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