If you are moving to the UAE for employment or residency, you may be asked to attest your UK degree.

The attestation process involves different government levels, including a UK notary or solicitor, the UK FCDO, the UAE Embassy in London and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) in the UAE.

What’s the process to attest a UK degree for the UAE?

The UK degree attestation process for the UAE includes four main steps:

  • Certification of the degree certificate by a UK notary or solicitor
  • Apostille legalisation by the UK FCDO
  • Attesting by the UAE Embassy in London
  • Attestation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in UAE.

In most cases, solicitor certification is sufficient for a UK degree and does not require notarisation.

Before the UAE Embassy stamps your degree, the degree needs to be apostilled by the FCDO to ensure that the stamps and signatures on your degree are genuine.

Your degree certificate is stamped (attested) by the UAE Embassy in London during attestation.

Note that MoFA in UAE only accepts UK degree certificates attested by the UAE embassy in London. [1]

Translation

Sometimes the requesting authority might ask you to translate your degree certificate into Arabic. If requested, you must get a solicitor-certified translation before beginning the attestation process.

You should consult your sponsoring entity in the UAE whether they require your UK degree to be translated.

How can I attest my UK degree for the UAE?

There are two ways you can attest your degree and other documents for the UAE.

How long does UAE attestation take?

Degree attestation, like other documents, is a multi-step process with different authorities, so the time it takes to complete the entire process will depend on if you are doing it yourself or if you hire a professional agent to take care of it.

Here is a rough time estimate of how long embassy attestation can take:

Solicitor certification

It depends on how quickly you can find and visit an FCDO-registered solicitor in your area.

Apostille agent: 10 minutes

Legalising with the FCDO

Doing it yourself, you can try online, which can take up to 20 days or more. Or you can post your documents, which can take up to 15-20 days.

Apostille agent: 1 day

Attesting with the embassy

You must post or courier your degree and documents to the UAE embassy in London. No in-person deliveries or collections are accepted.

Depending on the delivery, posting can take around 1-3 days.

A private courier usually delivers the next day.

Plus, the embassy processing time is 7-10 working days. So, it may take longer if further checks/approvals need to be carried out.

Also, account for returning your attested documents from the embassy. Again, this would depend on whether you used a self-address, pre-paid envelope, or private courier.

Apostille agent: service varies by a few days, depending on which agent you use, but usually around 5-7 business days.

Attesting with MoFA in the UAE

After completing all the above steps, you must also attest your documents with MoFA in the UAE.

How much is degree attestation for the UAE?

The attestation cost is dependent on the departments running the authentication process.

For example, your degree certificate must go through solicitor certification (£30 to £80), FCDO legalisation (£35 to £70), UAE Embassy attestation in the UK (£150), and MOFA attestation in the UAE (£40).

Apostille agents will also charge a small fee ranging from £50 to £100 or more.

The costs given here are rough estimates. Additional costs you might incur are postage or private courier services (like FedEx or DHL etc.) or travel costs if you have to travel to London.

The cost of the certified translation is also added if you require translation. So, for example, the price of a solicitor-certified UK degree translation starts from around £60 per page.

Where can I attest my degree certificate in London for the UAE?

You can get your UK degree certificate attested by submitting the documents to the UAE embassy in London.

The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates is at 1-2 Grosvenor Cres, London SW1X 7EE [2].

Currently, the UAE embassy does not accept in-person submissions. Before sending your documents we suggest calling the embassy on 020 7581 1281.

Before submitting your UK degree or other documents to the embassy, you must complete the abovementioned steps.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our office for free advice if you need help with this.

How long are attested degree certificates valid?

Generally, once your UK degree certificate has been attested for the UAE, that attestation remains valid indefinitely.

However, there are rare occasions when the attestation may be deemed invalid if completed long ago due to age and policy changes regarding attestation.

Original or a photocopy of the degree certificate for UAE attestation?

Officially you can use both the original and a solicitor-certified photocopy of your degree.

However, you should check with the requesting authority if they accept photocopies.

You must certify and apostille each page separately if you have more than one degree or several pages, like university transcripts.

Bound or bundled documents are not accepted by the UAE, even if they have been certified and apostilled.

Do I need to notarise my UK degree for the UAE?

You only need to notarise your UK degree if the requesting authority specifically asks for it.

Notarising your degree means that a UK public notary must confirm with the university that your degree is genuine.

Your notary should know that all documents for the UAE must be notarised separately.

Then the notarised degree certificate can be apostilled at the FCDO and attested at the UAE embassy.

Documents that are often attested together with a degree certificate for the UAE

Documents that are often attested together with the UK degree certificate for the UAE include:

  • University transcripts
  • Authorisation letter
  • Passport copy

Why is degree certificate attestation required in the UAE?

Because the UAE is not a Contracting Party to the Hague Apostille Convention, your UK degree must be attested by the UAE Embassy in London.

Additionally, degree certificate attestation is required:

  • To validate the authenticity of your UK degree
  • The attested certificate is accepted locally and internationally
  • A degree certificate with a stamp from the UAE embassy and MOFA enables you to hold employment status in the country
  • The attested degree is critical for education and access to government or corporate facilities in the UAE

What can go wrong with UAE attestation?

Trying to figure out how to attest documents for the UAE can seem complicated. The UAE is strict, any mistake means your UK degree will be rejected, and you might need to start all over.

Some pitfalls to look out for include sending your UK degree to the UAE embassy for attestation before certification and apostille legalisation.

If you skip this legalisation process and send the documents to the UAE Embassy, getting them back may not be easy.