Planning to study or work abroad? Follow our 5 step plan to get your ‘docs’ in a row.
So you’re moving overseas and you’ve been told you need authentication of your Australian education documents. These could be documents from public or private study, such as your Higher School Certificate, a diploma or university degree. For starters, there’s a lot of confusing lingo with this stuff — authentication, attestation, legalisation (see our lingo cheat sheet here). The main thing you need to know is that your docs need to be legal in order for you to be able to get where you’re going and do what you want to do.
The legalisation process for Australian education documents
There are generally 5 steps involved in the process.
- Location: The process to legalise your education documents is different depending on where you’re going. For some countries, all you need is an apostille stamp. For other countries, you need legalisation from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) as well as a visit to the embassy for the country you’re going to (i.e. China or the UAE). If you get your documents through us you don’t need to work this out as our online system can work out exactly what you need as you enter in your information.
- Verification: for all countries, your education docs first need to be verified by the relevant issuing body. This will vary depending on the document needed and the state where the certification was obtained. So for a uni degree, it will need to be verified by the university, a NSW HSC certificate will need to be verified by the NSW Board of Studies, a technical college or TAFE certification will need to be verified by the Department of Education in the state it was obtained. Certificates from Australian accredited private schools and colleges need to be verified by TEQSA.
- Notarisation: a copy of your education document will need to be legally notarised to attest that it’s a true and accurate copy of the original.
- Authentication: if the country the Australian education document is need for is a party to the Hauge Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (5 Oct 1961), the document only requires an Apostille stamp and DFAT or embassy authentication isn’t needed. If the country isn’t a party to the Hague Convention, it will need to be authenticated by DFAT.
- Legalisation: All Australian education docs that need to be authenticated by DFAT will usually also need to be legalised by the relevant foreign embassy in Australia. So if you are going to China, your document will need to be legalised at the Chinese Embassy in Australia, if you are going to the UAE, you will need to be going to the UAE Embassy or Consulate. This step can’t be done online and requires a visit to the embassy or consulate in person.
The process for authentication of Australian education documents can be arduous and, depending on your other committments as you plan for your overseas adventure, quite time consuming. Yet legalisation is usually required for anyone looking to undertake further study or work overseas, so plan accordingly.