How to Apostille Diplomas, TOR, Educational Docs in the Philippines (Overview and 12 FAQs)

An apostille school document

Apostille Diplomas and other School Records Overview

 

A frequently asked questions as an overview on how to Apostille School Records.
Obtaining a Certification, Authentication, and Verification (CAV) is a prerequisite for apostille authentication.

 

This Apostille Diplomas FAQ was designed to answer the top 12 questions people had on how to apostille school records in the Philippines.

A major source of confusion is the CTC and CAV Philippines requirements, so I’ve really tried to explain what they are and how to get them.

 

A school registrar sealing the Certified True Copy of school records for CAV Requirements.
Primary and Secondary school records are certified by DepEd while Tertiary and Vocational are authenticated by CHED and TESDA respectively.

 

First, let me give you an overview:

  • To Apostille school documents, you must have a CTC and a CAV.
  • You get a CTC at your school See CTC Section for details
  • You get a CAV at the DEPED/CHED/TESDA – where you get them depends on the grade level and whether the school is public or private. See CAV Section for details
  • It is not the CAV price or Apostille cost that makes it expensive, it is the time and effort that you need to put in. No, you cannot do this online.
  • You will need a SPA if you want to authorize someone else to complete the Apostille and CAV process for you. See the SPA section for more details.

Now, let’s start with the 12 most asked questions on how to Apostille Diplomas/TORs and other school records.

I’ve written a comprehensive guide on Apostille in the Philippines if you want further reading. This current article deals mainly with requirements for apostille diplomas and other Philippine school documents.

Let’s get to it.

What is an Apostille?

 

A picture of an Apostille Transcript of Records.
The DFA no longer issues the “Red Ribbon” certificate of authentication because it was already replaced by the Apostille Authentication.

 

An apostille allows your Philippine documents to be accepted abroad by foreign governments and institutions.

Apostille replaces the previous “red-ribbon” process and removes the embassy authentication step.

A Philippine apostille uses a seal instead of a red ribbon.

An apostille basically warrants that the person signing the document is known and authorized to do so.

This allows the foreign government or institution to be secure that the documents are authentic.

Can I apostille diplomas, TOR or form 137 from the Philippines in another country?

 

Building of Department of Foreign Affair in the Philippines who caters Apostille Diploma.
All Philippine-issued documents to be used abroad must be authenticated by the DFA only.

 

No, if you want to apostille diplomas or any other Philippine document, the apostille must be done in the Philippines.

An Apostille is given by the country where the document was issued.

So, only the Philippine DFA can apostille transcript of records (TORs), Form 137s or other documents issued by a Philippine school.

Likewise, Germany should apostille the transcript of records if you studied in Germany.

So, you must get the apostilled educational documents in the country where you studied.

How long does it take to apostille diplomas or TORs in the Philippines?

 

Completing CAV Requirements can take time.
Expect a long queue when getting your school documents so better bring a snack with you!

 

The DFA Apostille can be done in a few days.

However, completing CAV before going to the DFA Apostille appointment can take time.

CAV Philippines Requirements:

  • Certified True Copy of the school record (you get this at your school and it is not just a photocopy of your document)
  • DEPED CAV or TESDA Certification

 

DEPED/CHED officer sealing the CAV requirements.
The CAV process is different for each institution. Others provide end-to-end service. Applicants are encouraged to check with these institutions their respective requirements.

 

It may take a month or several months to complete the CAV process or get the TESDA certification.

It takes a long time to complete the CAV process because:

  • You might have trouble finding someone to do the legwork
  • It takes time to complete a Special Power of Attorney especially if you are abroad
  • Someone must go to the school to get a Certified True Copy of the educational documents
  • It takes time to complete the CAV process at DEPED/CHED

I explain a lot more about the Certified True Copy and how to get the Certification, Authentication and Verification in other sections down below since there is a lot you need to do to get them.

Try to complete these Apostille requirements ahead of time since they are not easy to do.

This will avoid you from struggling to complete the items and rushing when there is a tight deadline.

How much does it cost to apostille school documents in the Philippines?

 

Picture of a receipt for the payment of Apostille Diploma
The DFA Apostille Diploma is affordable, but the cost becomes expensive due to the processing of CTC and CAV requirements and other documents such as SPA.

