What are an Apostille and Attestation, and Why is Not Sufficient for a Dubai Visa?


So, you plan to go to the United Arab Emirates for a new job or wish to move with your family, or perhaps, you have decided to attend a school or a college there. Dubai, with the abundant opportunities that it offers, has become one of the most common choices for people looking to move to a different country, in the hope of making a better life for themselves.

However, since you are a citizen of another country, you would need to seek permission to enter Dubai, for any purpose. The approval is issued by the authorities in the form of a visa, which entitles you to legally enter the country and stay there as per the conditions specified in the visa.

What is a Visa?

A visa is basically a document stamped on your passport which states that the country that you wish to visit (for any purpose) has granted you permission to do so, for a specified period of time. In order to get a visa, you need to apply for one at the concerned country’s embassy in your city, Dubai Embassy in your case. It is only after a lengthy procedure that your visa is granted, given that there was no problem with your documents and your interview. You must make sure to keep in mind the expiration date of your visa since overstaying in the country can lead to heavy fines and even imprisonment.

Hague Conference on Private International Law and an Apostille

The HCCH is responsible for administering many conventions and protocols in the domain of private international law and is essentially an intergovernmental organization or body.

An Apostille is a document or certificate which is attached to your original document and declares that the documents you have provided are genuine and that all the information provided is accurate. However, keep in mind that an Apostille is issued only for documents that would need to be used abroad. Issued by the Secretary of State, an Apostille is necessary to gain entry into any of the countries which are part of the Hague Convention. Before the introduction of Apostille, it was very difficult for the various government authorities to verify the documents. Thus the introduction of this system made it much easy to determine the authenticity of legal foreign documents. It is important for the Apostille to be numbered in the order they were issued, with each Apostille having an individual number.

Why is an Apostille Not Enough for a Dubai Visa?

As mentioned above, an Apostille is a way of verifying the authenticity of the documents submitted when applying for any type of visa. In order to gain entry in any of the countries which are part of the Hague Convention, it is mandatory to obtain one from the Secretary of State. However, since you wish to get a visa for the United Arab Emirates, an Apostille isn’t sufficient. Since the United Arab Emirates isn’t one of the countries which were part of the Hague Convention, you would need to have your documents and certificates attested by various government agencies, both in your own country and Dubai.

What is Meant by Attestation in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, UAE?

When applying for any kind of visa (work, student, family, or for any other reasons), you need to have a certain set of documents checked and stamped by various government agencies. This stamp, also known as a stamp of attestation in Dubai or authenticity, declares that all your documents are legitimate, and the information provided is accurate. It is only once all the required documents are stamped that you can go ahead with further visa procedures. If you fail to have a particular document or certificate attested by anyone of the concerned authorities, or they find some discrepancy in the details provided, your visa could be declined, and you might need to begin the whole process again. To avoid any confusion or errors, it is best to consult attestation services since they would help clear any doubts and would make the whole attestation procedure in Dubai simple.

What Documents Do You Need to Get Attested in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, UAE?

If you have applied for a visa to Dubai, a crucial step is document attestation. Since Dubai isn’t part of the Hague Convention, you must have all the necessary documents attested or verified by a number of government organizations which are as follows:

  • The Notary Department
  • The State Home Department
  • The Ministry of External Affairs
  •  Dubai Embassy
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Dubai

You need to follow the process in this order since no agency will stamp your documents without them being attested by the previous authorities. Here are the documents you must have attested when applying for a visa to the UAE:

  • Personal certificates: These involve your birth certificate, marriage or divorce certificates, medical certificates, passport copies, etc. These provide important details about your personal lives and are necessary to corroborate all the information you provide in your forms. You need to have these certificates attested to the State Home Department.
  • Educational certificates: Your High School and Senior Secondary School certificates, transfer certificate, degree, and diploma certificates count as educational certificates and are important to get attested since they provide information on your academic background and are instrumental in verifying other details.
  • Commercial certificates: Depending on whether you apply for any kind of work visa or wish to set up a business in the UAE, you would need to get your commercial documents verified and stamped. Commercial certificates in Dubai include Power of Attorney, Import license, Letter of Incorporation, etc. These documents are crucial to know about your employment status, any businesses, assets etc.

Depending upon the kind of visa you apply for, the documents you need to present for attestation may differ slightly. However, you must keep in mind that you need to get all the documents attested by the concerned authorities and that an Apostille will not suffice while applying for a UAE visa, simply because the country isn’t one of the members of the Hague Convention.

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