Legalising your TEFL Certificate

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Legislation in a small number of countries requires a teacher to authenticate their TEFL/TESOL Certificate, Degree Certificate (if required in that country) and “No Criminal Record” background check in order to issue a work visa.

All documents must be legalised in the country in which they were issued. This means that all worldwide students who studied The TEFL Academy’s TEFL course must get their certificate legalised in the UK. This can be done easily and remotely (online) using our partner: www.apostille.org.uk (UK students may also use this service, or choose to legalise all of their documents using the same process set out below).

These are the documents you may need to legalise:

  • TEFL Certificate
  • Criminal Record Check (not always required)
  • University Degree (not always required)

Getting a document to prove you don’t have a criminal record

You may need to apply to whatever organisation deals with this document in your country. Where you apply depends on where you live. You may be able to apply online, although in some countries you must attend in person. You will probably have to pay for this service.

Get your documents Certified (also known as notarised)

When you have received your criminal record notification, take a copy of it and your other documents and keep the copies with the originals. Then take all the documents to be certified (notarised). This means the copies are signed and stamped as copies of a genuine document. In some countries, you can only have your documents legalised by a Notary Public (search Google for your nearest one). In other countries, a lawyer, bank, doctor or accountant can do this for you.

Have your documents Legalised

Now it’s time to have your documents legalised. You send off the certified copies of your document to the relevant government department. They will attach a stamped official certificate called an apostille to each document and send them back to you. Your documents are now legalised.

Get your documents Attested 

Take all your legalised documents to the Embassy (for the country in which you wish to teach) or the consulate nearest to where you live. It may be an idea to phone the Embassy or consulate in your country to enquire if the documents can be sent by post or whether you have to present them personally. The process normally takes between 3 and 4 days. Once you’ve got the documents back you can then send them to your employer. If you can’t get to the Embassy in person, there are many companies that can provide this service remotely, search for “Embassy attestation” in your local area.

Remember employers will usually cover the cost of this entire process, so don’t forget to ask them when applying for jobs! 

The TEFL Academy has negotiated a special discount for our TEFL graduates with the following Apostille Service www.apostille.org.uk which includes the following services:

  1. Notarising
  2. Apostillisation
  3. Sending to Embassy for legalisation
  4. Returning TEFL/TESOL certificate back to the student

Glossary of Terms

TEFL/TESOL Notarisation – this is the attestation by a Notary Public that the signature appearing on the document is true and genuine. This is usually completed in the country where the document originates. This may also be in the form of a certification which is made by a solicitor as to the signatures made on a document.

TEFL/TESOL Apostille – a Government Official in the country of origin has to declare the signature of the Notary Public or the Solicitor as true and genuine. Authentication declares that the Apostille is genuine prior to Legalisation. These are undertaken by a Home Office, e.g. the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, or Department of State.

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