A question about the possibility of attesting the UK Degree from Pakistan for Saudi Visa was raised on my blog. I was not able to answer the question but our regular reader Mr. Muhammad Omer Asghar answered it very well. I think all of us should appreciate his effort of describing the procedure in detail. Mr. Omer will be answering your queries if you raise any question in the below comments bar. Thanks again Mr. Muhammad Omer Asghar.
Question: I’m having my Master’s degree from the UK. What is the process of getting my degree attested from HEC, Pakistan (or any other institute) before I submit to Saudi cultural mission and Saudi embassy for my visa processing? Would be obliged if you guide me or refer any blog for the process of foreign (UK) degrees attestation. Thanks!
Answer by Mr. Omer: You need to go to British Council Islamabad and get your foreign degree attested. For this, you must talk to them before visiting on their helpline for an appointment. Note British Council will give you four attested photocopies of your degree. After it goes to HEC and gets an equivalence certificate for a foreign degree as per HEC appointment schedule. For MOFA Pakistan you need to have both HEC Equivalence along with its foreign degree Also, HEC Equivalence will again be attested by HEC before visiting MOFA. MOFA will attest HEC Equivalence but not foreign degree. After you are done with HEC and MOFA attestation you can proceed with Saudi cultural mission and Saudi embassy for visa processing
Question: Excellent. Thanks very much indeed! For MOFA, I know it doesn’t take much time for attestation, but how much time normally it takes for the other process (British Council attestation and then HEC equivalence)?
Answer: British Council attestation might take 4-6 days. British Council will not ask you HEC Equivalence letter of foreign degree but foreign office asks HEC equivalence and British Council Attestation. HEC Equivalence issued by HEC has to be attested by HEC, MOFA, Saudi Culture, and Embassy. HEC attestation and MOFA takes one day each.
Analyst: Keep in mind one thing. Saudi Culture and embassy and MOFA and HEC, all will attest the Equivalence certificate issued by HEC. This may work for the time being (for stamping the visa it is acceptable). However, your ORIGINAL DEGREE will still be unattested. E.g. IF you need to present your original degree in KSA for any matter, they will not accept the equivalence, although it has been attested by the Culture and the Embassy in Pakistan. They will ask, WHERE IS THE ORIGINAL DEGREE, AND WHY IS IT NOT ATTESTED. SO, keep this factor in mind and don’t go for shortcuts. I would suggest getting your visa stamped by this method, and then send your degree to the UK for attestation. Read more in the link “Attestation of UK Degrees by Saudi Embassy”. My degree was in accountancy so I needed the membership card from SOCPA. And YES, I had that membership card. Still, they refused me to issue family issue. The problem was solved when I got my degree attested from the UK. However, if you are already in KSA then u must know it can vary from case to case. I hope you know what I mean.
British Council Stage: You must have a copy of your degree attested by the Registrar of the respective University. If you failed to get one take it on email and take it to BC. Then they will attest it
- HEC Equivalence Certificate:
- Original Unconditional Offer Letter of the University
- Arrange Color copies of your passport along with the pages where UK entry and exit stamps are present.
- Transcripts attested by the registrar
- Degree Copy attested by the registrar
Now again if you did not get the attestation done at the time of leaving the UK (Like me) the printed copy your registrar earlier sent you for BC will NOT work. Now you have to go to HEC and take the email of the responsible guy/lady who will handle your case, give her the email of registrar in my case the admission officer arranged everything very quickly for me so I did not even contact the registrar only my FYP Advisor and Admission Officer exchange your best contact email with the HEC. Come home and right away send an email to UK Contact and keep HEC guy in CC. They will send the scanned version once again. Go to HEC and take confirmation (Do not go earlier than 15-20 working days) If you will make that Puppy face they will somehow confirm. Then you will get the HEC Equivalence Certificate. 3,4 and 5 are easy steps as mentioned in the article. It has been three years and I might have missed something so my bad guys. Hope this helps!