Moving to Dubai - #2 Passports and Paperwork Needed to Move to Dubai

Published: 14 Jul at 12 PM
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Filed: Expat Guide to Dubai,United Arab Emirates
Paperwork and passports are both vital for a move to Dubai.

Firstly you need to have at least 6 months validity on your passport and since your visa will be issued based on your passport, ensure the applications are done in the same name as on your passport. If you’re married and have changed your name, ensure the name on your marriage certificate is the same on your passport, because you will need to submit both documents to obtain your visa (if you are entering the UAE on a spousal visa).

Consider that renewing your passport can take several weeks so ensure you leave your self an adequate amount of time to do this.

For the visa process you will need several passport photographs, on a white background and to be safe, I would get two sets done; one in the standard British sizing and one in the UAE sizing which is 5x5cm. I haven't needed to produce my birth certificate so far, however I have obtained an extra, official copy from my local registrar in London, just in case it is needed. An official copy of your birth certificate can be obtained from the registrar where your birth was registered and can be done within one day for approximately £10 per copy. To obtain a visa for a child, you will be required to produce the birth certificate, which states that you are the child's parents. I am not relocating with children so during your planning stage, you should consider the documents needed for children accompanying you.

If you are married and will enter the UAE under your husband’s visa, your husband must ensure his income is above AED 4000 a month, a requirement by the UAE authorities. You will need to have the marriage certificate attested for it to be recognized by the authorities in the United Arab Emirates. It is important to note here that if your entering under your employment visa, then this will not be required but it is still valuable to attest the marriage certificate because you may be asked to provide it at some point. Additionally if you are entering the UAE under your wife's visa, there are specific rules concerning this, which should be researched. Expat Woman have prepared a useful article which easily outlines the requirements.

I' m not going to lie, attesting documents is a pretty tedious process. As per the UAE embassy website's guidelines, any documents submitted to them must first have been certified by the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO). The FCO website has a really handy document finder which allows you to select the documents you need certified and gives you the guidelines and process for having these done. This can be found here.

Each document certified by the FCO costs £30 and there is an additional charge for return posting, which is available by a number of methods. Info you are posting documents from the UK I advise sending them by the Royal Mail signed for service. An application form, available on the FCO website must be completed and printed to be included in the envelope along with your certificates. Additionally, a print out of the online payment confirmation must also be sent in the envelope to the FCO. Documents, provided that they meet the requirements and payment has been made, are usually returned within 2 or 3 working days.

A marriage certificate can be sent directly to the FCO, but to certify a degree certificate this must be first authorized by a Notary Public. A Notary Public is an individual authorized to Legalize documents such as a degree certificate; they will make a copy of the degree certificate and attach a cover letter to it stating this is an authorized document. It will then be stamped and signed with the Notary Publics stamp. To find a Notary Public, visit the official organization website in the UK which will help you find one locally. When attending the appointment ensure you take a form of photographic ID and proof of address. The degree certificate can then be sent to the FCO for certification.

The documents can now be attested by the UAE embassy. In order to do this you must attend the embassy in person and take the relevant documents. They offer a one-day service provided you submit your documents before 2pm. They will be available for collection between 2.30 and 4pm, however be prepared for a bit of a wait and my advice is to submit your documents as early in the morning as possible. Each document to be attested costs £30.

I have covered the documents I personally needed for my move to Dubai, however you may need additional documents not mentioned above. If you need to attest other documents visit the embassy website and the FCO website for guidance.

About the author

Expat Blog ListingMimi is a British expat living in United Arab Emirates. Blog description: The life and loves of an expat now living in Dubai, have relocated from Cyprus. From food to fashion, photography, design, art, culture, lifestyle and the weather.
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