Getting Notarization And Apostille

Getting Notarization, Apostille

Notarization First and Apostille Second

  • Apostilles certify documents for international use whereas Notarizations certify that documents are legitimate copies of original documents.
  • All teachers applying for ESL jobs in Korea have to have a Degree/Diploma Copy to be Notarized First and then Apostilled to be accepted by Korean Immigration.
  • In most cases, as the nationwide criminal checks have been issued and signed by the government authorities, the notarization aren’t needed but only apostille certification needed for international use. For this process, please refer to the article – Getting Criminal Record Check and Apostille.
  • A Notary Public, or lawyer with a notary license provides the notarization service. To find a notary in your area simply do a Google search for: ‘Notary Public + your city name’.
  • Do NOT, for any reason what so ever, remove the staples and/or damage the apostille certificates. Korean Immigration will automatically reject any apostille authentication that looks like it’s been tampered with (detached, re-stapled, etc.).
  • Please NOTE that Notarization First and then Apostille Second.
  • Please find how to get Notarization by country.


  • To find a notary in your area simply do a Google search for: ‘Notary Public + your city name’.
  • Please find how to get apostilles on FBI Criminal Check and Diploma in reference to the following;
  • FBI criminal background checks are federal documents and therefore can only receive a federal apostille from the US Department of State. FBI criminal checks are already notarized, therefore obtaining an additional notarization before an apostille is not needed.
  • The U.S. Department of State Office of Authentications in Washcington DC accepts requests via Mail or Walk-in Counter or Appointments.
  • Please NOTE that it would take almost 1 month to get it back from them via Mail request method. So DO NOT just mail your FBI criminal record check directly to the US Department of State if you don’t have enough time in job/visa process. You could opt to request the service via Walk-in Counter or Appointments but please firstly call the Office of Authentications to inquire about the delivery timeline.
  • Your university diploma is a state-level document. Therefore you can get it apostilled by your Secretary of State Office in your own state. In order to be apostilled however, the document needs to first be notarized. The process would take 1 to 2 days.
  • We provide End to End legalization services on both an FBI check and the copy of Degree/Diploma. 


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  • Find a Notary Public or lawyer via the Yellow Pages website.
  • Please NOTE that All Canadians must have their original RCMP criminal check and diploma certificates verified by the Korean Consulate/Embassy with a Consulate Verification Stamp because Canada is not a signatory of the Apostille treaty. First have them notarized by a notary public then mail or take the notarized ones to your nearest Korean Consulate or Embassy for the Consulate Verification stamp.
  • Remember to make a request for 2 notarized criminal checks, you might need an additional copy when applying for your E-2 visa at the consulate. 
  • Please NOTE that multiple applying teachers told us that the Korean Consulate in Montreal and Toronto may not require them to notarize the criminal checks. Please contact your nearest Korean Consulate for more specific details.

South Africa

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  • Find Attorneys in South for notarization via the website.
  • South African candidates need to have their documents apostilled by the Legalisation Section of the South African Department of International Relations & Cooperation (DIRCO)
  • You can have an apostille job done the same day via in person visitation.
  • Please NOTE >>> Newly implemented Time Consuming Degree Verification Process
    • To get the copy of degree apostilled, originally DIRCO required a verification letter issued by the Department of Higher Education which takes normally one to two working days.
    • However, DIRCO changed this process and requires to obtain a verification letter from the SAQA (South African Qualification Authority) which takes 20 to 30 working days to issue the letter!
    • The entire process goes as following; Copy of Degree > Notarization by a Notary Public/Attorney > Verification by SAQA > Apostille by DIRCO 
  • However High Court May Expedite the Degree Verification Process
    • Instead of going through the time consuming lengthy verification process with SAQA, we managed to find a working way of having a copy of degree apostilled by working with a South African High Court. They even apostille the Police Clearance Check as well.
    • Please contact a high court in the vicinity of your location in advance if they could provide the services of your request. Some high courts may not provide the services.
    • The entire process goes as following; Copy of Degree > Notarization by a Notary Public/Attorney > Apostille by a High Court
    • We have also found out that a high court usually doesn’t use a standardized single apostille cover template so that they ended up using the templates having different font styles, sizes and layouts on a copy of degree and a Police Clearance Check each. Therefore when you actually sort out these two docs for the apostille working with a high court, please make sure to ask them to apply a same identical apostille cover template. Please find the samples for your reference below.
    • We have also noticed a misspelling in the sub title line – ‘(Convention de La Hayel Du 5 Octobre 1961)’. The correct spelling is ‘La Haye’ not ‘La Hayel’. Please check that if there might be a typo like this. 


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  • Find a Notary via The Notaries Society or The Faculty Office websites.

The Notaries Society’s Find a Notary Page
The Faculty Office’s Find a Notary Page

  • The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)  is the best option for getting an apostille in the UK and it is faster and cheaper than other apostille services. Please follow the instructions at Get your document legalised on the GOV.UK website.
  • It normally takes 2 working days to process the Apostille job using the standard service, plus courier or postage time. Applications during peak periods around Easter and summer can take up to 10 days.

Related Links/Downloads


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  • The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is the only office in Ireland that is able to authenticate documents. Please follow the instructions at Authenticating documents on the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

Related Links/Downloads


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  • The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is the office that Australian teachers must use for their Apostille authentications. Please follow the instructions for applicants applying from Australia and also from overseas at Legalising documents on the DFAT’s Smartraveller website.

Related Links/Downloads

New Zealand

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  • Please follow the detailed instructions for apostille at Apostille Certification on the Department of Internal Affairs website.
  • Getting an aspostile takes 7 – 10 days. If urgent, you could attach a cover letter explaining why it is urgent to make the delivery quicker.

Related Links/Downloads