Officially Certified (Attested) Copies
University of Lapland does not accept regular photocopies of educational documents. All educational documents must either be officially certified (attested) by the awarding institution, or legalised (see below). For some countries, there are country-specific document requirements that must be followed first and foremost before any other requirements for document attestation. In addition, officially certified copies issued by a Finnish Notary Public are accepted. Find more information at the website of the Local Register Office (Maistraatti).
NB! Please note that officially certified copies issued by notaries public in other countries are not accepted without legalisation.
Official certification by the awarding institution
Officially certified copies of academic documents can be issued by the awarding institution. If you request officially certified copied from the awarding institution, make sure that the copies submitted to University of Lapland meet the following criteria:
1. taken directly from your original educational documents
2. include every page of your educational documents
3. bear the original stamp of the awarding institution on each page of the document (e.g. a generic stamp stating only “Certified true copy” will not be accepted)
4. bear the original signature of the certifying officer
Please note that regular copies of certified copies will not be accepted. The officially certified copy can be sent to University of Lapland either by the applicant or the awarding institution.
Legalisation of documents
If you cannot obtain officially certified copies of your academic documents from the awarding institution, you may submit legalised copies of your academic documents.
Legalisation takes place by two different means depending on whether the relevant country is a signatory to the Hague Convention of 1961. Documents supplied by countries that have ratified the Hague Convention are legalised by the issuance of an Apostille Certificate (stamp or paper certificate). Documents issued by other countries are legalised in two steps: first by the foreign ministry of the issuing country, then by a competent Finnish Embassy or Finnish Consulate of that country.
The Apostille Certificate (stamp or paper certificate) is necessary if the document has been issued by the authorities of a country that has ratified the Hague Convention of 1961. Information on the Hague Convention as well as an English language list of its member states can be found here:
• Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents
It also provides information about the authorities issuing Apostille Certificates in the various countries.
If the country issuing a document is not a signatory of the Hague Convention, a document is legalised by the foreign ministry of the issuing country, after which a competent Finnish Embassy or Finnish Consulate of that country legalises the document, certifying the competence of that foreign ministry official to issue such legalisation.