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Attestation of Documents – Are you relocating to the UAE

Attestation of Documents – Are you relocating to the UAE

Attestation of Documents

What is attestation? Why is it required? How to get it done?

If you are a doctor or other health professional relocating to the UAE, you may be confused about attestation of documents. It can seem like a long and complicated process.
In response to many questions that we have received about this issue at Allocation Assist we have written this article to guide you.

What is meant by attestation of documents?

Attestation is the process of obtaining legal recognition for a document which has been issued in another country, to validate that the document is genuine.

Why is attestation required when relocating to the UAE?

If you are moving to the United Arab Emirates, then you will need to get professional qualifications and some other documents attested by the UAE embassy before employment is confirmed and an employment visa can be issued.

Many people are familiar with obtaining notarisation or obtaining an apostille certificate for documents to be presented in another country. For countries which are members of the Hague Convention, apostille certificates are recognised between member countries under the provisions of the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents act.  

As the United Arab Emirates is not a member of the Hague Convention, embassy attestation is required for foreign documents, after obtaining legalisation or an apostille certificate in your home country.

Which documents may need to be attested?

You will need to check the exact requirements with your new employer. Documents issued outside the UAE which may require attestation include:

  • Degree Certificate
  • Professional Qualification
  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Police Clearance Report
  • Medical Report
  • Power of Attorney.

What is the process for getting my documents attested?

Depending on the document type, attestation is a two or three step process. You may choose to do it yourself or pay an agent to save you the time and legwork involved.

Step 1: Checking and notarization of documents 

Certain documents, such as professional qualifications or degree certificates, will firstly require certification from a solicitor or notary public in your home country. This can usually be done using a copy of the document.

This step is not required for documents that have already been prepared and signed by a legal official, such as birth or marriage certificates that are signed by a registrar.


Step 2: Apostille certificate

Next, documents must be certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country where they were issued. 

In the UK, this will be the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO). They will attach an Apostille certificate to verify the signature of the legal official who has signed the document in question. This costs around £30 per document and takes between 2 and 10 working days using the standard service, plus courier or postage time. Urgent applications may be dealt with faster for an extra fee. 

You can find details of the FCO legalization service here

If your documents were issued in another country, you will need to check with the relevant government website.


Step 3: UAE Embassy attestation 

Your documents, with Apostille certificate, must then be presented to the UAE embassy or consulate in the country where they were issued. This may cost between £30 to £50 per document. 

(Avoid using old copies of documents that have already been attested for another country, as they may be rejected in the UAE.)

Contact details of UAE missions abroad can be found here.

The embassy will issue their attestation stamps or sticker to the document so that it will then be legally recognized by authorities in the UAE. This can usually be done within one working day (if you submit them in the morning, they should be ready in the afternoon).

You may need to present your documents to the embassy in the UAE for final approval after you arrive.

Should I get my documents attested before arriving in the UAE?

It is advisable to get your documents attested in your home country, as it will be quicker and less expensive. 

If you are already in the UAE, it is possible to use the attestation services provided in the government customer happiness centres. This will involve using an international courier service, as the documents will need to be sent to the country where they were issued.

Details can be found here

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