So, you have decided to move abroad because you have found a new job or have an idea for a business or, you have found a great school or college and wish to continue your education there. What do you do in this case? You go online to the website of the embassy of the country you intend to visit and apply for a visa. You’ll be required to fill out a form and pay a certain amount for the interview. And also, you’ll be required to go through the attestation process, since you intend on staying in the country for a longer period of time. What exactly is attestation?
When you are looking to use certain legal documents abroad, you will need to have them verified. This process of verification, also known as attestation, is done to prove that the concerned documents are indeed genuine and can thus be used for any purposes in another country. Also, it is through the attestation process that the authorities obtain key information about you, such as your date of birth, marital status, health, educational background, etc. and can cross-check any details you may have provided at the time of applying for the visa.
Without your documents being attested by a set of government and government- sponsored agencies, your visa procedure cannot move ahead. If you fail to provide a particular document or certificate, or there is a discrepancy in the information, you will most likely not be granted permission to enter the country you wish to visit. In such a case, depending upon the severity of the issue, you might need to begin the whole procedure all over again.
Here are some common documents you need to have attested:
- Personal Documents: Documents such as the birth certificate, death certificate, marriage and/or divorce certificates, medical certificate, copies of your passport, etc. serve as personal documents are very important when it comes to attestation. These provide details such as your place and date of birth, nationality, the status of your health or relationships etc. No matter why you are planning on moving abroad, you’ll need to have these attested.
- Commercial Documents: Power of Attorney, Commercial Invoice, Certificate of Incorporation, etc. are commercial documents that are especially important if you are looking to set up a business abroad or wish to conduct any commercial activities there.
- Educational Documents: These include Degree or Diploma certificates, High School Certificate, Senior Secondary School Leaving certificate, transcripts etc. and are required particularly when you plan on enrolling yourself in an educational institute abroad or simple to verify details provided in other documents.
When getting your documents attested, there a particular order to follow. Without the stamp from one authority, the subsequent ones won’t attest them. This is generally how the order goes:
- Notary Department Attestation
- Home Department/ Ministry of Human Resource Development Attestation
- Ministry of External Affairs Attestation
- Embassy Attestation
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs Attestation (if you wish to move to a Gulf nation)
Useful Tips for Certificate Attestation In the UAE
Since your documents go through a series of government agencies for the purposes of being attested, it is a long-drawn process and can also be quite complicated. Here are some tips which can be helpful when getting certificates/ documents attested:
- Understand the Requirements and Instructions: When you are filling out a visa application, make sure to thoroughly go over all the requirements and instructions. Depending upon the kind of visa you apply for, you will need to present particular documents for attestation. You must fully understand what the procedure is and what you should do. Make sure to verify if you need to present copies of your documents as well, whether you need to be physically present for all stages of the attestation and, most important of all, what the exact order is which needs to be followed at the time of attestation.
- Keep Your Documents Organised: Once you have gone through all the requirements pertaining to the attestation process, you need to keep your documents in one place. You need to organize all the documents properly so that you can present them to the concerned authorities with ease. It is key that you have all the required documents ready so you can avoid any problems during the process. In case you forget a document or there is an issue with the information, the authorities will not stamp the certificates and you might either need to begin the attestation process again or even the entire visa procedure. It is a good idea to keep photocopies of the originals as well as virtual copies in the event that you lose the original.
- Hiring an Attestation Service: The whole attestation process is quite lengthy, complicated, and there is no room for error. Failure to provide a particular certificate or document could prove to be a major setback to your visa process and subsequently, your plans of moving abroad. In such a case, it is recommended that you outsource the work. In other words, consult a certified attesting service to help make the entire procedure smooth and problem-free. When hiring an attestation service, here are some of the things to keep in mind:
- Do your research properly. Make sure to find out about at least 4 to 5 attestation services when looking to hire one. Go over their services and choose the one that suits your needs the best. Try to choose one which allows you to track the whole attestation procedure so you know where your documents are.
- It is advisable to compare the facilities and prices offered by the different services to ensure that you do not end up paying more than the average.
- Reading reviews is a great way to go before picking a particular service. Reviews will give you an idea of the kind of experiences others have had with the service, and you can decide whether you want to go ahead with it or not.
- Another way to find a good service is to ask people who might have hired one recently. If they have had a good experience with the service, you, too, could select them to make your work easier.