Qualifications translation & validation: English to Spanish
Thread poster: marcuswillcocks
marcuswillcocks
English
Aug 27, 2004

Hello,

I have been reading some of the forum posts and am a little confused, please give advice on the following, if you can!...

I am British, and am about to start a Master's design degree in Bacelona, Spain. The college I will be attening, have asked me for the following:

1. "An attested copy of the university degree or attested copy of the receipt. Foreign degrees must have the appropriate validation, as well as be handed along with the respective sworn translation if they are not issued in Catalan or Spanish".
 
2. "An attested copy of the student’s record (I assume this means other qualifications???). Foreign records must have the appropriate validation, as well as be handed along with the respective sworn translation if they are not issued in Catalan or Spanish."

Because I have never done this before, I am not very clear on what they mean, and what the standard procedure is in the UK for students going to study abroad. I have been in correspendence with the college, but they are not very clear on what they mean - I have a feeling the process isfar more normal and straightforward in Spain than in the UK.

If anyone has been through a similar procedure themselves, or if anyone can suggest how I should go about getting my previous degree "attested, validated, translated and sworn" in the simplest and most cost effective way, I would be very please to hear from you!

Many thanks, Marcus


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:56
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
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Some things to keep in mind Aug 27, 2004

"Attested": the documents bear signatures that are attested as being true and belonging to the pertinent authority.

This implies legalization of the document.

Student's record: transcript. While the diploma serves to qualify your degree, an evaluation of the transcript may be necessary to determine whether you need additional subjects as per the university requirements.

Validation by the Ministry of Education is a separate procedure (título homologado). This may be issued later on during the year (it takes some months). Basically, however, the Ministry just remits your records to the institution(s) involved to determine whether you fulfill the requirements for the Spanish degree you are going to get by validation. (This means the same committee that evaluates your transcript may be called again to validate your degree).

What is important from the very start is the sworn translation of the transcript, diploma and apostilles.

Hope it helps.

Oh, yes: get in touch with a sworn translator once you have the papers.

[Edited at 2004-08-27 16:31]


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Parrot  Identity Verified
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Oops Aug 27, 2004

Attestation of signatures takes place at source (go to the issuing university. They'll attest and give you all the necessary apostilles).

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DGK T-I  Identity Verified
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Local time: 11:56
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UK [international]"legalization" & swearing of academic certificates Aug 27, 2004

marcuswillcocks wrote:

Hello,

I have been reading some of the forum posts and am a little confused, please give advice on the following, if you can!...

I am British, and am about to start a Master's design degree in Bacelona, Spain. The college I will be attening, have asked me for the following:


Congratulations and may it be interesting and enjoyable!


1. "An attested copy of the university degree or attested copy of the receipt. Foreign degrees must have the appropriate validation, as well as be handed along with the respective sworn translation if they are not issued in Catalan or Spanish".
 
2. "An attested copy of the student’s record (I assume this means other qualifications???). Foreign records must have the appropriate validation, as well as be handed along with the respective sworn translation if they are not issued in Catalan or Spanish."



Well, the full British procedure, with bells and whistles on it, for acceptance in those overseas countries that demand it, would be to "legalize" (for international use) a copy of the original English degree certificate and transcript (record?) by an apostile or legalization certificate. And to make a UK sworn translation of the degree certificate and transcript (record?). It may be wise to "legalize" this also, to ensure its acceptance in Spain.
Possibly the Legalization Office would regard them all together (attached together) as a single document, and charge a fee for one document.

My understanding of the procedure for "legalizing" the original English degree and transcript (record?) is as follows (assuming that the Spanish system requires you to go to these lengths - I am aware of cases for countries with similar systems where it has been necessary).
A solicitor or Commissioner for Oaths must sign the copy of the degree and transcript (take the originals to them, as well) to certify them to the UK Office of Legalization. For these purposes (presentation to the Legalization Office), the signature of the academic official on the documents is not sufficient. Thus certified, the copy documents can then be sent or taken (you send or take) to the Office of Legalization (UK Foreign Office), who will then "legalize" them.

