Can a Distance Education Certificate be Attested for use in Qatar?

When deciding on a degree course to study, your main focus is choosing a quality provider and ensuring that the structure of study will fit in with your life. With so many adults deciding to re-train or boost their expertise around current jobs or family commitments, distance learning qualifications are becoming more and more popular. But what are the pitfalls you may face further down the line?

What We’ll Cover

  • What is classed as “distance learning”?

  • Can I have my distance learning degree attested for Qatar?

  • Why won’t Qatar accept this qualification type?

  • What are the attestation guidelines for Qatar?

What is classed as distance learning?

Any study which takes place off-campus, either via online remote learning or, a less popular option these days, via post can be classed as distance learning. In some cases, distance learning can also be applied to face-to-face courses if the study took place in a different country to where the awarding institution is located. For example, you may study at a college in Indonesia for a degree awarded by a UK university.

In some instances, distance learning can also refer to placement studies if you have received no, or little in-person teaching from a course tutor. This tends to apply to degree level awards more so than Master’s, where there is often a lot of time dedicated to research and work experience as part of the study.

There are institutions which solely offer distance learning awards, such as the Open University. Qualifications from the OU have rightly gained wider acceptance and more credence in recent years, having previously been undervalued due to not being studied at “brick universities”.

With this rise in acceptance of distance learning qualifications, more colleges and universities in the UK have started to offer their courses via this method. It allows students the flexibility to decide when and where they study, enabling them to gain more knowledge around their existing commitments.

Usually, getting a job with a distance learning degree should pose no issues. However, if you’re planning to work overseas in the future, it may be worth planning ahead to avoid any problems further down the line.

Can I have a distance learning education certificate attested for Qatar?

The short answer is no.

Not all countries are as ready to give their vote of confidence to distance learning qualifications. If you have a certificate you obtained via a distance learning course, you’ll have issues having it attested if you decide to apply for a position in Qatar.

Since 2016, Qatar have required additional supporting documentation for attesting qualifications of level 5 and above. This includes some diploma awards, degrees and Master’s. With the increased scrutiny of documentation, to enable them to perform more thorough checks on the authenticity of the qualification, came more stringent policies on distance learning.

As part of your attestation, you must provide a letter from the college or university where you studied. This must state explicitly that you studied on campus, face-to-face and where you took the examinations, if applicable. If there was any distance learning involved in your course, even if this was on a part-time basis, be careful of how the letter is worded.

With many years experience in attesting documents for use in Qatar, and a close working relationship with the Qatari Embassy in London, Vital Consular have gained a deep understanding of what will be accepted and how the letter should be phrased. It is always worth perfecting your letter before beginning your attestation, to avoid any loss of money and time having to have your letter re-issued and re-processed after having it rejected by the Embassy.

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Why won’t Qatar accept distance learning certificates?

In around 2016, there were widespread issues throughout the Middle Eastern expat recruitment sector. It had been found that there were thousands of expat workers in countries such as Kuwait who had gained employment using fake degree certificates. This was not exclusive to Kuwait, though it seemed the problem was most prevalent within their expat workforce, which makes up a majority of the country’s population.

The issue of fake degrees still hasn’t been eradicated from the Kuwaiti work force, but it’s neighbouring countries, Qatar in particular, took immediate action. In an attempt to make it much more difficult to obtain work permits with fake degrees, the Qatar authorities stepped up the requirements to have documents legalised in their issuing countries.

As part of this, they wanted to ensure that any training and education received by those joining the Qatari expat workforce was of good quality and befitting of the job they were applying for. Now this incorrectly suggests that distance learning isn’t quality learning, but I feel that from the perspective of the Qatar authorities, it is much easier to monitor the study and progress of students through face-to-face learning than that of students off-campus. It’s possible to verify that the student is the one attending the course and submitting their own work when a tutor is having regular contact with them.

Although we have come to recognise that a distance learning degree has as much value as those studied as a brick university, there is still a nervousness from some overseas authorities relating to this mode of study.

What are the requirements for attesting a degree certificate for Qatar?

