Document legalization in Dubai
Any person willing to obtain residency, work or start a business in Dubai must legalize their documents. Document legalization, in simple terms, is the process of giving documents issued in the UAE legal validity beyond the country’s borders.
In many countries, the procedure of document legalization is replaced by a special stamp known as an “apostille.” However, the apostille is only valid in countries that are signatories to the 1961 Hague Convention
. The UAE is not a signatory to this convention
, so the only way to give documents legal validity is through consular legalization
Consular legalization is required for both foreign documents intended for use in the UAE and UAE documents intended for use in other countries.
The procedures for attestation and legalization of UAE documents are carried out by government notaries, certified government translators, consulates, and other government bodies.
In general, the process of legalizing UAE documents in Dubai for use in other countries can be divided into 2 levels:
- Notarization and translation of documents at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other government institutions.
- Legalization of documents at the consulate of the country where the document will be used.
It is worth noting that the process and fees for document attestation in Dubai for legal entities differ from the process and fees for individuals.
The fees for notarizing documents in Dubai are higher for legal entities.
Stages of document attestation in Dubai
The legalization of documents for use in other countries involves the following stages:
- Certification of the original or copy of the document by the government institution that issued it.
- Attestation of the document at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and subsequently at the representation of the country for which the document will be used.
- Translation of the document by a certified translator.
- Attestation of the translation at the consulate of the country for which the document will be used.
- Stamping by the Ministry of Justice and Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates.
The process of creating a certified copy of documents for legal entities primarily depends on the UAE government body that registered the legal entity.
Which documents require attestation?
The list of documents requiring legalization for individuals includes:
- Birth certificates;
- Marriage certificates;
- Notarized powers of attorney;
- Police clearance certificates;
- Educational documents;
- Bank statements;
- Property ownership certificates;
- Court rulings;
- And more.
For legal entities, the list of documents requiring legalization includes:
- Statutory documents;
- Articles of association;
- Appointment documents for directors;
- Licenses for business activities;
- Bank statements;
- Court rulings;
- And more.
When is document attestation in Dubai necessary?
Document legalization may be required in (but not limited to) the following cases:
- Opening a foreign bank account;
- Employment with a foreign company;
- Inheritance overseas;
- Registering a marriage in another country;
- Establishing international business;
- Conducting international transactions;
- Power of attorney operations and other international processes.
Document legalization timelines
The processing time for document attestation in Dubai depends on the country for which it is being carried out. The notarization and translation of standard documents (or non-standard, small-volume documents) typically take 1-3 business days. After that you must wait for the document to be legalized by the consulate of the country for which the legalization is being performed. On average, this takes 1 to 3 business weeks.
Standard documents include birth certificates, divorce certificates, death certificates, police clearance certificates, bank statements, military ID cards, residency certificates, educational documents, trade licenses, and more. Non-standard documents include powers of attorney, exit permits, medical certificates, archive extracts, and more.
Costs of document attestation in Dubai
The fees for attestation, translation, and legalization of documents for use abroad depend on the destination country and the status of the requester. For individuals, all procedures related to legalization are generally simpler and cheaper (averaging $100-600). For legal entities, prices can reach up to $1500.
Document legalization can vary and depends on numerous factors, including the requester’s status (individual or legal entity), the destination country for the documents, and the type of documents to be legalized.
It’s important to remember that when legalizing documents, you must adhere to the established procedure for legalization and ensure that the documents comply with all specified requirements.
Despite all the complexities and waiting, consular document legalization in Dubai is indispensable for various international operations.
If you need assistance with document legalization in Dubai, the experts at the Dubai office of GFLO Consultancy will be pleased to guide you through the process.