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A majority of countries recognise degrees from Russian universities. However, as any education document received in a foreign country, an academic degree requires legalisation in the Russian Federation, to be followed by recognition in accordance with the laws of the country where the degree certificate is shown.

Legalisation is the procedure of legalising a document in the country of issue, granting the right to present it abroad.

Recognition of a foreign diploma is construed as official confirmation of the level of the education obtained in another state.

WHEN LEGALISATION OF RUSSIAN DIPLOMAS IS NOT REQUIRED

Study in Russia - A Russian Diploma Abroad: Legalisation and Recognition

  • If the graduate's country of residence and Russia have concluded a bilateral treaty 1 removing the need for legalisation.

Study in Russia - A Russian Diploma Abroad: Legalisation and Recognition

  • If an institution or an authority to which a document is submitted does not require legalisation (though it may be required in future).

1 As of 2018, these countries include Albania, Hungary, Cuba, Algeria, Bulgaria, Argentina, Greece, Egypt, Spain, Serbia, India, Iraq, Lithuania, Iran, Italy, Yemen, Cyprus, China, North Korea, Latvia, Macedonia, Mongolia, Poland, Armenia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland, Croatia, Moldova, Montenegro, Turkmenistan, Vietnam, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tunisia, Tajikistan. Check the website of the Main State Centre for Education Evaluation or at your country's embassy in Russia.

In other cases, it is necessary to legalise the document before leaving Russia. There are several ways to do it: if your country did not sign the Hague Convention, you need consular legalisation, and if it did, you need an Apostille.

Type of legalisation

Study in Russia - A Russian Diploma Abroad: Legalisation and Recognition
Consular legalisation (originals)
Where it will be accepted
In the country whose consular section legalised the document.
Where to apply

Step 1. The Consular Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Address: 12, 1st Neopalimovsky Pereulok, Moscow, phone 8 (499) 244 37 97

Step 2. At the consulate of your home country (country of departure) in Russia.

