We know how complicated and overwhelming attestation can seem, and let’s not get started on the increased frustration & anxiety levels! That’s why choosing to work with an expert makes so much sense.
You’ll find our most frequently asked questions, and the answers, below. That said, if you can’t find the answer to your question then we’d love to help. You can call us on +971 (0)4 2410222 / +44 (0)207 8245178, click on this link to request a callback, message us on LinkedIn Argentum FZ LLC, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or, if you prefer to actually see who we are, come into the office. We’ll even give you a drink and a snack (if we’ve got any in and we haven’t eaten them all)!
Should I attest the original or a certified copy?
When we issue the quotation we will advise if there is the option to attest the original or a copy. Attesting the original means stamps will be placed on the original certificate, attesting a copy means a photocopy will be taken and the photocopy will be certified and attested. The preferred option amongst our clients is to legalise copies to keep the originals in the best condition however if you are unsure, it would be best to check with your future employer as they will advise what is required for your employment visa.
What are the next steps after I send my documents to you?
Once you have sent your documents, please share any tracking information. Once this has arrived in our offices you will be notified via email and the attestation process will then commence. We will keep you updated through email during the attestation and on completion of the order you will receive PDF scanned copies of the attested documents plus any tracking information related to your order.
How do I know if my document is an original?
Most original documents will have a wet ink signature from the awarding authority and/or a raised seal/ hologram. If your document has neither of these please check with us prior to placing your order as we should be able to advise.
How long does the attestation take?
The timescale for attestation varies depending on the certificate type and country of issue. Once we have received your enquiry/ order we will be able to confirm the timescales specific to your requirements.
My documents need to be stamped by MOFA UAE, but they have not been attested by the UAE embassy in my home country. What should I do?
Before the documents can be stamped by MOFA in the UAE, they must be legalised by the UAE embassy in the country of issue. Unfortunately, MOFA will not legalise documents issued outside of the UAE until they have been fully legalised in their home country.
Can you support embassy legalisations?
Yes, we provide a large range of embassy legalisation services in 45+ countries and we are always adding more. If what you are looking for is not listed on our website, get in touch with us here.
What happens if you lose my original document?
We treat your documents as if they were our own because we understand the effort that has gone into obtaining them. If the worst should happen and your document was misplaced, we would do everything in our power to retrieve them and, if necessary, we would replace the documents.
Is legalisation, attestation, certification, and notarisation all the same things?
Attestation and legalisation are different words for the same service, which is legalising a document from one country to be used in another country.
Notarisation involves a Notary Public verifying a document’s authenticity.
Certification involves any registered solicitor certifying the document presented to them is an original or a true copy of the original.
Different countries may use different terminology for the processes mentioned.
What documents do I need to get attested to get my employment visa?
You will need to confirm with your future employer which documents are required for your job role/ visa title. In most cases it is your highest-level educational certificate, but we always advise to check with the HR/ Onboarding department.
What is certificate Equivalency in the UAE?
Equivalency certification is the process by which the Ministry of Education in the UAE endorse the educational qualification from your home country and confirm the education to be equal to UAE standard for your role.
Can I do the attestation process myself, why should I use a company?
Unless you are attesting documents for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia you can complete the attestation process by yourself from start to finish. That said there are many stages involved which can become difficult when dealing directly with authorities and embassies which is where our expert knowledge and great contacts come in to make the process as fast and easy as possible.
If you are attesting documents for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the embassies only allow approved agents through their doors for submissions and collections which means you will need to use a company to assist with this process.
Does the attestation work expire?
Most attestation work does not expire however each country has specific requirements and we will detail this at the time of your enquiry. For example, China will not accept documents with any legalisation older than 6 months but for the UAE & Qatar this is completely acceptable.
Do I require the MOFA service in the UAE?
The MOFA service is the final stage of the attestation process which takes place within the UAE, where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs place their stamp on the document. Everyone has different requirements in line with their visa applications and work permits so, if you are unsure whether you require MOFA, we would always advise double checking with your employer.
Why does the embassy stamp have a date from weeks ago, but I have only just received my order?
As most attestation submissions must be sent by post or courier, we must wait for the authorities and embassies to return the documents to us. They have their own processes and protocols which they follow before documents are sent back which may mean they were stamped several weeks before we received them in our office. However, once the documents have been returned, we will take scans and release them to you as quickly as possible.
My certificate is laminated, can you still attest it?
If your certificate is laminated and a copy can be attested instead, we will take a photocopy and have the photocopy certified and processed. If the original must be attested, please remove the lamination from the back side of the certificate prior to sending it to our offices or you can order a replacement original from the issuing authority and have this sent to us instead.
My document was only issued electronically, can this still be legalised?
We can legalise some electronic documents however, it depends on the document. We will happily review the document beforehand to confirm if it would be acceptable for legalisation or not.
What’s the difference between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy?
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) takes place locally within the UAE and it is the final stage of attestation. The Embassy stamp is in the certificates issuing country and must be completed prior to MOFA UAE completing their legalisation.
Can I attest any marriage or birth certificate through the USA for use in the UAE and if so, what is the benefit of this?
The UAE embassy in Washington DC will legalise a marriage or birth certificate issued from any country worldwide as sometimes legalising in the country of issue is not always possible. We can offer this service for countries that can be tricky to legalise in and this is perfectly acceptable to be used in the UAE. Benefits can include savings on costs and timescales depending on the certificate’s issuing country, and we can usually work from a scan of the certificate (so the original does not need to be sent to us).
UK documents – What is the difference between a ‘GRO’ copy and original Marriage/ Birth/ Death certificate, and which is better to use?
A GRO certificate is an original version of your certificate that has been issued by the General Registry Office and holds an official seal instead of a handwritten signature. Your original certificate will hold a handwritten signature by the issuing Authority and part of the attestation process is to have this seal or signature verified by the FCDO to confirm the document is genuine. Choosing a GRO is our recommended option as this guarantee’s your documents will be 100% accepted, whereas, if you chose for the original to be attested a signature verification will need to take place and if the signatory is not on file the FCDO must contact them to have this confirmed – this can be a lengthy process and could end up being rejected if the signatory does not respond. If the signature cannot be confirmed, we would advise to proceed with a GRO certificate instead which we can order for you and have delivered directly to our London office.
Can you help to get a Birth Certificate for a new-born baby (In UAE)?
Yes, to be able to obtain a UAE birth certificate on your behalf we will need the following:
- The original notification from the hospital confirming the details of the baby’s birth
- The parent’s attested marriage certificate (home country & UAE MOFA attestation)
- The parent’s original passports
These will then be submitted to the Ministry of Health for the certificate to be issued, once the application has been made you can expect to receive this in 1 working week.
Can you obtain the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) stamps for UAE issued documents?
Yes, firstly we need the original documents for your application (the list will be confirmed once we have reviewed your requirements) and they will be submitted to the MOH. The MOH should take 2-3 working days to process the documents and once they have been released, we will collect these and submit them to MOFA for their final stamping. MOFA will take a further 3-5 working days to complete their legalisation and your documents will then be good to go.