What Can Go Wrong With UAE Attestation?

In this second part in our Legalisation Fixers series, we are looking at a lesser known pitfall we have encountered our customers experiencing when attesting a document for the UAE. As this case entails one of the most common confusions in the attestation process, namely the differences between certification and notarisation, we felt this would be an excellent example to share with you.

In this article


Education Documents For The UAE

Paul C. was travelling to the UAE for a new job role. His employer had advised him to have his degree notarised before being sent to the FCO and the UAE Embassy. Paul took his degree to a notary public and, as instructed, had them authenticate his degree, which then had a notarial cover sheet attached to the front as a lead sheet.

The FCO applied an Apostille to the document, but when the documents reached the UAE Embassy they were rejected as they will not accept any education certificates with a notarial cover sheet. Paul was left angry, confused and out of pocket – notaries are known for being expensive!

After trying to contact his HR representative in the UAE for clarification, Paul got in touch with Vital Consular as he had lost confidence in the guidance he had received so far and was nervous that any further applications may also be rejected.

How did Vital Consular help?

As Vital Consular visit the UAE Embassy almost every day, and also have an office in Dubai, we are well versed in the attestation guidelines for the UAE. We explained to Paul why his documents had been rejected, and advised on how this could be corrected in a clear and concise manner. Unfortunately, as the notarial cover sheet had to be removed and the document re-processed, the Apostille was no longer valid.

We offered a quotation to have the degree certificate fully attested, verified at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the UAE and delivered to his employer directly in Dubai once completed. Even though Paul was still in the UK, having these sent by courier to his employer saved him time and money, as VAT was not applicable in this case, as well as giving him peace of mind that it would be accepted first time. When it came time to apply for his family visa to bring his spouse and child to the UAE, he got back in touch and had us process their documentation for him.

What’s the confusion between certified and notarised?

Inkednotary LI

It’s a common misconception that a notarised and certified copy are the same process with interchangeable terms. They are both different services however, and as we have seen, can not only cause confusion but can result in a loss of money and delays in processing if the correct option isn’t used for your legalisation.

Much of the misconception stems from the fact that each issuing country can set different requirements for legalisation, as well as different titles being used for solicitor verification across the world. It’s extremely common for a new recruit to receive a checklist from their HR contact stating that they must have their documents “notarised”, or “certified by a notary”. In the UK however, it’s rare that this more in-depth procedure is required except in certain circumstances, such as Chinese Legalisation which you can read more about here.

If you’d like to know more about the process of certification and notarisation, you can read our blog post explaining the differences between the two here.

If you require legalisation and you aren’t confident in the process you require, just give us a call today. You can get in touch directly on +44 (0) 330 088 1142, request a personalised quote, send us a message via WhatsApp, use our live chat system, or e-mail us at sales@vitalconsular.com. Our friendly team of specialists are on hand to answer all of your queries.

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Melanie Clarke
Melanie is a Digital Marketer and TEFL Specialist at Vital Consular. Before taking up a Marketing role, she spent 3 years building up a rich knowledge of global legalisation processes on the operations team. When she's not working, Melanie enjoys attending music events and pursuing many creative interests including screen printing and merchandise design.
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