Studying or Working Abroad?

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12 February, 2020

It is becoming more and more popular for individuals to spend a year working abroad, continuing education overseas or even taking up permanent residence in another jurisdiction.

If you are planning a year overseas, you will be asked to provide lots of paperwork in order to prove your identification and qualifications. It is key to get everything in order with ample time to spare. You will more than likely be advised to attend a Notary Public who will have to attest, certify or authenticate your documents.

I am often asked to copy and certificate birth and marriage certificates; if the certificates are produced in the UK, due to copyright law, I am unable to photocopy them as this is a criminal offence. You can either send the originals which you have in your possession, or further copies can be obtain from the General Register Office (GRO).

If the documents have to be authenticated, this means that I will have to contact the company, individual, university etc. who produced the document to check it is valid and hasn't since been revoked.

In some instances, you may be asked for the document(s) to be apostilled or legalised. This means that the documents have to be sent to the Foreign Commissioner's Office for an apostille to be attached. An apostille authenticates that the Notary Public (along with their signature and seal) are valid and authorised to practice.

If the Country where you are going to is not party to the Hague Convention (which is an international treaty that specifies where a document issued in one of the signatory countries can be certified for legal purposes in all the other signatory states), then there may be an additional step required called 'legalisation'. This means that the document will then have to go to the intended Country's embassy. If you are going to China, the Chinese embassy requires an additional application form to be completed. If you are going to Qatar, they require not only your degree certificate, but also your transcript and a letter from your university. Therefore, if you are planning on going overseas to study or work it is imperative you start the documentation process as soon as possible.

If you are thinking or going overseas to work or study, please contact Megan Diamond for assistance with the preparation of your documents.

For more information contact Megan Diamond in our Notary Public department via email or phone on 01772 220204. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

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