Legalization

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While it is not common, students may be required in some cases to submit legalized documents to the university, government entity or other organization of their choice.

The information below covers:

  • what legalization is
  • what document(s) may need to be legalized
  • where legalization is required
  • legalization requirements specific to Italy and India
  • how to submit a request for legalization
  • frequently asked questions (FAQs) about legalization.

Programme coordinators and University and Career Counsellors with access to My IB also can find detailed information on legalization procedures in the Assessment Procedures for the Diploma Programme (DP) or the Career-related Programme (CP) on the Programme Resource Centre (PRC).

About Legalization

Legalization, sometimes referred to as homologation, is the process of authenticating or certifying a legal document so an institution will recognize it. For most students, legalization of their IB certificates is unnecessary. However, sometimes legalization is required for a few reasons, including university enrolment and school legal requirements. In some countries, official International Baccalaureate (IB) certificates are not valid until they are legalized in Switzerland (as this is where the IB foundation is registered), by the relevant embassy or consulate.

Legalization indicates that:

  • the document was issued by an official authority
  • the signature, seal and/or stamp on the document are genuine
  • the document’s format is correct.

Documents that may need to be legalized

When legalization is required, most commonly it is DP or CP results certificates, which show subjects and grades, that need to be legalized. The entity requesting legalization must tell you what they require. However, please see below for a list of documents that may need to be legalized.

After the completion of the DP or Career-related Programme CP, students will be in one of the following scenarios.

Those who fulfil the requirements of the DP receive two documents: the Diploma of the International Baccalaureate (IB Diploma) and the Diploma Programme results certificate.

  • The IB Diploma (or the bilingual diploma certificate for the DP) is the overall award for fulfilling all the DP requirements.
  • The Diploma Programme results certificate details the courses taken, along with the individual scores and the overall DP score.

Those who elect to take a selection of DP courses, or those who do not fulfil the requirements of the DP, receive the Diploma Programme Course Results document.

  • The DP Course Results document details the individual scores for each course taken, but does not show an overall DP score.

Those who fulfil the requirements of the CP receive two documents: The IB Career-related Programme certificate (IBCPC) and the Career-related Programme Course Results document.

  • The IBCPC (or the bilingual certificate for the CP) is the overall award for fulfilling all the CP requirements.
  • The CP Course Results document shows subject results and whether the candidate has completed the core components.

Countries that commonly require legalization

Candidates are responsible for determining if their preferred destination has legalization requirements and what those exact requirements are (e.g., is legalization of just the results certificate required, or is legalization of both the results certificate and IB Diploma required?).

Legalization typically is determined by the country of the university and not the graduate’s residency or nationality. Schools must support candidates in obtaining clarification of the requirements of the institute/organization to which the student is applying in advance of submitting requests for legalization on IBIS.

Please find a list of countries that often require legalization below.  More detailed information also is available on the Programme Resource Centre (PRC) in Section C8.5 of the DP Assessment Procedures and the Recognition Statements Database.

Brazil

Bulgaria

Cyprus

Czechia (Czech Republic)

Egypt

Georgia

Greece

Israel

Italy

Mexico

Portugal  

Romania

Russian Federation Saudi Arabia

 

Taiwan

Ukraine

United Arab Emirates

 

Legalization in specific countries

Legalization needs for Italy

Some universities in Italy require legalization. They may sometimes additionally require a Declaration of Value (DoV). Please check a university’s requirements before making a legalization request.

What a university requires may differ depending on whether a student is coming from an IB World School on the Italian Ministry of Education’s list of recognized schools, which is available on the Ministry for Universities and Research’s  website (“Allegati” and select “Allegato 2”). Schools on this list typically do not require obtaining a DoV for their students’ results. However, please note that the ministry list is neither comprehensive nor always up to date.

When a programme coordinator from a school not on the Ministry’s list of recognized schools makes a legalization request for Italy, the IB will email that coordinator. The IB will ask for confirmation that a DoV is required, share more details about the legalization process for Italy and note which documents must be submitted to the IB in order to gain a DoV:

  • Legalized copy of the IB results document (if requested after the release of results)
  • Copy of student photo ID
  • Evidence of (pre-)enrolment or (pre-)registration from the university, or a self-declaration of enrolment for Italian nationals
  • Evidence the university requires a DoV

The IB also can support students who require a DoV for business use or employment. There is a fee associated with this service; please reach out to legalization@ibo.org for more information. 

