Document legalisation
for the UAE

METROPOLITAN CONSULTING will provide assistance with the legalization of any documents for you, your family and your company, as we will take care of the whole process.

Accelerated document legalization

Assistance in preparing a package of documents for legalization

Consular and ministerial certification for entrepreneurs

Translation of documents into Arabic by licensed translators

Entrust document legalization to the professionals

The apostille certification is necessary to confirm the legitimacy of documents of a foreign state in most countries around the world.

But, in the UAE, apostilled documents are not accepted and issued, due to the fact that the state did not sign the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961, which established this international standard for the state documents legalization.

Corporate documents, official certificates, as well as certificates and diplomas are accepted by the UAE government authorities only if there is consular legalization. The document must be translated into Arabic or English, depending on which authority this document will be provided to. Most UAE government agencies accept documents only in Arabic, therefore it can be considered the most universal translation language.

Other countries impose similar requirements on documents issued in the UAE due to the fact that the country is not a party to the convention: all state documents issued here must undergo consular legalization.

You will save a lot of time if you entrust the task of legalizing documents to us. Your documents will be correctly translated and will pass the legalization procedure without any problems.

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What documents should be legalized for the UAE?

When moving to the UAE, there are specific personal documents that should not and do not need to be legalized. These include: 

  • foreign passport
  • the internal passport of the state in which you are a citizen
  • a work record card
  • military ID
  • driver's license and any other identification card

Documents that must be legalized:

  • notarized documents (consents, applications, powers of attorney, certificates, etc.)
  • documents on education and qualifications (for children and adolescents – a student's personal card or school certificate, while for adults – a university diploma, sometimes with an insert, a diploma on the award of an academic degree, an academic certificate of incomplete studies at a university, etc.)
  • all papers issued by the registry office (birth certificates, certificate of marital status, marriage or divorce certificates)
  • statutory documents for legal entities such as, for example, TIN, OGRN (primary state registration number) and organization charter, if a foreign legal entity is planning to participate as a founder of a legal entity in the UAE
  • other documents (certificate of no criminal record, patents, etc.)

There is no need to legalize absolutely all documents. It is enough to legalize only those that will be required for your specific purposes.

In the case of moving an unmarried woman to the UAE for registration of a marriage with a state citizen, her father’s consent to the marriage is necessary. If the father has died, this document must be obtained from another male relative including a brother or an uncle. The unmarried woman needs to attach a legalized death certificate of their father to the documents.

It is mandatory to legalize marriage certificates and the birth of children if you plan to live in the UAE with your family. It is necessary for the family to obtain individual resident visas and for the children to go to a local kindergarten or school.

If a woman travels to the UAE without a spouse, but with one or more children, it is obligatory to obtain and legalize a notarized consent from the father of each of the children. A legalized personal file or transfer certificate will be necessary for children studying in the UAE, and a certificate with an insert – for admission to the university.

If an individual is planning to find employment in the UAE in his/her specialty, he/she will need a diploma of secondary or higher education (with the exception of employment in positions that do not require qualifications). Higher positions have tougher requirements.

If you want to work as a doctor in the state, you have to first obtain a Certificate of Good Standing from the Ministry of Health from the country of registration, and only then can you apply to the Emirati authorities for a special license. This document confirms the absence of any violations in your medical practice.

If you are opening a branch or a subsidiary of your existing business in the UAE, the type of activity and conditions of the economic zone in which the company is planned to be registered in will affect the list of documents for legalization. In most cases, this includes constituent documents. Individuals may also need documents on the professional education of the head of the company.

The procedure for document legalization for the UAE

The process of certifying papers for use in the UAE is longer and more complicated compared to most other countries around the world. It is because a number of States have signed the Hague Convention, according to which the authenticity and legitimacy of the document is confirmed by a special stamp called apostille. The UAE has not joined the Hague Agreement on the Legalization of Foreign Documents, therefore such a simplified procedure is not possible in this country,

The documents must undergo consular legalization in order to be legally valid in the UAE. The process is not easy: the certification must be carried out in the state structures of the country where the documents were issued, and then in the authorities of the receiving country. There are several stages:

  • Preparation of the source code. The individual has to make a copy of the document that he/she wants to legalize, and notarize it with the issuing authority or with a notary. The original itself can be certified in some cases.
  • Certification by the Ministry of Justice of the source country. The individual needs to submit notarised documents to the Ministry of Justice of the source country. The Agency will verify the authenticity of the signatures of the notary and/or translator and put a stamp on the document certifying their authenticity.
  • Certification in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the source state, which is the next body certifying the authenticity of the document. The Agency will once again check whether the documents meet all the established requirements, and will mark this on the back of the sheets. Commercial documents in its turn are usually certified by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry or an analogue of this body instead of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These includes customs declarations, accounting forms, invoices, etc.
  • Certification in the consular department of the Embassy of the destination country in the source country, which is the final stage of legalization on the territory of the source state. For example, if it is an Emirati document that is legalized for France, it must be certified by the consular department of the French Embassy in the UAE. The embassy certifies educational documents only when providing a certificate from the dean's office or from the archive of an educational organization. The certificate that confirms the authenticity of the diploma must include the following information: its number, the recipient's full name as well as the years of study.
  • Assurance from the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA UAE). In the case of legalizing documents for the UAE, the seal of the UAE Embassy in the source state must be additionally certified with the seal of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs already in the United Arab Emirates. If there is no embassy or consulate of the UAE in the source country, then before the UAE Foreign Ministry, the documents will have to be certified at the embassy/consulate of the source country in the UAE, or, in the case of their absence, at the organization representing the state. Additional information on individual documents – for example, to request data on the accreditation of the university where the diploma was obtained, may be required by the UAE authorities. It is recommended to clarify all these nuances in the Emirati organization, where you plan to submit a certified document, before starting the legalization procedure.

Terms of document legalization

The duration of legalization of documents constitutes anywhere from five days to three weeks, while some documents for the UAE can take up to two months to legalize. The type of documents, as well as the specifics of the document flow of the countries involved affect the deadlines.

There are no limitations for the validity period of the consular legalization of the document. But in the case of the term expiration of the legalized document itself, a new examination procedure will be required after its update.

Our company guarantees a correct and fast legalization procedure. Our specialists will describe in detail the steps that will need to be taken in the source state (if it is not the UAE). In a number of countries we can recommend a reliable agency. Any document issued in the UAE will be legalized for any state as quickly and as professionally as possible.

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