OK, I’ve got a complicated situation here. I’m an American, and I have a BA degree and a JD degree. Quite a lot has happened in my life since I earned them, and in the interim I have lost whatever original copies I had of my diplomas and transcripts. I’ve been all around the world in recent years, currently in India, and considering coming to Taiwan to teach English later this year.
I’ve already looked into getting replacements. The diplomas both would take quite a while to replace, in addition to costing me money (as well as the cost to have them shipped internationally.) Additionally, the request for the replacement BA diploma requires notarization by a US notary. As for the transcripts, the JD transcript should be fairly easy to get (except that I would need to have it sent first to an address in the US and then forwarded to me in India.) Conveniently, they can also forward me an unofficial copy of my BA transcript. However, getting an original BA transcript from the university that gave to me will be a bit more difficult and costly (but ultimately possible.) In short, I can get all these documents replaced, but it will be very time consuming and costly, especially considering that I’m on the other side of the world.
Based on my research so far, my academic qualifications should suffice to get me a job in Taiwan… but my questions are about what I will be required to prove along the way, and what documents will be required:
-Will I need to show my diploma? Transcripts?
-Originals? Or are photocopies or unofficial copies ok?
-Will anything need to be notarized?
-Anything else unexpected? Anything else I could show them (like if I could get a letter from the university saying I graduated, or something like that?)
I’m interested in knowing what I would need at both steps of the process: (a) getting hired, and (b) getting an ARC. (Even if I can get hired, I have no partcular desire to work illegally if I could not get the ARC.) Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
You’ll need the original of your B.A. degree. If you want a job where a JD is relevant, then you’ll need it, but not for teaching. I was never asked for transcripts. Maybe order them, but I doubt you’ll need them. As for a letter from the university, I think most bosses would assume it was a fake, couldn’t read it anyway, and it would not help get anything official. I never had to have anything notarized.
By the way, if the degree is written in Latin, get an official-looking translation of it, complete with stamp.
ok, I’ve done a bit more research and it seems like I need original diplomas AND to have them certified by TECO (according to some recent threads in the visa section of this forum)… any loopholes I may have missed? If it’s much easier to get a replacement for the original JD diploma than the BA, would this alone suffice? (It’s a higher degree after all.) Or would they probably require specifically the bachelor’s (even though it’s lower)?
Also, if I’m in India, not planning to go back to the US anytime soon, am I just screwed due to inability to get my diploma certified by any American TECO office, or is there some equivalent that I might be able to get done here in India?
[@moderators: I didn’t notice earlier that there was a separate section for visa-related questions, feel free to move the thread there if you think that’s appropriate…]
You would also want to be able to show the original of your JD degree (since it would probably be viewed as the equivalent of a Master’s degree) if you end up getting a job that requires an MA, such as at a university or college.
I was told numerous times by the first school I worked for that they needed my original diploma, but they never actually used it. There was a problem with my original, but I did have a photocopy (I misplaced the original original, got a new original, and that had problems. the photocopies were of the original original), so I just gave that to them and it was fine.
Any other school I’ve been at didn’t care if I had an original or not. I just carried copies around on my job search and left a copy at each school, and the ones that hired me (something like 5-6 schools offered me classes, but I couldn’t work at all of them obviously) never asked for anything more than that.
They’ll definitely need a copy at the least though.
By the way, if the degree is written in Latin, get an official-looking translation of it, complete with stamp.[/quote]
Even if it is English, you will need to get a Chinese translation. Authorised translators charge by the word, so it shouldn’t be too expensive. Then, once they’ve put their official stamp on it, you’ll have to send it back to America so the the local Taiwan Trade Office (or what ever their de-facto embassy is called there) can put their stamp (actually, its a sticker nowadays) on the back of your degree to say that it is not a fake.
You might be able to get the sticker on the back of the degree before you make the official translation. Maybe others know more about this. (I too would like to know since I’m going back to Australia in July for the conferal ceremony of my PhD. I know I will need the official sticker as well as the Chinese translation. But I want to get the Chinese translation done here after I come back, as its much cheaper.)
For some reason, only Taiwan government representatives in the country in which the certificate was issued can certify that it is not a fake. This applies to degrees, birth certificates, etc.
You may be right, in Taiwan (go figure) a JD might be considered the equivalent of a master’s degree. Of course it shouldn’t be. It should be considered the equivalent of a doctorate, because that’s what it is.
To the OP, best of luck to you. I also started a career as a lawyer and got disillusioned and took time off before coming to Taiwan, where I discovered a new, more satisfying career in law. So, don’t give up on law yet. You’ve got a valuable degree despite the horrific employment conditions for lawyers back in the states. It may take a while to re-establish your credibility after goofing off in India but it can be done.
I was under the impression that all non-Chinese documents submitted to government departments needed to be translated into Chinese. If you want to get a lecturer’s certificate or an assistant professor’s certificate, you will have to submit your original degree (with the sticker on the back) to the MoE.
Thanks everyone for the input… I guess different people have experienced different things… hmmm, I’m wondering if there is any trend, like if they are now getting more demanding (or more lax) than they used to be… anyway, I guess perhaps I’ll find out…
To the OP, best of luck to you. I also started a career as a lawyer and got disillusioned and took time off before coming to Taiwan, where I discovered a new, more satisfying career in law. So, don’t give up on law yet. You’ve got a valuable degree despite the horrific employment conditions for lawyers back in the states. It may take a while to re-establish your credibility after goofing off in India but it can be done.[/quote]
Actually, I never even worked as a lawyer in America. After law school I landed a very interesting job with a company and worked there for a few years; the job included handling GC duties, but that was maybe 5-10% of my work. Been following my own non-traditional career path all along…