Education is an integral part of human development. It can bring enormous change in an individual as well as the nation as a whole. An improved academic culture can help in social and economic development. Without proper education, it becomes very difficult to develop a proper ideology or a belief. India's education system has been improving rapidly over the years but still lags much behind other countries.
Many countries like the USA, UK, and Switzerland have been role models for providing a quality higher education to students worldwide. This is one of the reasons that students from India are also interested in completing their higher studies from abroad.
Every year a huge number of students travel abroad for their specialized and higher studies. They not only travel abroad but also travel to various cities within India for their specialization in the area of interest.
One of the basic requirements for a person to travel to a foreign country for education and/or employment is verification of documents from the authorities which is known as attestation. Attestation means verifying or authenticating the documents such as mark sheets of schools, colleges, degree certificates, etc. It increases the credibility of an individual to get selected in a university from a different nation.
Attestation of an educational document can be done through a series of processes and multiple government bodies checking and verifying the authenticity of the document and a student must have all the original documents and possess a copy of passport for the same.
Along with the educational attestations, numerous other documents needs to get attested too like Birth Certificates, Driving licenses, Affidavit, Scholarship related documents, etc.
This process becomes lengthy and cumbersome because some nations are very strict and have mandated attestation as a part of the VISA approval process. There are several agents registered with the Government of India who claim to make the process easier and simple by charging some amount as commission for their service.
Apart from attestation, sometimes a requirement of apostille may also be asked, which is a document format where documents are meant to legalize that is accepted by around 92 countries that belong to the Hague convention, like Belgium, Austria, etc. This attestation is meant for personal documents such as birth/death certificates.
Process of Education Certificate Attestation
In India, to get the educational documents attested, a student has to follow the following procedures after filling out the application form. These processes need to be followed by every individual who goes to study abroad,
- State Attestation- This is the first step where documents that are provided by state authorities need to get attested from them. State Education Department handles all such procedures. For example, if a student completes his graduation from Chhattisgarh, he needs to get the documents verified from the SDM or Directorate of Higher Education, CG Government.
- HRD Ministry- Once the documents are verified by the state, documents have to be submitted to the Human resource development ministry of the government where it gets verified, attested and forwarded to the next level.
- Embassy & MEA- After all the verification is done, it finally reaches the Ministry of External Affairs for final attestation. Hence, the attested documents are shown up at the embassy of the country where the student has applied for his higher education, and post-approval he stands fit for pursuing his course.
Some of the important documents that are obligatory to keep before applying for the procedure are:
- Original documents that need to be attested,
- Original mark sheets for educational attestation,
- Photocopy of the above documents,
- Photo and Form to fill-up, and
- Photocopy of passport.
Agents play an active role in acting as a savior for those who don’t wish to struggle for the same. They have different charges for the different nations and the price also varies according to the purpose of the visit.
But this may turn out to be dangerous at times. If the agency is experienced or old enough and also includes a professional team then one can go for such a company and their service can be trusted over a company that is newer or has a bad reputation in the market as any kind of error can even lead to cancellation of admission. Thus, the applicant needs to be careful with that.
So this is how attestation is one of the most important parts of the process of studying abroad and for an uninterrupted service a professional help can be good for getting knowledge and chances of completion of hassle-free documentation would increase. It would not only make things easier but also make it legally acceptable if there’s any chance in the future for going out of the country, be it for education or employment.