What is attestation?

We get many calls about  Attestation every day, and to be honest, there's a lot of misinformation about this term. This article will help you understand what Attestation means, and how it relates to UK-Issued company and personal documents. 

What does Attestation Mean?

Legalisation (Or Attestation as it is commonly known) is the process of authenticating a document to the required level so that another country will be happy to accept that it is genuine.

Let's consider an example...

You are relocating from the UK to the UAE and your new employer needs you to attest your educational qualifications.

Your new employer in Dubai, understandably, is unlikely to be in a position to recognise whether a UK Degree Certificate is genuine or not. So they ask you to get the degree qualification attested. This means that they need the UAE Embassy within the UK (the country of issue) to attest that the qualification is genuine. Sounds simple, but there’s an issue: The UAE Embassy in London won't recognise the validity of a UK Degree Certificate either.

So how will they attest it?

In order for the UAE Embassy to attest any document, it needs to be stamped first by the UK government. This means that the educational qualification will need to have been through the  Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)in the UK for them to attach an Apostille Stamp, which is a paper certificate attached to the document with the FCO seal stamped through both the Apostille and the document. If it was a UK Birth Certificate, the process could end here.

However, different documents have different legalisation requirements. In this case, the FCO will not verify the authenticity of a degree qualification directly. Before the degree certificate can be Apostilled, it first has to be countersigned by a UK Notary Public or Solicitor.

To wrap up, here are some key points:

  • Attestation is one step in getting a document ready for overseas use - you need to consider all the other aspects first before attestation can occur. 
  • Attestation can only be done by the Embassy or Consulate responsible for the territory where the document was issued
  • Some countries, in particular the UAE, may reject documents that have already been attested for another country, so use old copies with care. 

Vital Certificates has been handling consular attestation and legalisation for clients for many years. If you have documents you need attesting, you may prefer to have us handle this complex system for you. Our service includes all necessary steps to validate and attest your documents so you have less to worry about. 

Call us for further information on +44 (0) 330 088 1142 to talk to a trained adviser.

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