Going to Study Abroad – 1

Well, one may wonder that getting a college admission abroad is good, and if its with a scholarship that you know will cover most of your expenses, in fact allowing you to probably even save enough will be “icing on the cake”.

But then, there are these procedures, VISA, degree certificate (ofcourse provisional) legalization, etc. that I am going through right now, and will like to shed light on them for others who may need it on some happy day! This is for Indian students. Mine is a European Commission Scholarship and first year is at Spain.

Firstly hope that you find some nice website stating the VISA requirements. Once you find one, go through them carefully and read and try to make sense of every word. Else you are sure to waste a trip to the Consulate / Embassy / Agent. Keep a lot of photographs ready, both in white background of sizes 35mm X 35mm and 35mm X 45mm. You never know where you’ll need one.

So in case it says that you need a “Legalized Criminal Record” it means you need a Police Clearance Certificate, and strangely enough, this is NOT to be obtained at the Police Station. The Regional Passport Office issues this on the submission of Form-2. This is not a very time consuming procedure. At least the Bangalore RPO is very efficient. Also its a very non-governmental place 🙂 This PCC is a stamp on your passport + 2 copies of a certificate saying you are clean. An Apostille de Haya may be asked too, and this is required.

Now, your University may also ask you to legalize your Degree Certificate. Its the Provisional Degree Certificate that requires to be legalized. In my case, I needed to get the La-Hague Apostille as India, US and most European countries are part of this Accord. But before this, before going to the MEA (Ministry of External Affairs, it has offices at India’s 4 metros) get it certified from the Regional Authorities. For people from Karnataka, its the Home Department with an office at M.S. Building, Bangalore.

So, these people give the concerned District Police a letter saying confirm his Degree Certificate. If you are lucky it gets addressed directly to the University folks, but since NITK is a Deemed Univ. and they didn’t believe so! (Note: These are Government of Karnataka Home Department Folks) so you go after the Superintendent of Police 🙂 Get letters to your Taluka or directly to College Director if you are around the same place. Then take letters back to SP and finally obtain a sealed envelope which is addressed to the Home Dept. and all these letters (except from college side, in my case) happen to be in Kannada! Please ask someone and guarantee your name remains the same over the course of all this. Mine had changed! and was forced to go back and tell them that I am the same guy! In case you know to read that local language script, then its an advantage 🙂

Well, “Apostille”isation in the next episode. Am yet to complete that. But this MEA seem to be pretty efficient, atleast in their response to phone calls.

PS: Before submitting the verification report obtained from the police, and the original certificate, preferable to get it certified and stamped and stickered by a Notary. Find one around and they’ll do it without much of a hassle (hopefully)!

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