Do I need my original copy of my degree to teach English?

I am currently in Taiwan on a marriage ARC.
I am looking for a job teaching English, but I have left my degree in my home country (Canada). Would I need my original copy of my degree and transcripts to teach English? And would my degree need to be authenticated (if so, how to do that)? Or could the employer/ school contact my university directly to obtain verification of my credentials?
In addition, I changed my last name since I graduated, would it matter that the last name is different than on my other documents ?

Alternatively, would I even need proof of degree if I do a certificate such as TESOL in Taiwan?

Thanks in advance for your replies.

What do you mean “original degree”? I’m pretty sure if you lose it, you can ask your university (at a cost, of course) for a replacement one. But yes, you’ll need an official copy of the degree and it’ll need to be authenticated by whatever TECO (Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office) is closest to your old university.

And whether you’re TESOL certified is completely irrelevant to you needing proof you graduated college.

Thanks for your speedy reply, so I would need to go back to Canada to authenticate my degree? Or is there a way to do that in Taiwan?

I don’t think you need to go back, but I do think it needs to be authenticated at a TECO in Canada. All you need to do is ship it and have them send it back. Usually you can do this through the local immigration office. I don’t know how much Covid has slowed things down though.

the easiest way is to contact your university and order a new copy. You can have them sent it to the TECO office. From. there you can get it mailed to Taiwan

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No one can answer this for you except your current company of employment (their requirements) and the company that issued your degree (can make another copy or not from abroad).

I would venture a confident guess that if youre passport is from a native English speaking country, and your physical appearance also looks like you from such a country, the degree situation gets more flexible. Note that i am not saying white.

Also depends if you are seeking employmnet with aor private. The latter being less strict in general. Universities now are more strict. That seems to be more due to over supply of schooling services and.lack of students compared to before. But many universities are companies, like a cram school, and in this situation if you are white and hold a passport that ignorant people view as also being white, you are likely fine.

A school a few years ago had a flip out about me not having the original everything. My parents spent a bajillion (I’m pretty sure it was over USD$100 next day and and trackable) to send me my undergrad diploma.

My favorite requirement was my teaching license, which they needed the “original” of. Thing is, most states in the US don’t give you an official anything because licensed teachers can be looked up on the state’s DPI (department of public instruction) website, which is going to be a lot harder to forge than a piece of paper in a fancy document holder. The only thing DPI sent me was an email with a PDF of a certificate that showed my license number, what I was certified in, and the expiration, which any school on earth could confirm by going to the DPI website (which is a government website). But that wouldn’t cut it for Taiwan’s public schools. They wanted “the original” license. After quite literally fighting me on it for days, I told them that if they ever plan on hiring an American teacher, they’re going to need to rethink their ridiculous means of “confirming the qualifications” of their teachers. Eventually, they accepted a print off of the certificate from DPI and a screen shot of the website that showed my info, but they still acted like the whole thing was very suspicious.

Interestingly, when they decided I needed to have a Chinese translation of every document, they accepted my use of MSpaint in labeling everything in Chinese. If I were them, I’d care more about an official translation of documents than the easily-verifiable certification, but I’m not them.

(I see @Explant just posted something very similar to below but…) your best bet is to start applying for jobs and see what they decide they need from you. Every school seems to have its unique quirks, and the labor bureau and ministry of ed changes their requirements literally whenever they feel like it.


Thanks for all your replies. I wrote to the TECO office in Vancouver and this is the reply. I am very surprised they need my passport. Has any one else had experience with sending a passport to TECO? I wonder why they would need it since it is such an important document.

Jurisdiction: This office ONLY certifies documents issued or notarized by competent authorities in and for British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavut.

If your Canadian RCMP certificate contains finger prints, it is issued form RCMP in Ottawa ON, please contact our Ottawa office for authentication, it’s web:

Please have following mail to our office for degree/diploma authentication:

  1. Passport

  2. Original diploma (If copy version is provided, it has to be pre-notarized by the Bureau of Consular Affairs in Taiwan; if applying more than one copy of degree authentication, each copy has to be pre-notarized by the Bureau of Consular Affairs)

  3. Application form for authentication, download link:

  4. Letter of authorization, download link:

  5. Authentication fee: CAD$20/copy (does not need to pay authentication fee, if the diploma was pre-notarized by the Bureau of Consular Affairs in Taiwan)

  6. International returning postage CAD$72

Please purchase a bank draft in Canadian dollar for total payment, payable to: TECO in Vancouver. The bank draft has to have “Magnetic Ink Character Recognition” to meet the deposit requirement of local bank here.

Please refer to our web for detail information: (Chinese Version) (English Version)

Remarks: To apply UBC or SFU or KPU or Douglas College or University of Saskatchewan or University of the Fraser Valley University diploma authentication needs to submit a sealed official transcript for verification purpose. Official transcript will be kept as reference file at this office.

Best regards,

Consular Division

TECO in Vancouver

yeah, I usually try to go in person when possible. it’s the same for visas. you need to give it to a travel agent and they mail it to some office. A bit scary, but it can be replaced

Sounds like a pain in the ass. I will probably need to do something similar if I plan to get back into teaching.

I think my documents need to go through my government for authentication first, then to the TECO office.

Big pain. The job would have to be an absolute winner for me to do that. No run-of-the-mill buxiban gig.

Speaking of - is there a demand for highly experienced IELTS test prep specialists?

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Reflecting my own current ignorance of immigration laws: do you actually need the degree to teach? I had a vague impression the degree was necessary for the visa, but not necessarily the job - so if you’ve already got a marriage ARC, I’m not sure how necessary the degree is legally.

Now, needing to show it in order to get the job, that’s a whole other matter.

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Do I need my original copy of my degree to teach English?


  1. a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction (e.g. faith unfaithful kept him falsely true ).

Do I need my original copy of my degree to teach English?


  1. a certificate awarded by an educational establishment to show that someone has successfully completed a course of study.

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If it’s really a JFRV based ARC then it should have in red letters on it that you don’t need a work permit to work. Basically you have an open work permit. Therefore jobs at a cram school don’t have to apply for a work permit, so you wouldn’t need your degree. They might still ask you for one though. Public schools or international schools will almost certainly still want to see it.

All the schools I ever applied and worked for, even after getting the JFRV, just asked for a copy of it. Like a scanned, emailed PDF copy of it. That’s it. They never asked to see the thing in person. As for translating it, All the schools I worked for did it themselves. Never had to send it to TECO.

I think each school though will have different requirements though.

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