What is the Difference Between Attestation and Notarization?

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Whether it is moving to the United Arab Emirates for work, family purposes, education, etc. as a citizen of another country, or moving from the UAE to another country, one of the key processes in getting your documents verified by a series of government and government-sponsored authorities to prove their authenticity.

The UAE is a very common and favored destination when it comes to setting up a business, starting a new job, pursuing education, or simply moving with family because it offers a wide variety of opportunities, and the economy is flourishing. This means that there are hundreds and hundreds of people that decide to make a move to begin a better life. Owing to the number of immigrants, it is necessary for the government to ensure that only those with the right intentions are allowed in, and the rest are not. The same goes for moving from the UAE to another country.

One of the main procedures to follow post applying for the visa is getting your documents attested. However, people often get confused between attestation and notarization, and it is crucial to not mix them up or think that they are the same since that could negatively affect the visa procedure.

What is Attestation?

Attestation in Dubai is the process by which certain government and government-sponsored agencies check and verify legal documents to make sure that they are genuine. This procedure is necessary, especially when moving to another country on a long-term basis, so the authorities know who you are, what your intentions are, and also, by getting your documents attested, you can legally use them in the country where you are moving to. Attestation is a long-drawn process and is slightly complicated, so it is best to hire a service that can make the work easier for you.

Here are the documents you need to get attested:

    • Educational Certificates: These are another set of documents that are required to be presented for attestation, irrespective of the reason you wish to move to the country. Not only do they provide crucial information about your academic background, but they are also useful in verifying data mentioned in other certificates. These include Degree and/or Diploma certificates , Certificate courses, Senior Secondary School Leaving Certificate, High School Certificate, etc.
  • Commercial Documents: It is mandatory to provide these documents or certificates when you are moving with the intention of starting a business, beginning a new job or whether you wish to settle there with your family. They provide information on your employment status, your business ventures, your company, financial assets, etc. Commercial Invoice, Letter of Incorporation, Power of Attorney, etc.

When getting your documents attested in Dubai, there is a certain method to follow, which must be well understood, since missing out on getting them attested by one agency means the subsequent ones won’t stamp them either. Here is the procedure:

    • Notary Attestation: First and foremost, your documents must be attested or stamped by the Notary Department in your city or state. You can go to the Public Notary office or the Collector’s office.
    • Home Department/ HRD Attestation: Your personal certificates and your educational documents must be attested by the State Home Department and the Ministry of Human Resource Development, respectively, once they have been attested by the Notary.
    • Ministry of External Affairs: It is that department of the central government which deals with the foreign matters of the country, and thus, it is important to have your documents stamped by it.
    • Embassy Attestation: Once the MEA has attested your documents, you need to go to the embassy of the country you wish to visit, in your city or state, to get them stamped.
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs: MOFA is the government department that deals with the country’s foreign affairs and must attest to your documents. MOFA attestation is required only if it is a Gulf country like UAE, and you do not need to be physically present for the procedure.

What is Notarization?

Notarization is quite similar to attestation since it, too, is the process of ensuring that the concerned documents are absolutely authentic, the signatures real, the parties involved in the agreement or contract did so without coercion and intended to fulfill their terms mentioned in it. Notarization is done by a third party and is thus an impartial verification of your documents. The main aim of notarization is to prevent any sort of fraud that can be committed via the documents or certificates.

That is where the main difference lies between attestation and notarization. Attestation is done with the aim of having a witness sign certain documents and can be carried out by a number of agencies or authorities while notarization is done to prevent any fraudulent activities on the part of either of the signees and can only be performed by the local Notary Department. While you need to have a particular set of documents attested or stamped by different government departments when moving abroad, you do not need to get them notarized; you merely need to get the documents attested by the Notary Department.

The Notary Department performs three kinds of notarizations; Acknowledgements, Jurats, and Certified copies, and there are three steps involved in the process, which are as follows:

  • The first step is the screening of the signee to verify their identity and to find out about their will and awareness in signing the document.
  • Next is recording the details of the notarization into the Notary’s journal. Sometimes the parties involved in the contract or those who signed the document might be required to sign or leave a thumbprint in the journal as proof.
  • The final step is issuing the notarial certificate, which states that those that signed the document did so with full awareness and intent and that the documents are completely authentic. The Notary signs the certificate and puts a seal of the office, which is universally recognized.

If you are still unsure about how to go ahead with the attestation and notarization process in Dubai, then consulting professional service providers could be preferable choice for you.

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