In order to have a degree over other higher education award attested for use in Qatar, you will need to be able to provide the original certificate, a transcript of results if available and a supporting letter from the college or university where you studied. This letter must meet the criteria set by the Qatari authorities, proving you studied an in-person course, where you studied, for how long, and the grades you received.

How can I get help with attesting my documents for Qatar?

If you are going to work in Qatar, we can help with attesting your education awards. If you’re unsure about which documents you need to present, or what to request from your college or university, just get in touch with our friendly team of specialists. Give us a call on 0330 088 1142, or send us a text message via WhatsApp.
key takeaways

Key Takeaways

Whilst it’s not possible to legalise a distance learning degree for Qatar, there are often other options available to prevent you having to put an end to your move. Make sure you check the requirements for the supporting documents carefully, and speak to one of our specialists for advice if you’re unsure whether your education award can qualify for legalisation.

Ashraf Vachhiat
Ashraf Vachhiat

Ashraf is the Marketing Technologist at Vital Consular, which means he handles all the technicalities involved in bringing this blog to life! He also enjoys creating in-depth articles around current affairs which impact the travel and relocation industry. In his free time, Ashraf relishes travelling as much as possible, and is always looking for quirky spots to take some great photos.

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    • Hi Rahul, as stated in the article, unfortunately the Qatar authorities will not accept a Degree Certificate that was gained via distance learning.

  1. Hii
    Can i attested my Distance egree or PG Diploma to Qatar is a valid to attast
    If have any solution to explapin

    • Hi Shaik. Qatar will not accept any distance learning higher qualifications for legalisation. The only possible solution is to legalise a lower qualification which was not done through distance learning, though you will need to speak to your new employer first to ensure they are happy for you to do this. If we can be of further help, please feel free to drop us an email at and we will be happy to assist!

  2. I would like to do pgce online from univ of Sunderland..will this be accepted in schools in Qatar and attested??

    • Hi Sivagama. If this was an online course, it will be classed as distance. Therefore the Qatar authorities will not accept this for legalisation. If you need any further assistance please don’t hesitate to get in tocuh.

      • Hi Melanie , I have ACCA qualification which I did after my High school. Is it acceptable in Qatar for employment visa for Managerial level position

  3. Hello, Hope you are having a good time. Actually, I was thinking about continuing my Master’s degree in Distance learning (Online Learning). So once I got my degree would it be acceptable in Qatar?
    Thanks a lot.

    • Hi, with a Masters degree this completely depends. Technically, distance learning is not accepted for Qatar, but obviously elements of a Masters degree is not necessarily in-person. If you are planning on studying with a UK university and are based in the UK as a citizen or on a valid student visa, this shouldn’t be a problem.

  4. Hi, I have completed a Masters degree (distance learned through a local institute in Sri Lanka) at a UK University. Can my qualification be attested for Qatar?

    • Hi Akila, no this can not be attested for Qatar in the UK as this would be classed as distance learning. If you have another qualification this may be able to be used for your application.

    • Hi
      I am a UK resident and did a early childhood degree through the open University. My pgcse was with a bricks and motor University in combination with a teaching placement. Pgce with scitt (school centered teacher training). Would this be okay to work in Qatar or the UAE.
      In addition, if I got a masters at a traditional bricks and motor uni would I be able to work in Qatar even if the previous qualifications couldn’t be attested?


      • Hey,

        I’ll start with your early childhood degree – it won’t be accepted by Qatar as it’s distance learned. The UAE might accept it, as they’ve recently started accepting distance learned degrees dependent on the university – you’d need to double-check with the UAE Embassy. Your PGCE should be accepted in either country and you will be able to have it attested, but you might struggle to find a school willing to hire you on the basis of a PGCE without a degree.

        A Master’s degree from a brick and mortar university would be accepted in Qatar and the UAE and you’d have no issues having it attested. Hope this helps!

