From December 1, 2021, the British Council in Bulgaria stopped accepting documents for certification, verification and legalization. We have developed a document with information about institutions that you will be able to contact if you need certification, verification or legalization of documents issued in the United Kingdom before presenting them to the Bulgarian authorities. Please read the information and download the document at the end of the page.
Which of my educational documents are accepted in Bulgaria?
If you need to use your UK diploma in Bulgaria, or elsewhere in the world, you may need to get it legalised (obtain an apostille). Please ensure you consult all relevant institutions and check any deadlines you may have to comply with, as these procedures can be time-consuming and costly.
What documents do I need for a driving licence?
Even if you have obtained a higher education degree subsequently, (i.e. Bachelor, Masters or any other degree), you still need to present your secondary education diploma in order to apply for a first-time driving licence or renewal. Please have a look at local KAT requirements before submitting your documents.
Once your secondary education diploma is certified and legalised in the UK, you will need to translate it in Bulgarian (by a sworn translator) and the translation should be legalised by the Legalisation Office in Bulgaria. You will need to submit a valid ID document or a valid residency permit when applying.
When you have your diploma translated and legalised in Bulgarian, you can submit it to your local Regional Management for Education (RUO). They will provide you with a decision letter allowing your British diploma to be recognised and used locally in Bulgaria.
What documents do I need to continue my education in Bulgaria?
The procedure via RUO is the same when the diploma is needed to allow enrolment onto higher or secondary education programmes in Bulgaria. You need to consult and make the submission of your legalised diploma to the RUO in your area.
The process may vary if you are practicing a regulated profession, and your diploma is in a regulated field, or is a specific professional diploma. In those cases, you may get your diploma recognised, but you also may be subject to additional exams or interviews to obtain local permissions to practice. If you are in a regulated profession, your qualification submission may need to be further provided to the local ministry responsible for the field, e.g., Ministry of Health, Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works, etc.
National Centre for Information and Documentation (NACID) is the organisation which holds the Archives for all legalised documents and will inform you if you need an apostille.
British diplomas for Higher Education from recognised providers are recognised in Bulgaria since 2016 and do not require legalisation. The NACID decision is not affected by EU Exit.
If you wish to use your British diploma to continue your education in the United Kingdom you will not require legalisation, verification or translation of your certificates.
How do I certify and legalise my UK diploma?
Please find below a more detailed description of what you need to do to certify and legalise your UK diploma.
First make sure that you have the correct documents:
Higher Education diploma and academic transcript
Please have a look at the List of recognised UK education providers.
We refer to Bachelor, Master, PhD, and other higher education diplomas issued by a UK university.
Academic transcripts are also called Supplements, or Notification of results, Summary or Statement of Results, and they are all the same type of document.
The Diploma and the Academic transcript are two separate documents, which can be used individually if needed, so check with the institution which one or both are required.
Secondary Education diplomas
Recognised official UK examinations boards and qualification types are as follows:
GCSE, IGCSE, GCE, NVQ, BTEC and National Diploma qualifications issued by one of the recognised examinations boards.
The 5 boards in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are:
Contact the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) for Scottish qualifications.
If you have various certificates, issued by different examination boards, you may be able to submit only one of the certificates for verification and legalisation. You need to submit all certificates in original, issued for the same candidate, in the same exam centre for the same exam session (e.g., June 2016, City College).
If they are issued for different examination sessions the most recent diploma should be used, however this is not mandatory.
Primary School reports and letters
The provision of Notarial Services at the British Embassy is very limited. The British Embassy Sofia can make a certified copy of a document. In the United Kingdom primary schools do not issue a diploma. They issue a letter or report, which can be certified by the Embassy. The Consular team of the British Embassy in Sofia cannot facilitate the process of legalising a document. For more information about how to legalise a document, please liaise with the Legalisation Office. Please have a look at the notarial services the British Embassy in Sofia can provide.
For reports or other formal letter documents to be accepted by the Embassy they need to be issued in original and bear the school’s stamp or official signature. Letters issued on school letterhead paper without stamp, or an official signature may not be accepted.