For IB graduates who are not awarded the IB Diploma but need legalization for Italy: their DP Course Results document can be legalized, but the Italian consulate will not issue a DoV.

You also can view requirements for Italy on the Recognition Statements Database.

Statement of Comparability­

Alternatively, some universities may request a Statement of Comparability issued by CIMEA. For further details on this and to make a request, please contact CIMEA directly.

Legalization needs for India

Universities in India normally require a migration certificate. A migration certificate is a non-legally binding document that states a student has taken IB exams in a specific session and that the IB has no objection to the student joining any college or university in India or appearing for an examination of any board. 

Before students’ exam results are released, coordinators must place a transcript request on IBIS, which will automatically generate the request for a migration certificate. Coordinators can log in to IBIS and download the migration certificates.

After students’ exam results are released, students must place their requests for transcripts AND/OR migration certificates via the IB request for results services form (rrs.ibo.org). All requests made through rrs.ibo.org have a corresponding fee.

For more information, please read FAQs about the IB in India and our India recognition guidance. You also can visit the Recognition Statements Database.

How to place a legalization request

Before requesting legalization, please confirm whether the university, government entity or other organization where you or your student are going requires it.

Programme coordinators should request this service prior to the release of results. Please contact legalization@ibo.org for further support.

For IB students currently studying

Programme coordinators must submit requests to the IB on a student’s behalf via IBIS. Please submit legalization requests by 15 June for May exam sessions and by 15 December for November exam sessions.

The IB only will accept requests coming from schools; if a student is certain that they will need their IB certificate to be legalized for university entrance purposes, they should speak to their programme coordinator.

If a student retakes an exam, a new request must be placed.

For IB graduates

If six months have passed since the issue of IB results, graduates can make a legalization request themselves via the IB request for results services form (rrs.ibo.org).

They should provide their full name, date of birth, their IB World School’s name and the country of the university they are applying to.

When submitting a legalization request, you will be charged a fee for each document to be legalized; the fee is the same for all types of documents.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What if my grade changes due to an EUR and need my IB documents legalized?

The IB prints grade change Diploma Programme results certificates each week during the Enquiry Upon Results (EUR) period (5 July–15 September). Those that require legalization will be sent to Switzerland and then to the school.

What do I do if the country for which I need to submit a legalization request does not appear on IBIS?

Please email legalization@ibo.org with your request and include the candidate’s details, the country of legalization and the results documents that need legalizing.

What should I do if my students request legalization for several countries?

The legalization fee is charged per document, irrespective of certificate type and/or country for which legalization is required. Schools will be invoiced for each request placed on IBIS or requested manually via legalization@ibo.org.

Schools should only place multiple requests for Apostille countries—countries that are a part of the Hague Convention—if multiple sets of certificates are required. The Replacement fee applies to all additional requests.

Please contact legalization@ibo.org for advice and provide as much information as possible.

What should I do if the candidate results documents have arrived at our school, but the DP results certificate is missing for a particular candidate(s)?

Check to see if there has been a legalization request for the candidate(s). The legalization process will take more time to process than the production of the non-legalized certificates. Any legalized results documents will be sent separately.

If there are no legalization requests, please contact support@ibo.org.

I urgently need my certificate to be legalized. Can the IB expedite the process?

No, the IB does not provide a priority service for legalization. The process relies on third-party organizations outside of the UK to obtain the legalization stamps.

How do I request new legalized documents if I have lost my original(s)?

IB graduates may request replacement certification and legalization on the IB request for results services form (rrs.ibo.org) by selecting the “Replacement IB certification and Legalization” option after six months have passed since the issue of results.

Programme coordinators can submit a replacement request and a legalization request if required before six months have passed. Programme coordinators should share the student details, indicate which certification requires legalization and for which country.

You will be charged for two services: replacement and legalization. Fees can be found on rrs.ibo.org. On the order form, please indicate that you also require the results certificate to be legalized.   

If you have any questions regarding legalization, please contact legalization@ibo.org.