Certifying true copies, witnessing documents and attestation of documents
09 Jan 2023
Whilst dealing with any legal issues in the UAE, you may be asked to provide certified true copies or attested / legalised documents that have been issued from a Country outside the UAE.
As UK Solicitors and Commissioners of Oaths, we are able to certify true copies of any original documents.
A certified true copy of an original document is a copy made by the Solicitor / Commissioner of Oaths. The paper copy is made from an original document and has a stamp to certify that the official who made the copy compared it to the original that they had seen. The purpose of a certified true copy is for the individual who receives it to be able to trust that the document that has been provided is correct and authentic.
We are also able to witness the signing of documents such as Affidavits or Declarations which require signing before a Solicitor / Commissioner of Oaths. It is therefore necessary to check with the recipient Authority in the desired Country whether the document may be signed before a Solicitor / Commissioner of Oaths as sometimes documents are specifically required to be signed by a Notary.
Where a document from a foreign Country is required to be used in the UAE, the official document will need to be legalised by the Foreign Office in the Country where it was issued, for example :
- Marriage certificate when you are applying for a Spouse visa in UAE or a Divorce in UAE ;
- Birth certificates of a child when applying for a Residence visa for them in UAE or where a family matter concerning the children is to be brought before the UAE Court ;
- A Foreign Degree when applying for a job in the UAE ;
- Any Foreign Court Orders for use in litigation in the UAE.
The document will then need to be stamped by the UAE Embassy in that Country. If there is no UAE Embassy in that Country, it may have to be stamped by the UAE Embassy in a neighbouring Country.
The document then needs to be brought to the UAE and stamped by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
If the document is required to be translated to Arabic (most likely if it is to be used in the UAE), it should be translated by a Court approved translator and then, finally, stamped by the Ministry of Justice.
It should be borne in mind that if you marry in another Country; give birth in another Country or have official documents from that Country, you will need to factor in the time to legalise the documents in the Country of origin so if required, you can attend to the legalisation of the documents in the Country before arriving in the UAE.
If you have not been able to take the necessary steps, we are able to connect you with Agents who can assist you with the legalisation of foreign documents in their home Country, however you should be aware that this may be a costly and time consuming exercise.
For further information or advice in relation to certified true copies or legalising documents, please contact Dee Popat or our Family Department.