  5. I heard for a PE teacher they don’t ask too much . Is it true ? I have courses online from a real Spanish universities about PE and health and I would like to know of they are valid to get a pe teacher job in Qatar

    • Hi Martin, all work visas are usually treated the same. If your qualifications were issued in Spain, it would be best to contact the Qatari Embassy there to ask about their policies. I hope this helps!

  6. Hi I am currently doing an OTHM level 6 in business management through a recognised training centre in qatar. My plan is to complete level 7 which is equaling to diploma and then apply for MBA. I want to know if I can get my level 6 and 7 attested in Qatar.

  7. hi,
    I have done my B.COM as an external student in Karachi Pakistan in year 2000. Is there any possibility to get my documents attested from QATAR AUTHORITY.

  8. Hi Sir
    I had done my ug in distant mode and pg in regular. I will be doing my phd also in regular mode (full time). Is it possible to get my certificates attested for employment (professor) in Qatar?
    Will be thankful for your reply.

    • Hi Irfana, if you are doing a qualification in-person and full time, this can be attested for Qatar. Your distance learning degree will not be accepted, but bear in mind, it is often your highest award which is requested to be legalised for a work permit. As long as you have at least one relevant qualification which was studied in-person at a university, you should have no issues applying for work in Qatar. It’s always best to speak to an employer when applying for work to ensure you’re getting the right documents attested for the position. I hope this helps!


  9. I am planning on taking an online Maters in Analytics with the University of Portsmouth and I am a UK citizen. Will this be accepted in the Gulf ?

    • It will be accepted in some countries, but not others. For example, the UAE will accept this, but not Saudi or Qatar. I hope this helps!

  10. Hi Melanie,

    I am an ACCA Membership Certificate, ACCA is UK based Body however I have studied my courses in Pakistan, Can i get this attested for Qatar Work permit.

    • Hi, you can usually get a Membership to ACCA legalised for use in Qatar no problem. Just get in touch with us to check this out.

    • Hi, if you are applying for a work permit in Qatar, you will not be able to use a distance learning degree to apply for the permit. If you need any more help, just get in touch.

  11. Hi Melanie,
    I have a distance learning degree (Bsc hons) from U.k based university. I have an equivalency letter of HEC Pakistan against Bsc hons degree. Whether this Equivalency letter can be attested from Qatar Mofa or not?

  12. I have an online bachelor degree and a PGCE studied in brick university, will it be enough to get a job?

    • Hi Anthony, this all depends on your employer. Usually the rule is that you need a qualification from a brick university to be attested only, but in some sectors such as teaching, you will need more than 1 qualification to be attested and neither can be online study. It would be best for you to check directly before you begin any legalisation processes.

      Many thanks, Melanie

  13. Hello,
    I have done my graduation through distance from UGC approved university
    And Masters from jamia millia Islamia(distance).
    Now m doing my b.Ed through face to face mode,
    Will Qatar consider me as a teacher?

    • Hello,

      As far as we’re aware the Qatar authorities don’t accept any degree studied through distance learning. Your Bachelor of Education could be processed, though, if it was taught face to face. Whether the Bachelor of Education qualification alone would be enough to get you a teaching job in Qatar, I’m not sure – you’d need to check with the relevant ministry in Qatar. I hope this helps, and I’m sorry I can’t advise you fully.

      All the best,

  14. Does ugc,naac ,aic,aic approved distant education degree from madras university is valid for qatar jobs

    • Hi, Qatar will not accept distance learning unless you have applied to the Ministry of Education and had the course approved before you started it. If this isn’t the case, you won’t be able to have this legalised for use in Qatar. I hope this helps!

      Best wishes, Melanie

      • With what all documents should we apply to Ministry of Education before starting the course?

        • Hi, unfortunately this is a case-by-case basis, so the best thing to do is contact the MoFA yourself directly and ask that question. Their email is

          I hope this helps!

  15. Does Sikkim Manipal University Bachelors Degrees Certificate get attested in Qatar Embassy ?

    • Hi, this depends. Did you study the degree in-person, not distance learning? And were you based in the same country as the university? If the answer is yes, then it should have no problem.

