Graduate Degree Authentication for University Jobs

Hi there,

I’m looking for information about how to get a graduate degree authenticated from the USA for a university job in Taiwan. This will be my first time using the graduate degree for a job and I was rather surprised to hear the person recruiting say that I needed to get this done on my own. I believe the diploma needs to be notarized and I believe that AIT provides notary services, although at an exorbitant price. Then I believe it needs to be sent to the TECO that represents the state the diploma was issued from. I’m not sure exactly what the process is or how long it will take. Has anyone done this before? Also:

-Why is this necessary for a graduate degree? I never had to do this for my bachelors.
-How long does the authentication last for? Is it good for life or has a certain validity?
-Is this authentication an Apostille?

Would like to hear from those who have had to get a graduate degree authenticated for a uni job or other jobs as well, thanks in advance.

Due to your post, it seems that you are already in Taiwan.

The usual process is to get your degree authenticated at the official place for authentications in the state where your graduate school is located. For example, in Utah this is at the Lt. Governor’s Office. Depending on the place, you need an Apostille or an normal authentication. Taiwan is not a signatory to the Hague Convention therefore just forget about the Apostille. When you are at the place of authentication they will ask where the document will be used so they will know whether it should be Apostille or a normal authentication. Afterwards, you should send it to the Taiwan Cultural Office that has jurisdiction over the state where the authentication was made for further authentication.

If you are already in Taiwan, the AIT has this on their website:

“If you wish to use U.S. civil documents in Taiwan, or Taiwan civil documents in the United States, they will require authentication in the jurisdiction where they were produced by the opposite authority. So if your document is American, it gets authenticated in the United States by the closest branch of the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO). See their website for further information. If you are already in Taiwan, you should contact TECRO to find out whether/how you can obtain the authentication you need by mail.” -AIT, https://www.ait.org.tw/u-s-citizen-services/notaries-public/documents-we-notarize/

The authentication process itself is usually very quick at each place where it needs to be authenticated, but given COVID, these places might have new working hours or might be processing things at a slower pace. The authentication in this case will only be valid for Taiwan, not another country.

Good luck.

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thanks for the details reply. Yes I am in Taiwan right now. So if my understanding is correct, I need to send the diploma to the TECRO that represents the state which the diploma is from? I don’t need to get it notarized here? I guess I should call the TECRO in New York and find out what I need to do.

Is notarization necessary? I think I’m perhaps hung up on this with my experience getting my degree authenticated to go to Korea over 10 years ago. In order to get an apostille, a notarization was necessary. However, since documents don’t get an apostille for Taiwan, does that make the notarization unnecessary? or according to their own rules, is a notarization still necessary?

Notarization of the document is still NECESSARY before sending it to the state office for authentication and then to the TECRO office for the final Taiwan authentication. There’s three “certifications” so to speak. Like I said, you need to look up the place that does authentications in the state where your GRADUATE SCHOOL is located. I gave you the example for the Utah case but I don’t know where yours is. After the document has been notarized by a notary public, it then has to get authenticated by the government office in charge of state authentications of public documents, then you need to forward it to the TECRO office. From then you can arrange to have TECRO forward it to you here in Taiwan.

I recently had to do a very similar process from Taiwan and it went all smooth. It was just before COVID so it was relatively smooth and quick. Here’s how it went:

  1. I contacted my university and requested a new transcript and diploma. (Since I told the school that it was to be used abroad, they had the documents notarized with a notary they have on campus).
  2. The university sends the notarized documents to the state office in charge of Apostille/Authentications for documents to be used abroad.
  3. After this office authenticated the documents they then forwarded them to me. (In this case I needed an Apostille so that’s where the process ended for me). In your case, instead of sending it to you, you have to arrange with this office to send the authenticated documents to TECRO where it will get the final authentication for the documents to be used in Taiwan. Here you can arrange with TECRO on how they can forward the documents to you.

I could make all payments online from Taiwan and the postage was all included because the documents always went to a domestic U.S. address. In your case, I assume you will only have to worry about postage from TECRO to Taiwan, which is the last stage of the authentication process for you.

Alright, so I got this done and here are the steps to doing it. This will be most relevant to people from the US, but if you’re from somewhere else, then most of the steps will still be pretty relevant.

  1. Get your passport authenticated. Do this first and foremost, you can’t really do anything else until you’ve done this. If you’re from the US, make an appointment with AIT. Cost is $50 USD, you can pay with a credit card, NTD (but at a shitty exchange rate). This is done same day, no need for mail or coming back to pick up. If you’re not from the US, go to your country’s official office and have them do this for you, but depending on your country, that may or may not be available. Check with them first.

  2. Go to the Bureau of Consular Affairs (BOCA) have them authenticate your authenicated passport (not kidding) and also bring your original diploma with you and have them authenticate it too, two birds, one stone. The service for this is next day, like 400-500 NT for each document. You get the documents back the next day.

  3. Now you’re ready to mail these to the TECO office in your home country. If you’re from the US, make sure that you send them to the office that represents the state where your school is located. For example, if your school is in Wisconsin, you send it to the office in Chicago. Check the TECO website and make sure you get it right. Also contact them to let them know that you are planning to do this and that they should expect it. You’re also going to need to make payment via a cashier’s check for the services rendered by the TECO office and return shipping. They accept them from Bank of Taiwan. Make sure you get the correct amount.

  4. Have your university/college send a transcript to the TECO office. Again, it’s important you contact the TECO office because they’re going to receive documents about your case at different times (likely) from different places.

  5. Wait for them to process it all and mail it back to you. You need to have your DIPLOMA AND TRANSCRIPTS authenticated.

All in all, the cost is around $6000 NT for everything and probably gonna take you at least a month to do it, even if you do everything one right after the other.

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just for clarification, is it your passport, not a copy of your passport?

you must bring your original to the appointment. I guess you could bring your own copy or AIT will make a copy for you for $1 USD.

So, what you got authenticated and sent to TECO is a copy of your passport, not your original one right?

The same for the diploma? BOCA authenticates that the copy is truly the same with the diploma, and TECO will authenticate the (copy of) the diploma that it is truly issued by the university. If you send the original diploma, you can skip the authentication at BOCA, right?

you don’t send your passport to TECO, you send them the authenticated copy, which is double authenticated, first by AIT, then BOCA. You MUST bring your passport to both authentication appointments, and you don’t mail it to TECO.

And yes, you do not need to send your original diploma either to TECO. You could, but you pay the same amount of money anyway, either when you go to BOCA or when you send in your cashier’s check. But you have to visit BOCA either way, to me it’s a wash really, you don’t save any time or money by sending your diploma to TECO. The advantage of having BOCA authenticate your diploma is that you don’t need to risk having it in the mail.

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I forgot one step in this process. You also have to download and fill out a form. You can find it on the TECO website in this link directly below:

Also, here is a checklist of requirements from the TECO website about this. It has more detailed instructions, not all will be relevant. What I’ve posted in the streamlined version.