How to get an apostille for academic documents
  1. Originals & copies of academic documents can be apostilled
  2. Both the original and copy must be solicitor certified
  3. Email, post, or deliver your academic documents in person
  4. We get the apostille and return the academic certificate
  5. The process takes 2-3 days and starts from £110

For our solicitor or notary to certify academic documents or other academic papers like transcripts, diplomas, qualifications, etc. –  our solicitor needs to see the original documents.

Once we’ve confirmed that your academic certificate is genuine, we can certify a copy, or the original, for the FCDO.

Getting an apostille usually takes 2 to 3 days, and costs start from £110, including solicitor fees, FCDO fees, our fees, and VAT.

We can return the legalised documents via DHL courier (next-day service), or you can collect them in person from our London office – 24 hours a weekday.

Jump to: How much does it cost? ↓ How long does it take?

The full order process

Step one:

Make sure that your academic documents can be legalised with an apostille. Your academic record should not be damaged or altered in any way.

Step two:

Contact our office.

When emailing, please provide the following information:

  • In which country will your academic certificate be used?
  • Should we legalise the original or a certified copy?
  • How soon do you need the apostille?
  • How will the academic degree be delivered and returned?

When we have all the information, the team will assess your enquiry and give you a quotation.

Then, if you accept the quote, the process of getting an apostille starts.

Step three:

Once your academic certificate has been apostilled, we will send you a scanned copy via email.

If you are not collecting your apostilled document from our London office – we will provide you with the DHL tracking number given by the courier.

Note that we return documents by DHL courier only. If you want to make other arrangements, please let us know.

How much does it cost?

Getting an apostille for academic documents starts from £110. (includes solicitor fees, FCDO fees, our fees & VAT).

Other costs will depend on what service you choose if you also need embassy attestation, and what return delivery method has been selected.

Additional cost examples are:

  • Same day or express service (+ £123)
  • UK return delivery costs (+ £20)
  • Notarisation by notary public (+ £90)
  • Embassy authentication (from £75)
  • Translations (from £60)

How long does it take?

Our standard processing time for getting an apostille is 2-3 days.

Here is what 2 to 3 days mean:

  • If your documents arrive by 10 am, it will take 2 days to process your documents + next-day return delivery.
  • If your documents arrive after 10 am, then it would take 3 days to apostille your documents + next day return delivery.

We also offer a same-day apostille service.

  • Documents must arrive before 10 am for the same-day service.
  • Documents can be collected around 4 pm the same day.

Same-day service assumes you can drop off and collect your documents on the same day at our London office.

If a mailing or courier service is utilised, the same day becomes a 24-hour service.

Discover how the same-day apostille service works

Document receipt and return services

We have several ways documents can be delivered and returned like, email, in-person, post, or private courier.

Do I need to get an apostille for every copy of the academic documents I plan to use overseas?

It depends on the requesting authority. Multiple academic documents (originals and copies) from the same University can often be ‘bound’ together to get one apostille certificate.

This is the preferred method as it saves money. For example, your degree and transcript are almost always ‘bound’ for one apostille.

However, if you also need Embassy attestation, binding documents might not always be possible. It will depend on the country requesting the academic papers if they allow bound documents.

So it’s best to check to make sure. Ask our experts, they’d be happy to help.

Can I get an apostille for academic documents that an overseas university issued?

Yes, getting an apostille for academic documents that an overseas university issued is possible – but it is a complicated, time-consuming, and expensive procedure.

It is usually quicker and less expensive to get an apostille from the competent authority in the country where the academic documents were issued.

If you wish to get an apostille in the UK, the FCDO will sometimes issue an apostille if the documents have been notarised or solicitor-certified.

Although there are bilateral agreements for mutual recognition of university qualifications between the UK and some other countries (e.g. India, South Korea and Japan) [2], the UK government does not have a comprehensive register of recognised and accredited foreign universities.

The legalisation office of the FCDO deals with applications on a case-by-case basis. Academic documents from established universities in the EU, EEA, EFTA, USA, Australia and Canada are recognised in the UK [3].

