Congratulations! You’ve secured your ideal teaching job abroad! Once you get over the celebrations, you swiftly realise that you’ve a to-do list the length of your arm! One vital part of the process is getting your documents legalised and attested for your school abroad. You need to complete this process before you arrive to your new country, in order to get an employment visa.
These documents include:
- Your undergraduate degree
- Your teaching certification
Some schools also ask for the legalisation and attestation of:
- Your Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT certificate)
- Your Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) certificate
- Your birth cert
- Your marriage cert
- Your postgraduate degree
- Your background check (e.g. in the UK, there is the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks, previously called the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks or an Irish Police Certificate)
ALWAYS find out the exact documents required by your school, because this process isn’t cheap, and you don’t want to waste money unnecessarily legalising and attesting documents. Some documents should be first authenticated by a solicitor or notarised by a Notary Public before legalisation and attestation. This may or may not be the case for you, so check with your school.
Legalisation and attention of your documents is a two-step process:
- You get them legalised (verified and stamped) by a relevant authority in your own country (e.g. Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade in Ireland or the Foreign Commonwealth Office in the UK) to confirm that they are genuine.
2. Then you bring/ send the legalised documents to the relevant embassy, where they will be endorsed/ attested.
Ireland: http://www.jaicc.ie/embassy_legalisation (The Arab-Irish Chamber of Commerce (AICC) will arrange legalisation following certification of documentation when required, so contact them to let them know)
Then you are ready to go! Keep your receipts carefully, as some schools abroad refund the cost once you present the original receipts to HR when you arrive.
The process can be a bit time-consuming and stressful, so you may find it easier (though much more expensive) to pay a company to process your papers for you. I have always done it myself and it has been fine. I’d just say to start it as soon as you sign that job contract, i.e. don’t leave it on the long finger!
If you liked this article, then check out my post on the “7 Things to Pack When You Move Abroad!”
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