Legalising documents for use in Qatar is principally the same as for any other country. However, in 2016 there were additional requirements introduced to legalise degree certificates, and even now we still get supporting documents from universities that do not contain all the required specific information as it can be difficult navigating the potentially unclear guidelines to ensure we meet their specific requirements.
We are dedicated to helping our customers get the process done as quickly and as easily as possible, as it’s easy to miss small details that can cause big issues! We have put together this complete guide on Education Documents for use in Qatar, which covers each stage in preparing your documents through to submission.
Kelly is a Legalisation Advisor on the Sales team at Vital Consular. She has years of experience handling education awards for Qatar, having helped hundreds of customers prepare their documents ready for submission.
The table below is an overview of the types of awards which do and don’t require supporting documents in order to be legalised for use in Qatar. Some types, such as diplomas and vocational courses can be complex so it’s always best to check before you start the process.
Do require supporting documents
Don’t require supporting documents
NVQ Level 5-8
Doctorate without transcript
HND Level 5 and above
BTEC* (as a Diploma, HND or HNC will require supporting documents)
NVQ Level 1-4
BTEC* (level 3 or below without the word Diploma or HND/HNC stated)
HNC Level 4 and below
*With regards to all certificates, if the word “diploma” is used, supporting documents are always required.
Any certificate obtained via distance learning, including online courses, will NOT be accepted for legalisation for Qatar. Any certificate where the study and/or examinations are outside the UK will NOT be accepted for legalisation. This is the case, even if the awarding institution is based within the UK itself.
You can read more about these issues in our dedicated blog post on this topic here. If you do have a distance learning degree and are intending to work in Qatar, there may be a way to continue your applications. Check out our post on this subject here.
There are a total of three documents required to legalise the majority of education awards for Qatar:
- The original award certificate
- Transcript of results
- Cover letter issued by the college or university
You will also require a copy of your passport photo page if you are a UK citizen, or your official photo ID if you are non-UK citizen.
We have had customers previously enquire as to whether providing a certified copy of your award certificate from the university is acceptable in place of the original. Unfortunately, although this is known as a certified copy, it is not the same as a copy made by a registered solicitor and as such we are unable to process this document.
If you do not have an original, you will need to obtain a replacement from the awarding institution. This is due to the fact that a solicitor can have their signature registered with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and be recognised as having the authority to make legally recognised certified copies. A registrar at a University is unable to do this, which will result in your legalisation not being processed.
Whereas most courses produce a transcript of results as standard, there are some cases where you may not have this document. It may be that your college or university issued a hard copy of the results with your qualification certificate, you studied a course which did not have a specific course structure such as a Masters Degree, or in some cases a transcript is not available.
With some older courses, transcripts are not stored at the institution. Each college and university will have their own time frame as to how long they hold records, but if you studied your qualification some time ago, you may have issues obtaining a copy. In some cases the place you studied may not exist anymore and their records may have passed to a new body, which you will need to apply to instead. If the transcript is unavailable for whatever reason, as long as you can obtain your supporting letter and ask them to state why it is not present, this will be accepted.
After several conversations with the Qatari authorities, we have been advised that the letter must explicitly state face to face study, on campus and the specific location at which the course and exams took place.
We have received examples of letters which state “on campus” to cover this final point, which does suggest very strongly that this person studied in person at the university or college. It may be that the Qatar Embassy in London will accept this letter, however, this has been rejected on several occasions by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) once the documents arrive in Doha.
We provide a help sheet and letter request template to customers who send an enquiry for degree legalisation, stating the specific information required by the Qatar Embassy. The template can be passed on to the college or university directly to ensure that the letter meets the criteria required.
However, in our experience the resulting document from Student Services can still, on occasion, miss out information or doesn’t communicate explicitly what the Qatar Embassy requires. The language used is very important and there is little room for manoeuvre in terms of what the Qatar Embassy will accept.
Once you’re confident that you know the requirements, it’s time to get those documents legalised (sometimes also known as authentication or attestation). Not every country follows the same process, and this applies to both the country of origin and where the documents will be presented. The process for Qatar usually includes the following stages:
- Notarisation/Solicitor Certification
- Application of an Apostille by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)
- Legalisation by the Qatar Embassy
Each of these steps must be carried out in the country where the document was issued (with a few very rare exceptions). Once these stages are completed in the issuing country, they must be verified by the MoFA in Doha. You will usually require at least a qualification and a recent police clearance certificate for a work permit in Qatar, but you will need to confirm this with your employer.
In the UK, you must make sure that any certified copy of your documents are completed by a solicitor who is FCO registered. This ensures that their signature is on the official database and will prevent delays in processing.
The Qatar Embassy only accepts applications for legalisation twice a week, with a further two days a week dedicated to collections only. You are able to apply via post if you wish, though you must register and book your documents in online before you are able to submit them to be stamped. This process generally takes longer and in peak times, there can be significant delays.
This concludes the stages required in the country of origin. The final stage is to have your documents and their stamps verified at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) in Doha once you arrive.
If you would prefer to take care of the legalisation process yourself, one of the main issues can be the time and expense involved, especially if you’re overseas. There are strict rules in place regarding these documents and any discrepancy can result in instant rejection by the Embassy, which could result in having to get a new letter issued and re-processing each stage again.
As we attend the FCO and Qatari Embassy almost daily, we are able to have your documents confirmed at source before we even begin to process them, just in case additional checks are required. This saves you time and money in the long run, as well as giving you peace of mind that there will be no delays.
We can also courier your documents back to you once the legalisation has been completed, no matter where you are in the world!
Even if your documents weren’t issued in the UK, we can still assist. Get in touch with us today to speak to one of our specialist advisers who can talk through your personal requirements and give you the best advice towards legalising your documents for Qatar.
Moving to a new place can be both exciting and scary. We’re here to help you concentrate on the exciting a little bit more.
Vital Consular has been legalising documents since 2006. We’ve developed a global network capable of processing documents from over 140 countries, so whatever your requirements, we’re confident we can help.