Package of documents for submission
  1. Application (download the template on the website of the Consular Section of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  2. Identity document
  3. Diploma
  4. Receipt of fee payment
Who can submit documents
The holder of the diploma or their representatives (relatives, acquaintances in Russia). No documents legalising their connection to the graduate are required.
Type of document submission
In person only
Processing time
5 business days
A Russian Diploma Abroad: Legalisation and Recognition
Apostille diplomas (originals)
Where it will be accepted
In 115 countries which joined the Hague Convention of 1961 (see the list at the Convention website)
Where to apply
At the departments of education (regional subdivisions of the Federal Education and Science Supervision Service of Russia) in the regions. Their addresses are available here.
Package of documents for submission
  1. Application
  2. Original diploma
Who can submit documents
The holder of the diploma or their legal representative (a notarised power of attorney is required).
Type of document submission
In person only
Processing time
5 business days
A Russian Diploma Abroad: Legalisation and Recognition
Apostille notarised copies of diplomas
Where it will be accepted
In member countries of the Hague Convention of 1961 that accept apostilled copies as documents (you need to check in advance in your home country or in the country where you would like to move).
Where to apply
At the regional offices of the Ministry of Justice (list of websites). For instance in Moscow – the Main Department of the Ministry of Justice in Moscow. Phone 8 (499) 124-24-26, (499) 940-36-12, ru77@minjust.ru
Package of documents for submission
  1. Application
  2. Certified copy of diploma
Who can submit documents
The holder of the diploma or their representatives (relatives, acquaintances in Russia). No documents legalising their connection to the graduate are required.
Type of document submission
In person and by post
(a longer and more laborious procedure, requiring the completion of additional requests. There is no guarantee that you will actually be granted the legalisation, but you will have already paid the state fee by that time. There is an easier way out: ask any acquaintance in Russia to submit the documents in person).
Processing time
3 business days
Where it will be accepted
A Russian Diploma Abroad: legalisation and Recognition
In the country whose consular section legalised the document.
A Russian Diploma Abroad: legalisation and Recognition
In 115 countries which joined the Hague Convention of 1961
(see the list at the Convention website)
A Russian Diploma Abroad: legalisation and Recognition
In member countries of the Hague Convention of 1961 that accept apostilled copies as documents
(you need to check in advance in your home country or in the country where you would like to move).
Where to apply
A Russian Diploma Abroad: legalisation and Recognition
At the departments of education (regional subdivisions of the Federal Education and Science Supervision Service of Russia) in the regions. Their addresses are available here.
A Russian Diploma Abroad: legalisation and Recognition
At the regional offices of the Ministry of Justice (list of websites). For instance, in Moscow – the Main Department of the Ministry of Justice in Moscow.
Phone 8 (499) 124-24-26, (499) 940-36-12,
ru77@minjust.ru
Package of documents for submission
A Russian Diploma Abroad: legalisation and Recognition
  1. Application (download the template on the website of the Consular Section of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  2. Identity document
  3. Diploma
  4. Receipt of fee payment
  1. A Russian Diploma Abroad: legalisation and Recognition
    Application
  2. A Russian Diploma Abroad: legalisation and Recognition
    Original diploma
  1. A Russian Diploma Abroad: legalisation and Recognition
    Application
  2. A Russian Diploma Abroad: legalisation and Recognition
    Certified copy of diploma
Who can submit documents
A Russian Diploma Abroad: legalisation and Recognition
The holder of the diploma or their representatives (relatives, acquaintances in Russia).
No documents legalising their connection to the graduate are required.
A Russian Diploma Abroad: legalisation and Recognition
The holder of the diploma or their legal representative (a notarised power of attorney is required).
A Russian Diploma Abroad: legalisation and Recognition
The holder of the diploma or their representatives (relatives, acquaintances in Russia).
No documents legalising their connection to the graduate are required.
Type of document submission
A Russian Diploma Abroad: legalisation and Recognition
In person only
A Russian Diploma Abroad: legalisation and Recognition
In person only
A Russian Diploma Abroad: legalisation and Recognition
In person and by post
(a longer and more laborious procedure, requiring the completion of additional requests. There is no guarantee that you will actually be granted the legalisation, but you will have already paid the state fee by that time. There is an easier way out: ask any acquaintance in Russia to submit the documents in person).
Processing time
A Russian Diploma Abroad: legalisation and Recognition
5 business days
A Russian Diploma Abroad: legalisation and Recognition
5 business days
A Russian Diploma Abroad: legalisation and Recognition
3 business days

As you can see from the table, you can submit documents for legalisation in Russia in person or through authorised representatives (except for apostilled copies). That's why it is very important that your Russian diploma be certified prior to your departure from Russia after first confirming the particular requirements (of countries, employers and universities).

Choosing a legalisation type depends on the legislation of the country you are traveling to and on your plans.

In Russia, it is much quicker and cheaper to obtain consular legalisation or apply for an apostille of certified copies of documents. But the former will be valid only in the country which consulate has certified it, while the latter is not accepted everywhere. If you intend to continue your education not only in Russia, but in other countries too, it is better to get the original apostilled because it will be valid in more than 100 member countries of the Hague Convention.

It's worth remembering that some countries demand an apostille on documents issued in Russia, regardless of bilateral treaties removing the requirement for legalisation. At the same time there are some countries that are not members of the Hague Convention but which recognise application of the apostille.

Be careful! If you choose the wrong type of legalisation, you'll have to return to Russia to get the document reissued or authorise an attorney to do it on your behalf, requiring time and additional expense.

In future you may need to have your Russian diploma recognised in the country where you will be living permanently. Russia regularly signs inter-governmental treaties with a view to facilitating this procedure for graduates of Russian universities. Currently corresponding treaties have been made with more than 60 countries. Russia is also a member of the Bangkok (1983) and Lisbon (1997) conventions on document recognition. These documents are available on the website of the Main State Centre for Education Evaluation.

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