 

The cost of apostille school documents in the Philippines is not much but it is the time it takes that makes it costly.

There are 2 trips to the DFA for the apostille itself.

There are 2 trips to the school to get the Certified True Copies (CTC)s and 3 trips to the DEPED/TESDA for CAV processing.

That’s a total of 7 trips at least per document.

Each trip can take a day just by itself, so you are looking at 7 full days of work. There is also coordination needed for each institution.

(Coordination is no joke – it takes a very long time to reach the offices and hours and hours can be spent just doing this.)

 

500 peso paper bills to pay for the CAV Requirements
Applicants must prepare a budget for processing physically the CAV requirements. This may require many trips to various government agencies.

 

In terms of Apostille costs – 

The DFA Apostille costs are Php 200 to Php 100, depending on whether you choose the expedited or regular option.

Schools charge from Php 300 to Php 1,000 for the Certified True Copies (it’s highly dependent on the school).

Meanwhile, the DEPED CAV price is Php 45 / Php 15 per document.

The total Apostille cost (DFA plus CTC plus CAV) is really because of the time spent coordinating with the DFA, school and DEPED/TESDA than it is about the government fees to apostille.

Transacting with the institutions and government is really, really, really time-consuming and costly.

Can I apostille the transcript of records/diplomas/educational documents online?

 

A word "NO" to answer if it is allowed Apostille Diploma to process online
There is no online apostille processs! Beware of scammers!

 

No, you cannot apostille transcripts of records and other Philippine educational documents online.

Every single step is manual.

You’ll need to physically go to the school and the DEPED to complete the CAV requirements and then the DFA for the Apostille process.

(And sometimes you will be turned away because you haven’t coordinated in advance. So put in the time to coordinate.)

What are the CAV requirements needed before Apostille?

 

Picture of CAV requirement issued by the CHED.
For some beginners, terms like CAV and CTC are confusing. But don’t worry because I will explain it plain and simple so you can understand it.
 

Before you can apostille school records, you must have:

  • A Certified True Copy (CTC) from your school itself.
  • A Certification, Authentication and Verification (CAV) from the DEPED/CHED or TESDA, depending on the school.

What’s a Certified True Copy (CTC)?

What’s a Certification Authentication and Verification (CAV)?

I totally understand – a lot of people do not understand that these CAV requirements are needed to get an Apostille.

I’ll explain the CTC and the CAV in separate sections so that it is very clear.

Let’s first start with a CTC and what it really is.

What is a certified true copy of my school records?

 

Certified True Copy of TOR used for CAV Process
One example of a school document that you can get a Certified True Copy of is the Transcript of Records or TOR.

 

A Certified True Copy is a copy of your records with a stamp/seal from your school.

It is usually signed by the school registrar or the responsible officer that has custody over your school records.

It includes his or her position as well as the date.

It informs other institutions that this was really issued by that school and is a true and correct copy.

It is the first layer of document authentication that proves that the document is authentic.

 

Certified True Copy of Diploma used for CAV Process
The school diploma is the ultimate proof of one’s degree and one of the common requirements that are usually apostilled.

 

Please note –

A CTC is not just a photocopy of your diploma – it is a document that you have to get from the school itself.

You must get CTC because it is a CAV requirement, and you need a CAV to apostille school records.

How do I get a Certified True Copy of my TOR/form 137/diploma?

 

A picture of a diploma holder containing Apostille Diploma.
Make sure you have clear school records with no outstanding balance for smooth and efficient requesting and releasing of your documents.

 

You’ll need to go to the school to get certified true copies (CTC) of your transcript of records, Form 137, and diploma.

Go to the registrar’s office.

Bring the following:

  • Original TOR, Form 137, diploma, etc. Even if you need to apostille only 1 document, some schools ask for your other documents as well.
  • Photocopies of the document, before going to the school.
  • ID

The registrar will assess your documents.

When they are satisfied it’s a legitimate request, they will issue your CTC document.

(Note that this usually takes 2 trips.)

Now you’re ready to submit this to the DEPED/CHED/TESDA for the Certification, Authentication and Verification (CAV).

What is a Certification, Authentication and Verification (CAV)?

 

CHED certification released during CAV Process after school name is verified.
CHED certification is not valid without a seal, with erasure or alteration.

