The Pitfalls of Overseas Document Legalisation – Complex Problems We’ve Solved

It's becoming more and more common for people to move abroad to work, study or for a change of lifestyle in a new country. However, this can lead to a lot of complexity when it comes to their paperwork. Since we have colleagues situated in dedicated legalisation offices across the globe, we love a challenge when it comes to customers struggling to have their overseas documents legalised. Here's a look at some of the more unusual combinations we've handled for our customers in the past!

It’s becoming more and more common for people to move abroad to work, study or for a change of lifestyle in a new country. However, this can lead to a lot of complexity when it comes to their paperwork. Since we have colleagues situated in dedicated legalisation offices across the globe, we love a challenge when it comes to customers struggling to have their overseas documents legalised. Here’s a look at some of the more unusual combinations we’ve handled for our customers in the past!

slovakia qatar flags overseas documents

Slovakian PhD for use in Qatar

A UK-based doctor got in touch with us as he had been offered a new opportunity to practice medicine in Qatar. He had been a GP in the UK for several years but had decided to move his family and himself overseas. However, his original medical qualification was attained in Bratislava and he was having difficulty figuring out the process.

Legalisation for Qatar is one of the more complex procedures as they require supporting documents for education awards and a few other qualifications.

As a rule, all documents must be legalised in the issuing country. For example, a UK document being used in the UAE would be Apostilled at the FCO in Milton Keynes before being stamped at the UAE Embassy in London. In some smaller countries however, there isn’t always an Embassy for all locations.

It can often be the case where another Embassy, usually the closest geographically, will handle documents on their behalf. For example, the Qatar Embassy in London handle UK documents, as well as those issued and Apostilled in the Republic of Ireland, Norway and Iceland, as none of these have government offices for Qatar based there. This is the case for our Slovakian document, as there is no Qatar Embassy in Slovakia.

Our Austrian colleagues are located in Vienna, so we asked them to get in touch with the Embassy there and make enquiries. With only an hour between the capitals, we were hopeful that they would handle the document for us after the Slovakian Apostille was applied in Bratislava. Once the Consulate General had confirmed they were happy to do this, we advised the customer of the good news and had the document securely couriered to Austria.

Once it had arrived, one of our colleagues made an appointment and travelled to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bratislava. With that stage completed, we were able to then submit the PhD certificate, transcript of results and the verification letter from the university to the Qatar Embassy upon return to Vienna. Our customer had the advantage that all of his documentation had been issued to him in English, removing the additional step of translation and verification that would have been required had they been in any other language (except Arabic).

Getting in touch with Vital saved the customer a lot of time and money, as well as the headache of making enquiries, booking time away from work and making multiple trips across countries to have his documents legalised. We were able to use our industry knowledge and expertise that we’ve accrued over the last 12 years to make sure he was able to legalise his document on time, even when there wasn’t a UAE Embassy in his native country.

maltese italian uae flags overseas documents

Maltese Education Document for the UAE

We are currently processing an unusual order for a Maltese document. Our customer got in touch requiring his Maltese degree certificate attesting for use in the UAE. This doesn’t sound too complicated, but it’s something we hadn’t handled before and, as sometimes happens, it didn’t end up being as straightforward as it looked on the surface.

Our global network does extend to Malta, so our colleagues in the country were able to complete the first step, and verify the document with the Maltese government. However, similar to our previous case, we discovered that there isn’t a UAE Embassy stationed in Valletta. On top of that, the original degree certificate was issued in Latin, so this really took some unravelling!

We, along with our fantastic colleagues in Malta, were able to get in touch with the nearest UAE Embassy in Rome who confirmed they could issue the consular stamp required. The documents were translated into English, sent to Malta via courier and fully processed before being sent directly to our Dubai office for the final Ministry of Foreign Affairs stamp. Now fully legalised, we forwarded it to our customer’s new employers in Dubai so they could apply for their working visa.

The degree certificate was processed quickly, and all our customer was required to do was post his original documents to our UK offices. We undertook all of the correspondence for him and all of the transportation of the documents was included in the costs with no hidden fees. Needless to say that with everything else to organise for a move overseas, our customer was very grateful to have this handled for him from start to finish.

norway poland algeria flags overseas documents

Norwegian and Polish documents for Algeria

A customer got in touch with education documents from both Norway and Poland, which were required for use for their new employment in Algeria. Translation was a must in this case, as we advised him that Algeria will only accept documents which are presented in Arabic. If he had processed these himself, he could have easily found himself in the position where he had the documents rejected if they were not translated first.

Both Oslo and Warsaw have an Algerian Embassy, which allowed us to handle both of these documents fully in their native countries. We passed document scans on to our colleagues to confirm all of the requirements for the customer before dispatching the originals. As each country has their own bureaucratic regulations, we always ensure that documents are fully reviewed via email by our in-country specialists.

What kind of documents can you handle?

When we say we can “legalise documents from anywhere, to anywhere”, we mean it! We’ve recently become the only UK legalisation company which can process Nigerian and Ghanaian documents, taking the number of countries we can handle documents from up to 143.

We also recently organised the legalisation process for some Spanish export documents for use in both Iraq and Jordan, which we’re able to offer a full legalisation service for.

If you have documents from several different countries, which all need to be processed at source, the situation can quickly become stressful and costly. Trying to get in touch with government departments and consulates and waiting around for returned emails can lead to a lot of frustration, since they’re often not the best at responding!

Get in touch

Vital takes the headache away by being the single point of contact for all of your requirements.

Whether you’re legalising education awards, personal documents such as marriage or birth certificates, export or company documents, we can help.

You can reach us by visiting our site and request a personalised quotation based on your requirements. You can also give our team of specialists a call on +44 (0) 330 088 1142, send us a message via WhatsApp, use our live chat system, or e-mail us at

key takeaways

Key Takeaways

The process of legalisation can be relatively straightforward to extremely complicated, dependent entirely on the documents in questions and your circumstances. No matter how complex things get, Vital Consular has a solution. With a unique global network who are all specialists in their individual country’s procedures, we’re always ready to go out of the way to get that document completed for our customer.

While you’re here, why not keep up to date with all the latest comings and goings by following us on social media?

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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