Certificate Attestation vs. Apostille: What's the Difference?

Certificate Attestation vs. Apostille: What's the Difference?

The confusion surrounding apostille and certificate attestation often leads individuals to interchange these terms. However, it is crucial to understand the distinctions between apostille and attestation. Let's delve into both aspects to clarify these processes and shed light on their dissimilarities.

Understanding Attestation

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has experienced a significant influx of expatriates seeking employment and entrepreneurial opportunities. To maintain organizational performance, verifying that individuals possess the requisite qualifications is imperative. Federal laws mandate the acceptance of only attested certificates to ensure their authenticity.

Attestation involves certifying the authenticity of a document through competent authorities.

The original certificate undergoes scrutiny starting from the issuing department. Officials then affix their signatures and seals, confirming the certificate's genuineness. Educational, non-educational, and commercial documents must be attested in the UAE. The process requires submitting certificates to the home country or country of origin, attesting to relevant authorities, and completing the final attestation at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). The use of certificates in the UAE is permissible only after the attestation process is concluded.

Importance of Document Attestation

Documents, including educational and commercial certificates, are only valid with proper certificate attestation. Both public and private authorities in the UAE reject applications outright if the attached certificates lack attestation. Attested certificates alleviate concerns regarding authenticity and qualifications, enabling the smooth processing of applications for jobs, business establishments, or permanent residence in the UAE.

Apostille: Basis and Limitations

The Hague Convention of 1961 forms the basis for apostille. This international treaty is signed by nations agreeing to use apostille to confirm document authenticity. Apostille certificates, issued by the country where documents originate, include seals and signatures of authorized officials, affirming their authenticity. However, it is essential to note that only countries that are part of the Hague Convention accept apostille. The UAE, not being a participant, renders apostille invalid within the country, necessitating document attestation.

Key Differences: Certificate Attestation vs. Apostille

Formulated according to federal laws in the UAE Made according to Hague Convention Treaty in 1961
Attestation done directly on the original certificate through relevant departments and ministries Apostille certificate issued separately, confirming document authenticity
Consular involvement mandatory for document authentication Established to avoid consular or diplomatic legalization
Attestation done directly on the certificate; language is not a barrier Formulated with numbered fields for universal understanding
- Not interchangeable; attested documents required for any purpose in the UAE


Lingoline – Trusted Attestation and  Legal Translation Company in Dubai

Lingoline services provide efficient certificate attestation services across the UAE, supporting expatriates and residents. Contact us to explore budget-friendly packages, and our professionals will facilitate the attestation of your documents, ensuring a seamless and reliable service. If you are in search of a trustworthy attestation service in Dubai, look no further.

Back to blog