 

A Certification Authentication and Verification (CAV) is a DEPED/CHED/TESDA certificate.

It states that the school certification and the signature of the school official are genuine and authentic.

It also certifies that the school that issued your CTC Transcript of Records, CTC Form 137, and CTC Diploma is duly recognized by the government.

It also vouches for the entries in the CTC record.

This second level of authentication further verifies your school record.

What is the CAV process at the DEPED/CHED/TESDA?

 

Student from a verified institution are qualified to request for CAV Philippines.
For more information on the CAV process, we encourage you to contact your school registrar as the process is different for each school institution. Some schools offer CAV processing for convenience.

 

The CAV process is straightforward so long as you have the CTC school records, you have your requirements and you have completed the CAV DEPED Form.

CAV Philippines Requirements:

  • Your Form 137, diploma, certification of completion, certificate of graduation
  • 2 passport sized photos
  • Money for the issuance of CAV
  • The DepEd CAV form, or the CHED CAV form, whichever is applicable. (It’s best to do this in advance)

 

A CAV Philippines applicant filling up CAV CHED form.
We recommend that you complete the CAV form early and accurately to avoid delays on your document because CAV processing takes 3-5 working days.

 

Fill up the CAV DEPED form (or CHED as applicable) correctly.

Incorrectly filled-up forms might mean your document is returned to you without the CAV.

So, always review your application form.

Submit your application form and your documents to the Record section.

The CAV price will be calculated for you.

Pay the fee and wait.

(You might have to come back since your document is processed by the record section, then it goes to the Director’s Office, then it goes back to the record section. So it’s kind of a looooong process.)

(Oh, and if there are errors in your name or errors in your school record, this can be denied or take even looonger….)

Pick up your CAV when done.

 

Private university that offers CAV Processing Philippines.
Process your CAV Philippines to save money and time. Some private schools processed and released it via courier within 30 working days.

 

Important note:

This DEPED/CHED/TESDA CAV process is only needed when your school is private.

Some private schools offer end-to-end processing and get the CAV for you.

However, in most other cases, you’ll need to do this yourself.

If it is a public school, the school may be able to provide the CAV itself.

Which government office do I go for the CAV?

 

DEPED Makati building that offers CAV Philippines.
TESDA is also an accredited vocational institution in the Philippines, allowing students to apply for CAV even without having a degree.

 

You will get your CAV at different government offices depending on the grade level and whether the school is public or private.

CAV Philippines: List of government offices that provide CAVs

  • For private collages, a certified true copy (CTC) and a CHED Certification, Authentication and Verification (CAV) have to be collected. This takes 5 to 7 trips with several days in between for processing and you’ll go to the university, the DEPED and the DFA.
  • For public colleges, a CTC and a CAV can be released by the school. This may still take at least a month.
  • For technical vocational schools, the CTC and a TESDA certification will be needed.
  • For high school and elementary documents, the school’s CTC and the DEPED CAV are needed.

Remember that you’ll coordinate, set appointments and need to bring your requirements at every step.

12: Can a representative do the apostille for me?

 

A family member waiting for his queue for CAV Processing his relative's documents.
While waiting in long lines, you should double-check the additional requirements needed when you are representing someone to claim apostille documents.

 

Yes, a representative can apostille for you.

A representative can also get the CTC and the CAV for you.

Apostille/CTC/CAV Philippines requirements if you are using a representative:

  • Special Power of Attorney (SPA);
  • Photocopy of a government-issued ID;
  • Softcopy scans of all your documents.

All government agencies are pretty strict with their CAV/Apostille requirements.

 

Picture of SPA of a representative for Apostille School Documents
Learn more about the DFA’s important policies and formats regarding SPA, as most government agencies in the Philippines do not accept authorization letters.

 

For example, with regard to the SPA:

The SPA should have the representative’s full name on the SPA.

If the person signing the SPA is signing it abroad, the SPA has to be apostilled.

If the SPA is local, it should be notarized.

The SPA should contain the institutions and specific documents the representative needs to go to and get. (Basically, you must specify that your representative has the authority to process DepEd/CHED CAV requirements and go to the DFA on your behalf).

Also make sure your signature matches the ID, that your photo is on it, and that the ID expires several months in the future.

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