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 can take place by two different routes depending on whether the country of the awarding institution is a signatory to the Hague Convention of 1961 or not. 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.
Please make sure that the Apostille certificate is firmly and clearly attached to all the documents it is certifying as being official.
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.