Academic Document Certification System
The request for Certified Copies of college degrees, diplomas, transcripts and other educational documents for international use have become commonplace in today’s society. Employers, universities, adoption agencies and other entities require these documents to verify credentials. These documents must be certified according to the rules and regulations of the recipient countries consulate and embassies requirements. Those countries who are participants of the Hague Convention require an apostille and those countries not a participant of the Hague Convention require consular legalization.
The proper procedure for obtaining a Certified Copy of an educational document includes the following elements:
Certified Copy issued by the Educational Institution, Sworn statement issued by the Registrar or Authorized Official that the document is valid and describes the attached document in detail, a live signature that must be handwritten not imprinted or a stamp, flawless notarization including an affidavit, jurat statement and venue, authentication certificate by the appropriate county official and apostille attached by the Department of State. In the case of legalization, the document may also need to go to the US Department of State in Washington DC and the recipient countries consulate or embassy for legalization.
Oftentimes various county clerks will also accept an attached sworn statement by a student that his/her copy of their diploma/transcript is a valid photocopy and the certification process is initiated. Over the years recipient organizations have become weary of this method and have not accepted these documents because individuals certifying their own records are not as reliable as third party verification.
The global community of commercial and educational institutions have been deluged with the phenomenon of “credential fraud”. This includes false application information, forgeries, counterfeiting, bogus and fraudulently formatted transcripts, diplomas for sale on the internet, identity theft etc. (Please view the attached article) Institutions requesting these documents must have valid proof that the documents they are receiving are valid, authentic and reliable. This “peace of mind” regarding the validity of educational documents for international use goes to the core and fabric of international commerce.