Legalizing In-person or Online University Diplomas from Non-Hague Countries

The growth of online education and international study programs has vastly increased the number of students earning qualifications from institutions outside their home countries. Executives and professionals who want to gain crucial skills and advance their careers often take online courses or receive in-person diplomas from universities in other parts of the world


This trend, while positive, presents the challenge of ensuring these diplomas are recognized for professional or academic purposes back home. While the Hague Apostille process simplifies this in many situations, translating and legalizing diplomas in non-Hague countries can be a more complex and time-consuming process. The process of diploma legalization can be especially difficult if a student has returned home before their physical diploma is issued.


We will discuss everything you need to know about legalizing foreign diplomas in Non-Hague Convention countries.



Understanding diploma legalization in Non-Hague countries

A non-Hague country is a nation that is not a signatory to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (often simply called the Apostille Convention). This international treaty establishes a standardized system to validate the authenticity of official documents, including diplomas, for use in other member countries.


In non-Hague countries, the document legalization process is more complex and time-consuming. Complicating things further, is that legalization can differ by country and sometimes have very specific requirements. For example, in Saudi Arabia, a standard apostille or authentication process on a diploma is insufficient to gain approval for a work visa. 


A legalization process typically involves acquiring a series of certifications by various governmental authorities within the issuing country, culminating with authentication by the embassy or consulate of the graduate’s home country.



Non-Hague international diploma authentication case study: Algerian studying in Colombia

Take, for instance, the journey of an Algerian student who has earned a diploma from a Colombian university. The steps they would likely need to take to ensure the recognition of their qualification in Algeria involve intricate procedures:


1. Obtain Certification from the Colombian Ministry of Education

The initial step involves acquiring certification from the Colombian Ministry of Education, verifying the legitimacy and validity of the diploma.


2. Secure Authentication from the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Following certification, the diploma needs authentication from the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ensuring its recognition by international authorities.


3. Translate Documents into Required Language

Since the language of instruction in Algerian authorities is predominantly French or Arabic, the next essential step is to translate the diploma and accompanying certifications into one of these languages.


4. Final Authentication from the Algerian Consulate

To complete the process, the translated documents must receive final authentication and stamping from the Algerian consulate, confirming the diploma’s validity in the home country.


While these steps may seem straightforward, challenges arise, particularly when the graduate is no longer in Colombia. Retrieving original documents becomes a significant hurdle, necessitating either a return to the issuing country or reliance on power of attorney, both of which add expenses and complications to the process.


Many graduates find themselves grappling with this dilemma, prompting them to seek assistance from specialized companies. These companies offer a solution by collecting diplomas on behalf of graduates and managing the entire legalization process, thereby alleviating the burden and streamlining the authentication journey.



Working with a specialized documentation partner can streamline foreign diploma legalization

Legalization can be a complicated and expensive process. Many graduates turn to specialized document legalization services that act as liaisons, simplifying the complex process. In some cases, universities partner with dedicated documentation experts as well to streamline the process. Here are some benefits of working with an expert who can handle everything with one point of contact.


Document procurement

If the graduate is no longer in the country, documentation partners can retrieve the original diploma directly from the university or relevant authorities. If they require multiple copies or need to go through further authentication processes, then this can all be expertly handled in one package. This means that the graduate and the university only have one point of contact with which to work.


Diploma legalization

Experienced document partners know the specific legalization procedures for each country and can navigate the steps efficiently, including obtaining any required certifications at various governmental levels. They have feet on the ground to be able to pick up the diploma by hand and get it legalized. This removes the need for the graduate to personally travel or coordinate with the university in a foreign language to deliver the diploma to a notary. 


Certified translations

Diploma legalization often requires official translations to be valid for employers or schools in the intended country.  A document service will have qualified translators on staff or work with reputable translation agencies, streamlining this requirement. Instead of the graduate needing to find a certified translator and organizing the process themselves, the procurement, translation, and legalization will all be handled in one convenient service.


Foreign embassy/consulate authentication 

A good document partner will have the expertise and connections to ensure your diploma receives the final, critical authentication from the embassy or consulate of your home country. Handling the entire process, from procurement to full legalization, removes the stress and confusion and allows the graduate to get on with their next steps.


By offering this service to their students, universities can provide a streamlined post-graduation experience that makes things easier for everyone. Alternatively, students who work with a document partner can be certain that their diploma will be received and legalized to the standard required by their country.



Lex Documents can procure, legalize, and translate foreign diplomas

If you’ve successfully completed a diploma through an online program or traditional studies at a foreign university in a Non-Hague Convention country and you’re now out of the country, or if you’re a university in a Non-Hague Convention country that accepts foreign students from other countries, Lex Documents can manage the entire procurement, legalization, or apostille process for you or your students. 


Liaising with university and government offices, our team provides end-to-end diploma legalization and procurement management, so there’s no need to worry about in-person appointments. Your translations are handled, and the whole process is taken care of.


If you are a higher education institution that wants to partner with an expert document partner to better serve your students, get in touch to see how we can help. 


Contact us today to get started!

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