Obtaining an Apostille Stamp on Education Documents
The people who most often wonder about the issue of obtaining an apostille stamp are those who plan to continue their education or work abroad, including countries that are party to the Hague Convention.
We inform you that the confirmation of documents conforming to government standards on educational degrees and academic titles (apostille stamping) is performed at the Department of Education of the City of Moscow, regardless of the location where the educational document was issued.
It's worth noting that the procedure for obtaining an apostille stamp on the original education documents is by no means quick but rather takes an average of 45 calendar days. Unfortunately, we often encounter many customers for whom getting started handling document formalization is one of the last things they get around to doing. Consequently, the aforementioned wait period comes as a surprise to them and often times ends up disrupting their plans. Then we get asked the question: “Isn't there some other way to do it? We've called several other agencies and they said they can get the apostille stamp in a week. Why does it take so long with you guys?”
This point requires clarification: an apostille can indeed be stamped within a week as well but not on the original document, rather on a notarial copy of it, and those are substantially different things. An apostille stamped on a notarial copy of a document confirms the authenticity of the notary's seal and signature that certified the copy; however, an apostille on an original document confirms the authenticity of the seal and signature of an official on the document itself (in the case of diplomas and credentials certificates – the authenticity of the educational institution's seal and the signature of the rector/dean of that educational institution).
By the way, an apostille on a notarial copy will cost at least twice as much as apostilling an original document, since a diploma and a diploma's attachments (as well as credentials certificates and attachments to them) are two different documents. Thus, a notarial copy of the diploma/credentials certificate and a notarial copy of the attachment to the diploma/credentials certificate will have to be done. In this case, there will be two apostilles: one on the copy of the diploma/credentials certificate and another on the copy of the attachment to the diploma/credentials certificate. Each apostille incurs a separate government fee of 2,500 RUB to be paid.
You should bear in mind that upon having an apostille stamped on a notarial copy of an education document, you may encounter the issue that the accepting party may refuse to examine the document in such a form. Let's take Italy for example: in order for a Russian educational document to bear legal force in that country, it must be certified in the proper fashion by completing a “dichiarazione di valore in loco” (confirmation of the equivalency of the obtained Russian document to Italian education standards) at the Italian Embassy. A requirement of this procedure is having an apostille stamped on the original diploma/qualifications certificate. Apostilled notarial copies are not accepted in that case.
We provide apostille stamping services for original documents as well as a services package for apostilling original education documents, translation of those documents into Italian, and obtaining a dichiarazione di valore in loco in the Italian Embassy in Moscow.