Getting your Documents Attested

You will need to have any important documents attested before they will be accepted in the UAE as evidence of your past experience and education. 

An attested document is one that has been legally stamped by various authorities to show that it is either the genuine original or a genuine copy.

 Attesting of Certificates

Each country has a slightly different process so it is essential to contact your embassy and the institution that require your attested documents to ensure you have completed the process correctly. 

It is usually much more straight forward to get your documents attested in your home country before you come to the UAE as it costly and time consuming (but not impossible) to get it done once here. 

Attestation Process Explained 

Generally speaking there are three steps to getting any documents attested. 

Step One involves getting the document Notarised. 

This is a stamp/signature by an individual who is legally able to perform the task of notarising documents, usually a solicitor. 

Your Embassy should have a list of individuals able to complete this step towards getting your documents attested.

Contact your embassy to find out which documents can be photocopied and subsequently legalised. For example the UK FCO will not legalise copies, even under a notarial certificate, (you must provide the original) of the following: 

  • Birth certificates 
  • Marriage certificates 
  • Death certificates 
  • Certificates of No Impediment 
  • Police disclosure documents 
  • Criminal record check documents 
  • Disclosure Scotland documents 
  • A.C.P.O Subject Access Report 
  • A.C.R.O Police Certificate 
  • Any document where finger prints have been taken 

Examples of photocopied documents the UK FCO are able to legalise (providing they have been certified as true copies of the originals by either a practising UK solicitor or a notary public) include: 

  • Powers of Attorney 
  • Affidavits 
  • Documents issued by Companies House 
  • Educational documents (UK) 
  • Passports 
  • Letters of employment 
  • UK court documents 
  • Statutory declarations
  • Documents issued by HM Revenue & Customs, or other government departments 
  • Translations 
  • Export certificates 
  • Change of name documents 
  • Religious documents (e.g. baptism or Islamic marriage certificates) 

Step Two involves Legalisation of the document from the country in which the document is from. 

For example a UK Marriage Certificate (original copy) would be posted to the UK Legalisation Office of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), who are the only competent authority in the UK to issue apostilles and legalisation certificates. 

‘Legalisation’ is the official confirmation that a signature, seal or stamp on a UK public document is genuine. 

It does not authenticate the content of the document. 

Step Three involves the document getting UAE Legalisation. 

For example the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates (in London) has a Legalisation Office that will complete the attestation process by stamping their seal on documents that have been previously certified by the UK FCO. 

Alternatively, the document can be taken to the Government office in the Basement of Marina Mall and legalised for a fee. 

Attesting UK Educational Certificates in Abu Dhabi 

If you are in Abu Dhabi and you require your UK Educational Certificate to be attested, the British Council are able to complete step one for a fee. 

Step two requires you to post your document back the UK FCO. 

When it returns, you can complete step three at Marina Mall (basement) for a fee (same day service).

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