The Importance of Attesting Documents in the GCC

The Importance of Attesting Documents in the GCC

Legalization (or, document attestation, as it is commonly known in the Middle East) is the process of authenticating a document from one country to the required level so that the local government will be happy to accept that it is genuine. It's a way of checking that an overseas document is legitimate.

Although document attestation sounds like a simple process, if not done correctly or in the wrong order, the document will be rejected.


Two Main Types of Attested Documents

The two main types of documents that will need to be attested are personal documents and company documents. These include:

  • Education Certificates
  • Birth, Marriage, Death, or Adoption Certificates
  • Decree Absolute or Divorce Documents
  • Probate, Wills, Affidavits, and Letters of Administration
  • Police reports
  • Company Incorporation documents
  • Power of Attorney

Why Have Documents Attested?

In the Middle East, all expat work visas are linked to the worker’s title, and some countries are stricter than others. In Saudi Arabia, for example, one’s job title must be linked to the area of study listed their degree. Whereas in the UAE, if an expat does not have a degree, they can obtain a lower level job title, such as admin assistant or archives clerk.

In order for an expat to sponsor their family, they will need to have a higher-level job title, such as manager or director, and attested marriage/birth/adoption certificates. Only one education certificate needs to be attested and should be degree level or higher.

What Does Document Attestation Involve?

If an expat is planning to work or sponsor their family in the Middle East, all document attestation should be done before arriving, as it can be a lengthy process. The process will differ slightly, depending on which country the document is from:

  • Documents needs to be officially translated into English or Arabic
  • Documents need to be verified for legitimacy in the country of issue. This can involve a solicitor and the Ministry or Department of Foreign Affairs. For example, this is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in the UK
  • They will need to be verified by the countries in which the applicant is planning to reside either in an embassy or consulate. For example, this would be the UAE Embassy in the UK.
  • The document will need to then be attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the country in which the applicant plans to reside. For example, this is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) UAE.

Form Document Procurement to Attestation Assistance, Rely on an Experienced Partner

Attestation involves a number of different parties—and approaching those parties in the correct order. Velocity Global has a trusted network of in-country support to help you with document attestation as part of its full suite of global expansion services. Whether you’re sending one employee (or making the move yourself) reach out to Velocity Global today to begin your global expansion.

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