  16. Is it possible to get attested in qatar for employment having ‘ ACCA affiliation certificate’

    • Hi, you can certainly attest an ACCA membership certificate as part of a job application for Qatar, as we have done this many times. I hope this helps!

  17. Hi,

    I am ACCA member and have work visa for qatar. I want to apply for family resident permit. Will Qatar MOFA approve my memebership cerificate? If yes, what will be the procedure.

    • Hi Najaf, your ACCA membership will be accepted for Qatar. If you’d like a hand with the procedure, just give us a call on 0330 088 1142 or email us here and we’d be more than happy to tell you everything you need to know about this process! I hope this helps.

  18. Hi. I got a 2.1 open university degree in 1995. I did this degree while working full time. I then went to Manchester university to do a full time pgce course and qualified to teach. I have been a teacher for over 20 years and worked in the uk and in ukraine. I am applying for a headteacher role in Qatar. Will my degree be accepted? Seems strange that I have been teaching all these years quite happily and now my dream move to Qatar might fall through. Can you advise? Thank you

    • Hey Darren –
      Unfortunately the Qatar Authorities just don’t accept distance learning degrees, so your degree won’t be accepted. I’m really sorry – it is frustrating and it does seem unfair. I’d say your best bet is to get in touch with the school, explain the situation to them, and see if they can offer you any solutions. Sorry we can’t assist you more. Hope everything turns out well for you!

  19. Hi, I wanted to take a hybrid masters course in my home country where all testing takes place on campus as well as the tutorial sessions needed to write the dissertation. The only online portion is the lectures. Is it possible to get such a degree assessed for Qatar? Thanks for any information you can provide.

    • Hey,

      It is possible to get those degrees attested, but we’ve also known them to be rejected. Because it’s blended learning it’s a difficult one, and there’s no definite answer. I can’t say with all certainty that it’d be rejected, but I can’t say that it’d be accepted, either. I’m sorry if this isn’t much help, but it’s about the best answer I can give you!

      • Hello,

        I have a diploma in engineering as well as post graduate diploma Business management (level 8) , I’ve attended classes and exams on both campuses. Can I qualify for a work visa ?

        • Hello Shane,

          We can’t advise you on the requirements of visas, unfortunately – that’s not our area of expertise and we wouldn’t want to give you the wrong information. You’d need to speak to the Qatari Embassy.

          From a document legalisation point of view, if your diplomas were earned through on-campus learning, they would be eligible for legalisation. So, if the Qatari Embassy confirmed that you qualify for a work visa, you would be able to legalise them no problem (which we can help you with!). If you have any more questions, I’d be more than happy to answer them!

  20. I’m studying for a degree with the open university but in my industry (programming) you don’t really need a degree. If I have work experience, could I still get a job in Qatar?

    • Hey Yassmine,

      We can’t give you a proper answer to that, sorry! You’d have to check with specific employers if they’d be willing to hire you. I do think it’s possible, but I can’t say with any certainty.

      Sorry I can’t give you a clearer answer!

  21. Hello, I hope all is well with you.
    My name is Mahsa, and I teach primary school in Oman. I have my bachelor’s degree (face to face) I’d like to apply to be a teacher in Qatar, but I’m not sure if the Qatari ministry of education will accept the IPGCE (a certificate obtained through distance learning).

    • Hey Mahda,

      Qatar don’t accept distance learning degrees, so they wouldn’t accept your IPGCE unfortunately – sorry! You could, however, ask if your employer would accept your face-to-face Bachelors Degree for you work visa instead. Sometimes they will and it’s a way to work around those situations. Hope this helps!

  22. Hi

    I have earned my Bachelors degree in law through University of London. This was studied through distance learning and I understand that this degree alone will make me ineligible for work visa.

    But after my Bachelors, I went to England and studied there for one year. I obtained a postgraduate qualification in law from there (full time- on campus in England). Would this make a difference?

    I also have a license from the local professional body to practise as a lawyer. Would that be of any help?

    • Hey,

      It’s dependent on the employer. You could have your postgraduate qualification (and your license) attested, so if you found an employer who’d been willing to hire you on the strength of those two you would be fine. Hope this helps!