The British legal system doesn't operate with sworn translators, the way many continental systems do. The most straightforward and cost-effective British way to obtain a sworn translation is for a translator (who is competent to translate the documents) to translate them and then they visit a (Practising) Solicitor (or) Commissioner for Oaths, and swear before them that the translation they have made is a true translation of the original. The solicitor/Commissioner or the translator will need to have prepared an oath form, which the translator signs with address and contact details, and the solicitor signs (with her/his own name) and stamps everything.
It seems a good idea to take copies of the original documents, as well as the translations, to the solicitor/Commissioner, to be signed and stamped. The Office of Legalization could then "legalize" the sworn translations, by virtue of them having been sworn before a solicitor or Commissioner for Oaths, if this is felt to be necessary (it seems a good idea, to make sure the swearing is accepted in Spain, especially if the Legalization Office charged to put the apostile on the degree certificate and its sworn translation as for a single document, if they were all attached together). It's sensible to keep a photocopy of the sworn translation and other documents, when you send everything off. I'll send you contact details of the Office of Legalization.

Parrot is knowledgeable about the Spanish system (as well as many other things;-)), so I'm sure what she says about validation there is wise advice.

As an alternative to the UK sworn translation, perhaps a translator - who is a sworn translator under the Spanish system of sworn translators - could make the sworn translation from a copy of the certificate and transcript, and you could send that (together with the copy of the original documents "legalized" as above - the Office of Legalization couldn't legalize a sworn translation made this way, but that wouldn't matter as presumably it would be acceptable in Spain in its own right).


Because I have never done this before, I am not very clear on what they mean, and what the standard procedure is in the UK for students going to study abroad. I have been in correspendence with the college, but they are not very clear on what they mean - I have a feeling the process is far more normal and straightforward in Spain than in the UK.


Well, it depends where abroad the students are going to study. If they were going to Commonwealth countries or the US I believe they wouldn't necessarily have to go through this process. And sworn translations and the like aren't needed for most purposes in the UK, where they can be needed for a lot of things in some other jurisdictions/systems, eg: in Spain, Georgia, Russia or Mexico.


Having said all that, I hope it is possible to do something simpler (ie: that Parrot doesn't mean an apostile in the sense of the "the" apostile - an international certificate of Legalization), but if fully legalized certificates certificates are needed (as they sometimes are in this situation) this should help you, and it's not too complicated once you get used to it.

Best wishes
Giuli

~English Russian Georgian~

[Edited at 2004-08-31 05:11]


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DGK T-I  Identity Verified
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oops too (maybe) Aug 28, 2004

Parrot wrote:

Attestation of signatures takes place at source (go to the issuing university. They'll attest and give you all the necessary apostilles).


Or in this case, are they simply saying that the awarding university certifies the copy as genuine, with its stamps and signatures - as perhaps Parrot suggests?

[Edited at 2004-08-28 21:13]


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translatol
Local time: 11:56
Spanish to English
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Attestation and sworn translation Aug 29, 2004

I'm pretty sure that "attested" here means attested by the issuing university, with a signature and stamp. (The stamp is very important. It has almost mystical power in Spanish and other non-Anglo-Saxon administrations but it's sometimes hard to make that understood in England.) The attestation meant here is that of the degree and transcript themselves and not of the signatures. The correct term for attesting of signatures is 'authentication' or 'legalisation' (legalización in Spanish).

The procedure for swearing translations in England (also in ex-British countries like Canada) has been described in another answer. It can also be done before a Notary Public or Justice of the Peace. In Spain that procedure isn't needed because there are government-authorised sworn translators (traductores jurados). You can get a list of them from local offices of the central government (Delegaciones del Gobierno). The Spanish Embassy can also probably help. In my experience, Spanish universities accept translations duly sworn according to the procedure of the country of origin (the truth is that they're perfectly capable of reading the originals if they're in English), but the Spanish government may not - and that becomes important if you're applying for a residence permit (residencia).

Less certain is what they mean by 'validation'. But I wouldn't worry much. Spanish universities are used to dealing with the thousands of foreign students who come on exchange programmes every year, and it's very Spanish to find a way around bureaucratic obstacles.


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DGK T-I  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
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Some information from Catalonia Aug 31, 2004

"Legalisation and Translation of certificates

For your university degree to be officially recognised all over the State of Spain, you will need to present the following documents:

Legalisation of documents

Documents from certain foreign countries must be legally validated if they are to be recognised in Spain...