Suppose you have degree certificates or other academic documents from an overseas university. In that case, you may have to get them authenticated by that country’s embassy or consulate in the UK before they can be notarised by a notary public or certified by a solicitor in the UK.

Additionally, or alternatively, a notary public may need to check your documents with the foreign academic institution that issued them before they can be notarised. Again, this is time-consuming and expensive.

The FCDO will only issue an apostille for academic documents issued by an overseas university when the documents have been notarised or solicitor-certified. Even then, it is by no means certain that an apostille will be issued. (See below)

As previously noted, it is usually quicker, simpler, less costly and more certain to get an apostille from the competent authority in the country where the academic documents originated.

Is it possible to get an apostille for a document that has already been certified by a notary public?

Yes. In some cases, getting an apostille for a document already certified by a notary public is possible.

The notary public verifies the identity of the person to whom the academic document pertains and (if necessary) affirms that a copy of the document is a ‘true copy’.

It is not possible to get an apostille from the UK’s Legalisation Office if a notary public has notarised the academic document in a country where public notaries have qualifications and functions that are different from those in the UK.

In the USA, for instance, a public notary is not the same as a notary public in the UK [4].

The FCDO will check that the details of the notary (name, office address, signature, seal, etc.) are registered in their database of approved and practising notaries before issuing an apostille.

What other documents may be required besides the academic document for which I seek an apostille?

In rare cases, the notary or solicitor may require proof of identity (passport, photocard driving licence, biometric residence permit, etc.).

Depending on the document’s purpose, foreign authorities may also require your birth and marriage certificates [5].

In some cases, a foreign authority may also ask for documents proving that you have no criminal record.

Documents issued by the General Register Office (GRO), such as:

GRO documents are already certified extracts from the register and do not need to be certified by a solicitor or notarised by a notary public [6].

Additional documents may sometimes be required depending on the nature of the academic record and the country in which it will be presented.

Always check the requirements with the requesting authority before applying for an apostille.

Is it possible to get an apostille for a UK school document issued by a school that is not accredited or recognised by the government?

It is possible but not recommended. It might be easier, faster and cheaper to get a replacement/copy and start with an un-certified academic certificate.

Suppose you’d like to proceed with the ready-certified record (which has been authenticated by another country’s embassy or consulate for use in that country).

In that case, the legalisation office of the FCDO “sometimes” issues an apostille for it, provided it has not been damaged, altered or defaced.

However, there is no guarantee that the FCDO will accept the ready-certified academic achievement certificate – it’s a case-by-case decision.

Nevertheless, we can enquire on your behalf. Just send us a scanned copy or image, and we will check it for you with the FCDO.

How do I find out if my academic documents are eligible for an apostille and what are the requirements for getting one?

There are two primary sources of information about the eligibility of your academic documents for an apostille.

The first is the UK national agency for international qualifications and skills – UK ENIC (formerly NARIC).

ENIC deals with the comparability of qualifications from other countries in relation to similar UK qualifications. It also classifies UK qualifications designed for international use [7].

Secondly (and most importantly), you should contact the legalisation office (the FCDO) to ask what the requirements are for your documents.

Can I get an apostille for a document issued by a school or university operating on a non-traditional academic calendar, such as a year-round or accelerated programme?

Yes, you can get an apostille for a document issued by a school or university operating on a non-traditional academic calendar.

The document must have been issued by an institution accredited by the UK government, and it must bear a signature and/or seal from the institution concerned.

Alternatively, a copy of the academic document can be certified by a solicitor or notarised by a notary public.

Several UK universities and other academic institutions have adopted a flexible academic calendar to replace the traditional 3-term academic year.

The Open University, in particular, tries to arrange its study schedules to accommodate the demands of students working and studying simultaneously.

While some UK universities, such as Cambridge and Oxford, maintain the three traditional terms (Michaelmas, Hilary and Trinity), others have recently divided the academic year into two ‘semesters’.

Always check the exact requirements with the FCDO and the authorities in the country where your documents and apostilles will be presented.

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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