What is attestation?
In basic terms, attestation is the process of taking a document issued in one country and making it legally recognised in another. This is often known as legalisation, verificiation or authentication, usually dependent on the country you're dealing with. The steps involved in attestation will vary dependent on several factors, including:
- The country the document was issued in
- The country you will be presenting the document
- The document type
- When the document was issued
- The language of the document
- The purpose of the attestation
It's important to check out the correct process for your personal circumstances before you begin any attestation. There are many nuances involved at each stage of the attestation procedure, and making an error can be costly and cause you unwanted delays.
What is an Apostille?
An Apostille is a stage of attestation. In some cases it can be the only stage necessary, provided the document being processed was issued in, and is being presented in, a Hague Convention country. An Apostille contains the same information in each Hague country, but is issued by a different government body. For example, in the UK Apostilles are issued by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), and in the Republic of Ireland they're issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
If you're presenting the document outside of a Hague Convention country, it will need further attestation. The UAE is an example of a country where this is required, therefore if a UK document is destined for the UAE, it will need a further stamp applied after the Apostille by the UAE Embassy in London.
Can my documents be attested within the UAE?
If they were issued outside of the UAE, no. All documents must be attested within their country of origin, so if you have paperwork or certificates from another country, they will need to be returned there for processing. Once the in-country stages have been completed, the final stage can be handled within the UAE itself at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).
Which documents do I need to attest for Visa purposes?
As we are not processing any visa on your behalf, we are unable to advise you which documents will be required from you for your application. It would be best to consult your HR or PRO on this matter before you begin the process.
Is it necessary to attest my transcript too?
Based on our experience, we have clients who request both their degrees and transcripts to be attested, however, this varies depedent on the situation. Some clients only require their degrees to be attested while others requests their transcripts solely to be attested. You should always check your HR or PRO if your transcript is a necessary requirement for the purpose of your attestation.
Do all documents need to be stamped at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA)?
Yes, any foreign document being presented in the UAE will need to be stamped at the MoFA before it will be legally recognised. There are several MoFA locations in the UAE, and which one you have your document verified at doesn't impact on which Emirate will recognise it. For example, if you are in Dubai and have your document attested in Abu Dhabi, it will still be recognised by authorities in Dubai.
Which documents can be legalised?
Practically any document can be legalised for use in the UAE, though the steps required to make it recognised will differ. Some of the most common documents which are processed include:
- Birth, Marriage, Death or Adoption Certificates
- Decree Absolute or Divorce Documents
- Probate, Wills, Affadavits and Letters of Administration
- Education Certificates including Degree Qualifications, GCSE, A-Level/O-Level Certificates
- Certificate of No-Impediment (CNI) or Single-Status Declarations
- Criminal Records Bureau or Disclosure Scotland Certificates
- Notarised Power of Attorney
- British Passport (Certified Copy of the photo page)
- Companies House Documents
- Export Certificates
- Translations (Signed by a Notary Public)
- Medical Documents
- County-Court Documents
Whatever the document, we can help you attest it. To speak to on of our specialists about processing your paperwork ready for use in the UAE, get in touch with us.
Does my document need to be translated into Arabic?
In some cases, yes. Most documents will be accepted in the UAE as long as they are in either English or Arabic; documents in any other language must be translated. Some companies and Emirates also require any documents issued natively in English to be translated into Arabic too, though this depends on your circumstances. The three main types available are:
- Standard translation
- Certified translation
- Legal translation
Read more about translations here.
What kind of translation do I need?
There are three common kinds of translation in the UAE and which you require will depend on your circumstances, for example, if you're using the document for legal purposes, a visa application, or purely for personal use.
To find out about the various kinds of translation and what each process entails, read our dedicated translation page here.
How do I get a UK certificate?
If you are overseas and need a replacement UK personal document, including a birth, adoption, marriage or death certificate, we can help. All we need is a few details about the information on the certificate and we can request this for you through our UK office and have it shipped to you anywhere in the world.
What certificates are available?
We can provide official copies of the following certificate types for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland:
- Birth certificates
- Adoption certificates
- Marriage certificates
- Death certificates
We only supply long-form certificates, which will be accepted for all official purposes. A long-form birth certificate is the A4 version containing parental information, as opposed to the short-form which only contains details of the child.
Will the certificates be accepted in the UAE?
Your UK issued certificate will be accepted for use in the UAE, but only after it has been through the necessary attestation process. We can request the certifcate for you and complete the whole attestation process also, so once your document reaches you, it's ready to use in the UAE! We can also attest the certificate for anywhere else in the world, just get in touch to discuss your requirements.