Congratulations! You’ve just got a new job and you’re off to the UAE!

Before you can up-sticks and move to sunnier climes, you may be asked to dig out your old educational certificates. Your new employer will need to have attested copies of your educational certificates in order to arrange your visa. If you’ve never done this before it can seem like a daunting experience, however I’m going to set out below exactly what you need to do.


Firstly, you must ascertain where your certificates were issued, and this shouldn’t be too difficult. If the certificates aren’t from UAE based institutions, you will need to have the documents notarised and legalised from the country where the certificates were issued and so if they were issued in the United Kingdom you will need to get them notarised and legalised in the UK. 

Next you’ll need to contact a notary public. You will need to provide the original documents to the notary, and they will verify that the document is authentic. They will then most likely make a copy of your original certificate and notarise that copy as a true copy of the original, although if you wish they can notarise the original certificate as well. The notary should notarise the documents in the manner prescribed by the UAE consulate, and so you don’t have to worry about it being done correctly.


Once the document has been notarised it will need to be Apostilled by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). The notary can arrange this for you, or you can handle the process yourself. If you ask the notary to arrange this, you won’t need to worry about anything else and can just leave it with them. If you would like to handle it yourself, perhaps to save money, you will need to send your documents to the FCO counter in Milton Keyes. 

The FCO will affix a piece of paper on the document and confirm that the notary is authorised to certify the document in the UK. This stage can take from just a couple of hours to ten working days to complete, therefore bare this in mind if you are in a rush. If you are in a rush, it’s recommended to let the notary handle this for you as they can submit the document at the FCO’s London counter which is closed to the general public.


The last step is for the document to be attested by the UAE consulate. It’s important to note that the consulate will only attest UK issued educational certificates and so be careful to ensure that you only submit UK certificates to the notary. The consulate tends to be quite quick with their attestation, turning it around within a day, and will affix their own sticker next to the notary’s and FCO’s attestation. Like the FCO stage, you can either instruct the notary to handle this on your behalf or you can have a go yourself.


Once the consulate has stamped the document, all the UK requirements have been met. You can send the originals over to your new employer in the UAE, and they will take it from there. The final step would be to get your bags packed and say goodbye to this cold weather!