

Verifying the source of the degree copy:

  • Scanned copy from personal email: provide a scanned copy of the degree certificate sent from a personal email. Alongside this, a confirmation email or letter from the university or school’s secretary verifying your status as a student or alumni might be required.
  • Scanned copy from university-issued email: submit a scanned PDF copy of the degree from an official school email address (e.g., frankern@ucl.ac.uk), which adds an extra layer of verification.
  • Direct download from university website or via QR code: provide access to download the degree directly from the university’s official website or through a QR code verification process. This method often ensures the highest level of authenticity.

Verification through official electronic platforms:

  • UK universities often issue official electronic documents through platforms like Digitary core portal, Gradintelligence, or HEDD prospects. These platforms allow for secure sharing and verification of qualifications.
  • You will need to authorise the solicitor or notary to use the link provided by these platforms to download your diploma. This authorisation is usually done via an email granting permission for the download or for notarisation, a signed form.

Additional information and documentation required:

  • Personal identification: provide valid personal identification (like a passport or driver’s license) to confirm your identity- for notarisations only.
  • Proof of enrollment or graduation: Documents such as a transcript, enrollment letter, or graduation letter may be requested to verify your academic status further.

  • Specific instructions for certification: clearly specify whether you need a hard copy or a digital scanned diploma with the apostille attached.
  • Contact details: provide your current contact information for any necessary communication during the process.

Special instructions for apostille:

  • If the certified copy is intended for apostille, inform the solicitor or notary about this requirement. The apostille process may have additional steps or requirements based on the country where it will be used.

Fees and processing time:

  • Be aware of any fees associated with the certification and apostille process. Additionally, enquire about the expected processing time to plan accordingly.

Common reasons for using copies

There are several scenarios where someone might only have a copy, digital PDF, or a scan of an academic document, and the original is unavailable.

  • Lost or damaged originals: originals lost, misplaced, or damaged due to moving, natural disasters, or over time.
  • Stolen documents: originals stolen, with only digital backups remaining.
  • International relocation: originals left behind or lost during moves to another country.
  • Institution closure: issuing institution shut down, making new originals unavailable.
  • Transition to digital records: institutions issuing only digital copies to adapt to modern, paperless practices.
  • Eco-friendly practices: educational institutions providing digital documents to reduce paper use.
  • Remote education programmes: online or distance learning students receiving documents electronically.
  • Archived documents: originals archived or stored in inaccessible locations.
  • Safety concerns: originals kept in secure storage for protection, with digital copies used for daily needs.
  • Avoid permanent marking: preferring digital copies to prevent permanent marks or stamps on the original document during the processes like apostille or certification.

If you’re unsure about the process or requirements in a particular country, especially for nations that mandate original documents, it’s crucial to consult directly with their authorities.

To get started on certifying and legalising your degree copy, reach out to an FCDO-registered solicitor or notary with your documents and specific needs.

Or, use our FCDO-registered solicitors and notaries to take care of the process for you.


This article has been written by experts and fact-checked by experts. We only link to high-quality sources like government information & data, original reporting and interviews with industry experts. Reputable publishers are also sourced and cited where appropriate to support the facts within our articles.

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