Getting a Diploma Legalized in the States.

I mentioned in my last post that the next step for me in this process was getting my diploma legalized. I have to do this in order to be able to receive my Specialist course certificate from Comillas and a student ID. I also want to get the process done because I have been looking at many universities in Europe that would allow me to get my Master’s degree in Speech Pathology and I would need to get my diploma legalized anyway to apply, so at least I’m getting a head-start in that area.

The first step is to get your diploma notarized. I’m pretty sure the only way to do this is through your university. Since I live 15 minutes away from my university, I went to the diploma office with my diploma and told them that I needed it notarized. They took the diploma from me and told me to come back in 2 days and it would be ready. When I returned, they gave me my original diploma along with 4 notarized  copies. My university did this free of charge, but I have heard people from other universities say they were charged. I would call your university beforehand and ask, just so that you aren’t caught off guard if you do have to pay (one girl mentioned her college charged her $50, which I find to be a bit excessive).

The second step is to get the notarized copy of your diploma certified by the circuit of the clerk for the county in which the notary is certified in. For example, my diploma was notarized in Prince George’s county so I had to go to the circuit clerk of that county to get the notarized copy certified. That office charges $1 per document. I have heard from others, however, that their university took care of that part for them. So when you call your university regarding getting a diploma notarized, let them know that eventually you need to be able to take it to the state office to get apostilled and perhaps you will be one of the lucky ones whose university does that part for you.

The final step is to go to the state office (OF THE STATE IN WHICH YOU GRADUATED) and get the Apostille of the Hague one the notarized and certified copy of your diploma. For Maryland, the office is located in Annapolis on Francis Street.

If you already went through the ordeal of getting a visa to Spain, you will see that the steps are pretty much the same for getting the background check notarized and apostilled. The only difference being that, in this case of the diploma, your university will do the notarizing.

I hope this was helpful to you all. Oh and I should mention that the process is different for Canadians and for people who are from a country that is not part of the Hague Treaty. BEDA provided this link for Canadians so I’ll leave it here for you all as well: www.alscanada.ca/authentication_apostille.html

If any others from Canada or a place where the process is different, maybe you could leave some helpful tip for others in the comments section or if you have a blog and wrote a post about the process, leave the link.

I’ll post again soon…probably regarding my dilemma of packing what I need for 9.5 months into 2 suitcases! Just a few more weeks until I depart for España!!!!

¡Besos!

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