The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) attestation process in the UAE is one we get countless questions about. How does the process work? Why is it required? How does it differ to the other attestation processes required by the UAE?
In this blog post, we'll clear up the MoFA attestation process by answering all of these questions, and more. Whether you're moving to the UAE for the first time or a seasoned resident, this guide will help you navigate the MoFA attestation process with ease.
What is MoFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) Attestation?
MoFA Attestation is the final piece of the puzzle that is UAE Attestation. The process is pretty simple really - send your document to the MoFA office nearest to you, and get it stamped by a government body to verify its authenticity. This is normally the final attestation process your document will need to go through, after having been attested in the country of origin.
In the UAE, MoFA attestation is required for certain documents, such as marriage certificates, degrees, and diplomas, to be recognised and valid within the country. This process involves verifying the authenticity of the document and ensuring that it meets the UAE's legal requirements. It is typically required for people who are moving to the UAE and need to use their documents for things like enrolling in schools or opening a business.
The MoFA Attestation process is also required to be able to apply for a residence visa, so without this process completed, you won’t be able to become legally resident in the UAE. It's recommended you do this process as soon as possible once your documents have gone through the rest of the attestation process to avoid any delays.
What kinds of documents will MoFA attest?
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs accepts a wide array of document types, such as:
- Birth, marriage and death certificates
- Degrees and other educational certificates
- Police Clearance certificates
- Medical certificates
- Bank statements and other financial documents
- Powers of attorney
- Certificate of Incorporation, Articles of Association and other commercial documents
These are just examples though - it's more than likely they'll be able to attest almost any document you send to them, especially if it's already been accepted by the UAE Embassy in your country. If you're unsure if your document will be accepted though, send us a scan of your document and we'll advise you on how to move forward.
How long does it take, and how much does it cost?
The MoFA Attestation service usually takes between 1 and 3 days to complete, depending on how busy they are and which service centre your document is sent to. Cost varies based on the type of document you're trying to attest. For any commercial documents like financial statements, articles of association etc. it's likely the charge will be a lot higher than for personal documents such as birth or marriage certificates, or degree certificates.
If you're applying yourself, you can fill in the form on the MoFA website which you can find here. Just bear in mind that you'll need to create a UAE Pass account if you don't already have one.
Can I take the document to the MoFA office myself?
Not in person, no, unless you're an Emirati, a Senior or a Person of Determination (the term for anyone with a disability in the UAE). The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stopped accepting in-person visits after the pandemic. Now all documents must be sent by courier to their office. You can make an appointment online here.
There are multiple MoFA offices across the UAE, so you can choose the one that's closest to you.
- In the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the MoFAIC attestation centre is located at the Yas Tasheel Center in Mussafah.
- In the Emirate of Dubai, customers can visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Dubai in Bur Dubai.
- In the Emirate of Sharjah, the MoFAIC attestation centre is located at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation office in the Al Dafeen area.
If you’re attesting a document with Vital, you can drop your documents off to our office and we’ll take it from there! Just get in touch with your requirements and we’ll be happy to help you in whatever way we can. Call us on +971 (0)4 871 6718, email us at email@example.com, or request a quote on our website here.
Is MoFA Attestation the only process my documents will need to go through?
Only if your document was issued in the UAE. If your document was issued anywhere else, MoFA Attestation is the final procedure of many that you’ll need to go through before applying for your residence visa. The process will differ depending on the country your documents were issued in, and the type of document you’re attesting. For example, the process for a UK-issued educational document involves:
- Certification by an FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) registered solicitor.
- Application of an Apostille by the FCDO, once they’ve confirmed the document is genuine.
- Attestation by the UAE Embassy in London.
- Attestation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the UAE.
Most countries follow the same general process - in-country verification to begin with (either with an Apostille or another form of authentication), followed by attestation at a UAE Embassy in the origin country, and then MoFA attestation once the document has entered the UAE. Keep in mind that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will only accept the document if it already has a UAE Embassy stamp from the country of origin, so it really does have to be the last step in the process before your legalisation can be deemed complete.
Get Started Now
If you're hesitant about undergoing the process yourself, we've got your back. Vital Certificates are experts in the attestation process, so we can help make sure your document gets accepted by MoFA in the UAE, first time, no matter where you're from. When you're ready, get in touch using one of the methods below.