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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26577
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I need a solicitor to certify my degree certificate. The

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I need a solicitor to certify my degree certificate. The degree is from a branch of a U.s. University that existed in London at the time (1994). Is it possible to get a u.k solicitor's signature for a degree from a American institution?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i need a solicitor's signature in order to get the degree legalised at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and then get it attested at an embassy for use abroad.

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

  1. May I ask is this for a foreign Visa application please?
  2. Is the university in question still in existence - albeit not the London campus?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Joshua,
No this isn't for a visa application. It is for my employer to apply for approval at the Abu Dhabi Education Council for a job at a school abroad in the UAE.
The college was called the American College in London as it appears on the certificate. It was renamed to American Intercontinental University sometime and was then purchased by Regent University, London. The American Intercontinental University still exists in the U.S. and online.

Many thanks. There should be comparatively little problem in your obtaining a notary or solicitors certification to your degree certificate itself certifying it as a true copy of the original but this is unlikely to help you if your employer requires that it is legalised because in order for the certificate to be legalised it must be issued by what is known as a "recognised educational body". You can find a list of such bodies here:

Certainly Regent's University appears on the list but the instutation you studied at does not. What is fairly common is that institutions that are not reconised bodies themselves award degrees though associated recognised bodies - i.e. they have an agreement with a recognised body that they will certify the qualification. It may state on your certificate the recognised body the certificate was issued by though it may not.

In terms of moving forward it may be a good first step to contact the university in the US and ask them to check their records to confirm which body they awarded your degree through when they were in London or if they were at the time a recognised body and ask them for evidence of their then status as such. They have records they can check and come back to upon. If you can obtain this information, if it is not otherwise clear that the certificate was issued by a recognised body you would need to consider retaining a notary public rather than just a notary, who can verify the information you obtain and then certify the degree certificate as being issued through a recognised body which can then be legalised.

If you find that your degree was not issued by a recognised body in the UK the FCO will refuse to legalise it. If the university issued the degree certificate through an equivalent foreign educational recognised body then you would need to look at getting the degree certificate legalised by the foreign country that recognises that body - i.e. if the university only has recognised status in the US even though it had a London base at the time, then you may need to get it legalised in the US instead.

I would be suprised though if the university was not operating through an associate recognised body at the time as if they did not their degrees would be far less attractive to students so hopefully with some investigation with them you can confirm which body that was.

Does the above answer all your questions? If it does, I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click a rating for my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I contacted the FCO yesterday and asked if they would legalise a degree from a branch of a U.S. University that existed in the U.K.. I was told that if a uk solicitor signs it then they will legalise it. Does that sound right to you? I also contacted the U.S. branch of the university yesterday and I was given an email address that didn't help me at all. The certificate does not have the name of the recognizing body on it but the transcript does I believe. It believe it was recognized and is still recognized by the same U.S. educational body since then.
That would be great if it's true. It is not what the FCO handbook states. For many types of document what you have been told is true but for degree certificates along with certain other types of documents the FCO has specific additional requirements. you wish to try your luck I do not think you will have any difficulty signing a copy of the degree certificate as a true copy of the original and then sending that off for legalisation. If it's refused the worst that can happen is you've lost a £5 fee to a solicitor and the leglaisation fee but if you consider this I would not stop pushing the university for clarity in the meantime because you are not satisfyingly the fcos requirements.You have presumably paid the university a not insignificant sum to obtain your degree and they have to provide you with the information you request. It may be necessary to keep pushing.You can also contact the department for education which oversees the UK recognised bodies list who may be able to look back at their records to see if your university was ever awarded recognised or listed status. You can email them using the following address
***@******.***As above if all else fails if it is a recognised university you can consider using the us Embassy leglaisation service instead as they in principle should be willing to legalise a us based university certificate providing you comply with their requirements.Is there anything else I can help you with on the above?
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