How to easily legalise your documents for use in the United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a popular destination for British citizens. We can help you legalise your documents so they can be used there.
legalise documents for the UAE

Around 240,000 British citizens live and work in the UAE, with over 120,000 living in Dubai. They are attracted by the weather, job opportunities, and tax-free salaries. If you want to join them, you will have to legalise documents for the UAE.

The UAE is not part of the Hague Convention, which means the process of legalising your documents is slower and more complex than going to a country that is part of the convention. This is because all countries that are part of the Hague Convention have signed a treaty, where they accept Apostille Certificates from every member nation.

Types of documents

There are several types of documents that require legalisation. These include: 

  • Birth, marriage and death certificates.
  • University degree certificates and other qualifications.
  • Certificate of Incorporation, Certificate of Good Standing and any other business related documents.
  • Divorce documents.
  • Certificate of No Impediment.

The Government’s website contains list of all the types of documents that require legalisation.

Your documents may also require notarisation

If you plan on living or working in the UAE, you may need to have your documents notarised. A notary is a type of specialist solicitor who can authenticate legal documents, particularly for use in foreign jurisdictions. A normal solicitor can not provide this service. 

Our partners at Woodcock Law and Notary Public can assist you with all of your notarisation needs. Contact them for an appointment if you require their services.

Preparing to live in the UAE

Before you do anything else, you should check whether you meet the entry requirements for the UAE. 

A full British passport grants you access to a free tourist visa that is stamped on your passport in customs. This lasts 30 days, but has a grace period of 10 days. It can be extended by a further 30 days.

There are several other types of visas available:

  • Student Visa: This lasts for 1 year. Renewable. An accredited university, or a parent who is a UAE resident, needs to sponsor you. Men can be sponsored by parents until the age of 25, women can be sponsored until they are married.
  • Standard Work Visas: Usually lasts 2 years. Two different processes. One for Residency Visas for working in the private sector, and another for working in the government sector or a free zone. The UAE has more information on the types of working visas available.
  • Remote Work Visa: Lasts 1 year. Must work for an organisation outside the UAE and earn at least £2719 ($3500) a month.
  • Family Visa: There is a list of requirements for existing residents of the UAE to sponsor their families. You can read them on the UAE’s website.
  • Property Owner Visa: Lasts 2 years. Renewable. Must own a property with value equal to or more than AED 1 million.
  • Retirement Visa: Lasts 5 years. Must be over 55 or have worked for no less than 15 years. Must also either own property worth, or have savings totalling, AED 1 million, or have a monthly income of AED 20,000.
  • Investor Visa: Investors who are either starting, or partaking, in commercial activities, can get a Green Visa. Requires the approval of local authorities, proof of investment, and approval of the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Port Security (ICP).
  • Golden Visa: Lasts for either 5 or 10 years. Renewable. This gives long-term residency for people to live, work, or study in the UAE with exclusive benefits. The UAE has a full list of benefits and requirements you can read.

The UAE’s list of visas contains more information.

How to legalise documents for the UAE

Fast Legalisation can do the below process for you.

  • First, your document needs to be notarised. 
  • Then, your document needs to be sent to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office for legalisation. They will attach an Apostille to authenticate it.
  • The document will then need to go to the UAE Embassy in the UK for attestation. This process can include forms and embassy fees. Your document will be verified, and the embassy will attach their attestation stamp. This can be done in person, or through the post.
  • Following this, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) will need to provide further attestation to verify your document. Once they have done this, they will attach their attestation seal.

The Fast Legalisation team is here to help

Fast Legalisation are legal document experts who can help you with getting your documents legalised for use in the UAE.

Contact us by email or by phone +44 (0)20 3576 1980.