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Even though this first stage is a standard requirement for Saudi Arabia, many customers are unaware of this fact. This often results in delays completing your visa application. The SACB can often take a long time to complete each application, but what is the full process for the SACB and where do you begin?
The SACB Process
The verification stage is a free of charge, online only service which can be accessed through the official Saudi Arabia Cultural Bureau website in London here. If your document is not UK-issued, you will need to contact the Saudi Cultural Attache in the country of origin, as the UK office will not be able to verify it.
Firstly you will need to create an account on the online portal. This will allow you to complete and track your application, so keep your log-in details safe. Next, you will need a high quality colour scan of the degree certificate to upload during the application process. You will need to provide some details about yourself and your award to complete your request.
Then, it’s just a waiting game. The SACB will contact the awarding institution to check the details and authenticity of the qualification. Once the credentials of the award have been verified, the SACB applies an official stamp and signature to the scan. You will then get a digital copy of the signed and sealed version for you to print off as required. You will not receive a hard copy of this.
Guidelines for Submission to the SACB
Things to note before submitting the SACB:
- If your course was a distance learning or online course, this will not be accepted. This includes any modules as part of the overall course.
- SACB will ONLY attest academic certificates. Experience letters, training certificates, membership and fellowship certificates will not be verified and this step can be skipped.
- Your application must include clear-coloured scanned copies of all required documents.
- If the name on the certificate differs from the name in your passport, you must provide a legal change of name document to support your application.
- The qualification must have been issued by a university/institution that is recognised by the UK authorities as having awarding powers.
Exemptions from these rules include certain medical qualifications, which you can read about further on the SACB website here.
After the SACB
Although Vital Consular can not complete the verification for you, we can attest the qualification. The SACB copy must be printed in colour and sent as a supporting document with your original certificate. Please ensure both the official stamp and a signature are present on the version sent from the SACB, as a rejection is guaranteed if either is missing.
You will need the following documents to have your document attested:
- The original certificate
- A clear colour copy of the SACB version
- A clear colour copy of the photo page of your passport
Once you have your documents ready, the qualification will require an Apostille stamp from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), followed by the Consular stamp at the Saudi Arabian Embassy in London. The Saudi Arabian Embassy only accepts documents from registered agents; you will not be able to apply directly yourself to the embassy for the consular stamp.
How do I get support through this process?
If you have any queries or require an update on initial verification status, you will need to call or e-mail the offices of the SACB directly. Please be aware that it is not unusual for this process to take several months to complete. It can be difficult to get through to someone at the SACB for an update, but do not worry if it feels as if the process is taking longer than you would expect.
We are always more than happy to advise you on attestation processes, so if you’re unsure whether you require the SACB or not, please get in touch and we can check this for you.
You can get in touch and upload a scan of your document through our quotation form and someone will get back to you with further advice. Alternatively, you can use our live chat system, send us a text message via WhatsApp, give us a call on +44 (0) 330 088 1142, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.