Attestation Requirements for a Family Visa In the UAE

View of Burj Khalifa

No matter what part of the world you’re moving to, the idea of starting from scratch and taking the whole family with you to a new place is always overwhelming.

Packing your belongings, selling your stuff, wrapping up your life, and moving to a new country is hard enough, but there are a ton of other daunting tasks that come with it—mainly to do with paperwork.

Relocating to another country involves lots of documentation. Unless you’re moving to your home country, most places will demand attested certificates as part of your visa application.

Unless your documents are in order, you won’t secure a valid visa and have a hard time moving.

The UAE is one of the most diverse nations in the world. It proudly boasts an expat majority, with 88.52% of its population comprising international citizens. The UAE has hosted documents for decades. It may not offer naturalization, but it offers various long-term residential visas that allow international citizens to study, work, run businesses, and even retire in the country.

As long as you abide by the rules, you can live a happy and healthy life in the UAE.

Here’s why expat families continue to flock to Dubai and other emirates:

1. Free Zones Areas for Expat Entrepreneurs

In the last couple of decades, the UAE has made it easier for expatriate entrepreneurs to set up and run businesses in the country by introducing “free zones”. These are designated areas across the emirates where entrepreneurs and international corporations can operate without needing an Emirati business partner.

Since free zones were introduced, the UAE has seen a spike in successful small businesses and innovation.

If you’re an entrepreneur who thinks you can benefit from business opportunities in the UAE, it’s time to make the move!

2. Live Without Taxes

Perhaps the greatest perk of relocating to the UAE is that it doesn’t have tax laws. Both expatriates and Emirati residents can enjoy tax-free living. You don’t have to worry about income tax, and companies aren’t required to pay corporate tax either.

Without tax laws, international workers and businesses can build wealth much more easily than they would in countries with taxes.

Aside from tax-free living, the UAE also has low custom duties on international goods, allowing businesses to run operations freely.

Expatriate families from the West who pay 25-50% tax on their earnings in their own countries can save large amounts of money by living in the UAE.

Many employers pay for accommodation and education for high-ranking executives, so that you can save more money.

3. Relocation is Easy

Downtown Dubai

Since the UAE has such a massive expatriate population, it’s made relocation relatively simple. Once expat families obtain a valid residential visa and receive their emirates ID, they can find a home, a car, and school pretty easily.

The UAE implements strict rules and regulations to prevent immigration fraud and forgery. Its document attestation requirements serve as a screening process that identifies potential troublemakers even before they enter the country.

UAE Residential Visas

All expatriates relocating to the UAE must obtain a valid residential visa.

  • Student visas are issued to students who want to pursue higher education in UAE universities.
  • Employment visas are issued to workers taking jobs in the UAE.
  • Family visas are issued to families of international citizens living and working in the country.

Business visas are issued to entrepreneurs, and retirement visas are issued to people who wish to retire in the UAE.

What Are the Attestation Requirements for the UAE?

Dubai Marina

For countries like UAE that see expatriates come and go every day, it’s important to maintain a record of everyone coming and leaving.

The UAE witnessed the greatest influx of expatriates in the early 2000s when its major cities (Dubai and Abu Dhabi) invested heavily in its tourism industry and supported budding businesses by introducing free zones.

During this period, Dubai took on the task of building the world’s tallest building, along with other globally recognized tourist attractions. Development in the country was at an all-time high, and thousands of job opportunities opened up, attracting international workers from all parts of the globe.

Like other major countries, the UAE demands all international citizens to submit attested legal documents prior to applying for a residential visa. If the attestation requirements aren’t met, the visa application will not go through.

The document attestation process is essentially a vetting procedure. It prevents crimes like identity theft, forgery, and fraud.

UAE Document Attestation Procedure

Documents need to be authenticated by the issuing country before it can be submitted to UAE government authorities.

Each country has its own authentication requirements; completing document attestation in some countries can take a couple of days, but in other places, it can take up to 5 weeks.

Once the issuing country legalizes the documents, it will be submitted to the UAE Embassy/Consulate in the issuing country before being forwarded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in the UAE.

The MOFA in Dubai oversees all certificates submitted by expatriates moving to the UAE.

What’s the Best Way to Get My Documents Attested for UAE Visas?

Expat families have two main options for legalizing their documents for the UAE; they can either choose to go about the process themselves or hire a document attestation agency.

Going through the certificate legalization procedure yourself is a daunting, time-consuming task. Depending on where your documents were issued, you’ll have to gather information on 3-4 government authorities involved in the attestation process and then submit/pick your documents in time. It’s not the most convenient solution—especially when you’re not in the issuing country.

Even when you submit documents through a courier service, any mishap will result in a loss of an important certificate that plays a role in your future.

Hiring A Document Attestation Agency

By hiring a document attestation company, you can rest assured that your documents will be legalized in time for your visa application.

Document attestation agencies keep a close watch on the UAE’s changing laws, so they have all the information they need to get your documents attested on the first try without any trouble.

These companies save you money, time, and effort. All you have to do is submit copies of your certificates and passport to get a free quote. You can begin the attestation process as soon as you pay the service fee.

The author of this post is a long-time resident of the UAE and a contributor for Benchmark Attestation in Dubai that offers timely Degree certificate attestation for UAE residential visas.