  23. I would love to teach in Qatar, however, although I have a PGCE (face-to-face), my bachelors degree is from the Open University. Would the PGCE be enough to over-ride the Online degree or not? thank you

    • Hey Sadie,

      Unfortunately not, sorry. The vast majority of teaching jobs require both the Bachelor’s Degree and the PGCE attesting, and as Qatar won’t accept distance learning degrees you won’t be able to get your Bachelor’s Degree attested. Hope this helps, and sorry it’s not the answer you were hoping for.

    • Hey,

      It depends on whether a potential employer would be willing to hire you based solely on your Master’s degree. The sector you’re wanting to work in has a big influence. If you’re wanting to teach, for example, then you’d struggle to get a job in Qatar – not many schools would hire you with a PGCE ‘alone’ (I say alone as they wouldn’t recognise your online degree). If you’re wanting to work in, say, law, then you might have more of a chance – employers might be willing to hire you based solely on your Master’s Degree.

      I’d say to just reach out to any potential employers before applying for jobs and check that they’d be happy with your Master’s Degree. Hope this helps!

  24. Hi Melanie,

    Great article, I found this really insightful.

    Distance learning as you have pointed out is not lower in quality and the rest of the world understands that flexiblity is up amongst the top of the list of prioritites for employees so my question is do you see the situation ever changing? And if so how soon? I understand your answer is most likely going to be vague as you don’t work for the Qatari government but i’m looking for some sort of positive to hold on to because I would like to complete a Masters and my only option is Distance Learning.

    Thankfully I’m already in employment in Qatar with an undergrad degree (that was completed on campus)

    • Hey Emeka,

      Thanks for your kind words – I’ll pass them on to Mel!

      I might have good news for you – depending on which Master’s Degree you study, Qatar might accept it. At the moment they’ll only accept MSc and PhD certificates studied online, so if you’d be studying a MSc then you’re in luck. If you’d be studying an MA or other type of Master’s, while they don’t accept them at the moment I hope that the fact they do accept MScs gives you some hope that they might be willing to accept other types in the future. All the best!

  25. Hi,

    My situation is a bit complicated. I did a foundation degree [2 years – HND] full time face to face at a London university, and then completed my final year [3rd year of bachelors degree] at London Open University.

    I also then did a PGCE full time face to face at London Met university.

    Would Qatar approve my degree? As it was split between 2 universities.

    Out of the full 4 years of studying, only 1 year was through Open University.

    • Hey Zaynab,

      Probably not, sorry! I know it seems unfair but Qatar don’t recognise any modules studied through online learning. They’d approve your diploma and your PGCE, but as you studied at the Open University for a year they wouldn’t recognise your full degree. We have heard of Qatar accepting the occasional online module, but that only tended to be the case during COVID when face-to-face learning was disrupted. I don’t think it would apply in your case, unfortunately – unless you stopped studying your Bachelor’s due to COVID.

      It might be worth asking any potential employers if they’d be happy to just accept your diploma and PGCE. Hope this helps!

  26. I obtained a degree from Oxford Brooke’s university 7 years ago. My course was in person and full time. However, the university only holds details such as course title, degree, grade, type (BSc) course duration and dates I was on the course. They do not hold details on whether it was full time (although this is obvious from the dates) and in person (although I have evidence that i!was on campus from student accommodation and proof of receiving a maintenance loan which you cannot get for distance learning). Am I really going to lose my new role just because of this? Is there no way around this?

    • Hey Daniel,

      I think my colleague, Emma, has emailed you back with all the relevant information. I’ll leave you in her very capable hands!

  27. Hello,
    Can I get a job in Qatar with one-year Certificate in Office administration without MOFA attestation ? This certificate was done on-line from a Canadian college.


    • Unfortunately not.

      Any document from overseas that needs to be presented in Qatar will need to be attested. On top of that, the Qatar embassy do not recognise any qualifications earned through online learning, so your certificate would not be recognised. Sorry for the bad news!

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