... No legalisation is required for European Union Member States or members of the European Economic Area:
France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Switzerland too, because of the bilateral agreement with the E.U.


Translation of documents

Documents issued abroad which the applicant wishes to use within the State of Spain will require an official translation into Castilian.

You can get an official translation:
• By a Sworn Translator, duly authorised or registered in Spain.

• By any diplomatic Representative Office of the state of Spain abroad, providing they have a Spanish sworn translator.

• For the Spanish Consulate or Embassy in the country of which you are a citizen the
applicant, or, as the case may be, where the documents come from, providing that they have a translation service with authorised and qualified personnel."

http://www.estudiaracatalunya.net/dursi/eng/estudiar/e5.2_Legalize-it_yeah.jsp


"What else do you need to know?"

"Validation of NON-university studies"
[I know that we are talking about validation of a university degree in Marcus's case, but it's interesting that they use the term].

For your non-university education certificates from abroad to be recognised in the State of Spain you will need to present the following documents:

-Certificate to prove the applicant's nationality: ID card or passport
-Official academic certificates of the courses taken, giving subjects studied, duration, etc.
-Receipt confirming payment of the corresponding fee
-Duly completed application form.

In this way, the equivalence of your studies to the corresponding Spanish ones becomes official, and you can continue studying in a centre over here.

Where to hand it in:

At either of these two institutions:

Scholarships from the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports
Sub directorate General for Titles, Recognition and Standardisation ["Subdirecció General de Títols, Convalidacions i Homologacions"]
Paseo del Prado, 28
28014 Madrid
Tel: 91 506 56 00 Delegation in Barcelona

Higher Education Inspectorate ["Alta Inspecció d'Educació"] Area
c/ Bergara, 12 ,1ª Planta
08002 Barcelona
Tel: 93 302 74 26
Fax: 93 318 41 71
"
http://www.estudiaracatalunya.net/dursi/eng/estudiar/e5.2_Conva.jsp


"Recognition of [University Degree] certificates

For your university degree to be officially recognised all over the State of Spain, you will need to present the following documents:

-Original degree certificate.
-Original academic certificate giving subjects studied, duration, etc.
-ID card, passport or other documentation to prove nationality.
-Receipt confirming payment of the corresponding fee established by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, to file for validation.
-Duly completed application form.

Where to hand it in:

At either of these two institutions:

Scholarships from the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports
Sub directorate General for Titles, Recognition and Standardisation ["Subdirecció General de Títols, Convalidacions i Homologacions"]
Paseo del Prado, 28
28014 Madrid
Tel: 91 506 56 00 Delegation in Barcelona

Higher Education Inspectorate ["Alta Inspecció d'Educació"] Area
c/ Bergara, 12 ,1ª Planta
08002 Barcelona
Tel: 93 302 74 26
Fax: 93 318 41 71
"
http://www.estudiaracatalunya.net/dursi/eng/estudiar/e5.2_Homo.jsp


"Procedures:
Studying for a master's or post-graduate degree,
doctorate or a second university degree"

....First of all, get in touch with the college or university centre. To receive precise information on the requisites, the documents and the procedures established for the various courses, please see the secretary or the Admissions Service of the university in question.

....Remember that if you got your degree abroad you will have to have the documents legalised [but see above re. certificates from EU countries] and translated before starting any other procedure."


An 'academic flow chart' for the procedure...
http://www.estudiaracatalunya.net/dursi/eng/img/diagrama_sistEdu_titu.gif


My conclusion - I'm not clear whether or not the Spanish government would officially recognize translations into Spanish for these purposes (sworn by an officer of the British legal system, and then legalized for international use, under the Hague convention, by the Legalization Office (UK) - there does seem a good argument that it's difficult to see the grounds on which the Spanish government could reject them).
But
there seems little point in Marcus testing this question, since it is straightforward that the sworn translation can be arranged by the Spanish Embassy/Consulates in the UK or directly by a ("Spanish system") sworn translator.

Spain would accept original documents / copies legalized by the Legalization Office, but according to the above they do not require legalization of EU certificates.

So it does seem that the attesting is impressive signing and stamping of the copies by the University that issued them.


Ref. Universities of Catalonia

[Edited at 2004-08-31 22:30]


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