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A Closer Look at FCDO Legalisation for Academic Degrees

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FCDO Apostille stamps

Understanding FCDO legalisation

Are you looking to study abroad? FCDO legalisation is the process that verifies the authenticity of academic degrees. It involves getting documents legalised by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) to confirm their validity. The FCDO legalisation process is essential if you plan to work or study abroad, as it ensures that your academic qualifications are recognised in a different country. It’s important to understand the requirements and steps involved in FCDO legalisation to ensure a smooth transition when taking your academic qualifications to an international setting. Please note, the FCDO does not verify the veracity of the academic certificate itself. If you require further verification/accreditation, then we advise using HEDD ( The FCDO will only accept UK based institutes. There are occasions foreign education documents can be accepted, however, you will need to check with the end user if this will be accepted. For instance, if you are looking to study in the UAE and you studied in the UK prior, you will need to have it legalised in the UK. If you are based in the UK, but studied in France and wish to study in the UAE, you will need to get your documents legalised in France.

FCDO Apostille stamps

The importance of legalising academic degrees

Legalising your academic degree is crucial for ensuring its validity and recognition in other countries. Without legalisation, your degree may not be accepted by employers, universities, or governmental bodies abroad. This process provides assurance that your academic qualifications meet the necessary standards and are authentic. It involves obtaining an official apostille stamp from the FCDO, confirming the legitimacy of your degree. This ensures that your academic achievements are globally recognised, opening up opportunities for career advancement and further education in international settings.

How to get your academic degree legalised

To get your academic degree legalised, you will need to follow a few important steps. It’s crucial to note that the process may vary depending on the country where your degree was issued and the country where you plan to use it. Here’s a general guide to help you understand the process:

  1. Contact the Relevant Authorities: Start by reaching out to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or similar authorities in your country. They will provide you with the necessary information and requirements for the legalisation process.
  1. Prepare the Required Documents: Gather all the required documents, including your academic degree, transcripts, and any additional paperwork specified by the relevant parties requesting your documents.
  1. Submit Your Application: Submit your application for legalisation along with the required documents to the designated office. Be sure to follow the guidelines provided by the authorities to avoid any delays in the process.
  1. Pay the Fees: There may be fees associated with the legalisation process, so be prepared to cover these costs as part of the application.
  1. Wait for the Legalisation: Once your application and documents are submitted, you will need to wait for the legalisation process to be completed. This may take some time, so it’s important to plan accordingly.

By following these steps and staying informed about the specific requirements for legalising academic degrees, you can ensure that your documents are recognised and accepted in the country where you intend to use them.

Documents required for legalisation

To legalise your academic degrees, you will generally need the following documents:

  • Original academic degrees and certificates certified by a UK Solicitor or Notary Public
  • Completed application forms for the legalisation process

Ensure that you have all these documents in order to proceed with the legalisation of your academic degrees.

The FCDO legalisation process

The FCDO legalisation process involves authenticating academic degrees for use abroad. This process ensures that your academic qualifications are recognised and accepted in other countries. Here’s a brief overview of how the FCDO legalisation process works:

  • The first step is to have your degree certified by a UK Solicitor or Notary Public
  • After certification or notarisation, your document must be legalised by the FCDO to verify its authenticity.
  • Finally, the document may also require legalisation by the embassy of the country where you intend to use it (contact us for more information if you are unsure)
    Remember, each step of the process may have specific requirements, so it’s essential to carefully follow the instructions and ensure that your documents are in order before proceeding.

Timeframe for legalising academic degrees

The timeframe for legalising your academic degree can vary depending on the country where it was issued. It generally takes around 10 to 15 working days for the FCDO to legalise your academic documents, and this does not include the time required for postage. However, this timeframe can change based on the current workload of the FCDO and the time it takes for your documents to reach and return from the FCDO office. If you submit directly with Aspire Attestation, we can have your document legalised within 2 working days.

Costs associated with FCDO legalisation

The cost of FCDO legalisation for academic degrees can vary depending on a few factors. Here are a few things to consider:

  • The FCDO legalisation fee is £40 for each document.
  • You may also need to budget for additional expenses such as postage, courier services, or Solicitor/notary fees.
  • Keep in mind that the overall expenses can be influenced by the number of documents you need to legalise and the urgency of the legalisation process.
  • If you opt to use Aspire Attestation, the cost starts from £80 to £160 depending on the urgency and budget.

It’s essential to factor in these costs when planning to legalise your academic degrees for international use.

Alternatives to FCDO legalisation

Please note, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office is the only government authority who can issue an apostille stamp. The apostille stamp is recognised in countries that are part of the Hague Convention and can simplify the process of authenticating your documents. Keep in mind that the suitability of these alternatives depends on the specific requirements of the country where you plan to use your academic qualifications.

Common issues and troubleshooting

While obtaining FCDO legalisation for academic degrees, you may encounter common issues that require troubleshooting. Some of these issues include incorrect or incomplete documentation, delays in processing, and uncertainty about the required steps. It is important to carefully review the guidelines provided by the FCDO and ensure that all necessary documents are accurately prepared. If you experience difficulties during the process, reaching out to the FCDO or seeking guidance from professionals in legalisation services can provide valuable assistance in troubleshooting and resolving any obstacles.

Summary and conclusion

If you’re planning to get your academic degree legalised by the FCDO, it’s essential to understand the process and the implications. Keep in mind that FCDO legalisation can take some time and may involve several steps. Make sure you have all the necessary documentation in order and be prepared for potential delays. Once your academic degree is properly legalised, you can confidently present it for international recognition and verification, opening up new opportunities for your career and education abroad.