UAE – Authentication and Legalisation – What do I do?

UAEIf you are sending your documents to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), you must follow a very specific process in relation to notarisation, authentication and legalisation – especially if those documents are signed in or originate from Australia. In this article, we discuss some of the issues that our clients face, and how we help our clients, when sending documents to the UAE.

All documents from Australia to the UAE must be first notarised and/or authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) before being legalised by the UAE Embassy in Canberra. Over the years we have assisted many clients with various personal documents, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and education qualifications, and powers of attorney for a personal purpose as well as commercial documents such as company constitutions and resolutions, commercial contracts and agreements or powers of attorney for a business purpose.

If you have been keeping up to date with our regular articles and posts on this website, you will also be aware that people travelling to or through the UAE with medicines, especially prescription medicines have been warned to ensure that their prescriptions or medical documentation supporting the use and possession of those medicines have been properly notarised, authenticated and legalised as well. Depending on the medicine, failing to do this properly or following the required steps could result in criminal prosecution in the UAE.

What documents need to be notarised?

Generally, any document that is not an original government document must be notarised. For example, if you are sending your Australian birth certificate or marriage certificate to the UAE, you can obtain an authentication from DFAT on that original certificate. However, if you intend to keep your original certificate and send a certified copy of that certificate, then that certificate must be certified and notarised by a public notary. If you are sending your own document, such as a statement, company resolution or power of attorney, it must also be notarised by a public notary and generally you would need to have your signature witnessed by a public notary before the public notary notarises the document for you.

Can I use a Justice of the Peace instead of a public notary?

If you need to have your document, which is not an original government document, authenticated by DFAT and legalised by the UAE Embassy, you cannot have it signed and certified by a justice of the peace (JP). DFAT will not recognise a JP for the purposes of authentication and therefore, DFAT will not authenticate your document if it is signed or certified by a JP – only by a public notary. The UAE Embassy will not legalise your document if it has not been authenticated by DFAT.

Why is authentication important for documents for the UAE?

Authentication by DFAT is confirmation by the Australian government that the document was either issued by a government office (if it is an original government document) or notarised by a public notary (if it is a notarised document). DFAT retain a copy of our public notary’s signature and seal for comparison and confirmation that our public notary is properly registered and practicing.

Why does the UAE Embassy need to legalise documents?

The process of authentication and legalisation of documents from Australia to the UAE provides confidence to whoever receives the document in the UAE. The UAE Embassy confirms that the document has been authenticated by the DFAT, which confirms that the document was properly notarised.

Where can I get more information?

If you need more information on the legal process involved in sending documents to the UAE, please visit the UAE Embassy website, the DFAT website or continue to read through the articles on this website. We regularly assist clients with sending their documents to the UAE for personal and business purposes. We are highly experienced with the process of notarisation, authentication through DFAT and legalisation with the UAE Embassy and provide our clients with fixed costs and a clear indication of processing times.