Like me, you will be given lots of support (through webinars and documents such as the Pre-departure guide’ from TeachAway) to complete all of the paperwork and preparations prior to your departure. This said, I thought a separate post about the process of getting important documents attested for use in the UAE would still be helpful to some people as there seems to be lots of people asking about this on lots of the forums I am a member of.
As an aside, on the matter of forums, I would totally recommend joining any of the ‘ADEC hopefuls’ forums for the year that you apply (and possibly for the previous year) as there is lots of advice out there and you will get to know some of your future colleagues before departure. One word of warning however, be mindful of the fact that forums are public spaces and any employer, either current or future, would be able to view your comments. In the UAE, as with many other institutions and establishments in other parts of the world, online comments or criticism could reflect negatively on you.
Now, back to the process of getting documents attested – this depends on your country of residence. Here in the UK, original documents need to be sent to a solicitor to be verified as a true copy, then sent to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for Authentication and for a seal to be applied by the Apostille, and finally sent to the UAE Embassy to have a seal, stamp and signature applied. Without these steps being undertaken for all relevant documents, they will be invalid for use in the UAE. Fees apply at all stages.
As I was working full-time when I was trying to pull these documents together, and with a tight deadline around a holiday period to navigate, I opted to use Vital Certificates, a company who specialises in getting documents through this process quickly here in the UK. I’m sure similar companies exist elsewhere.
For a set per-document fee, they will manage the attesting process on your behalf, and although this was more expensive than trawling around to solicitors, etc myself or chasing documents through the mail, I was really happy with the service, their communication about where in the process the documents were at any given time and the overall process for receiving both the attested copies and my original documents back – just over 2 weeks from start to finish, over the UAE holiday period for National Day.
You will be provided with a list of the documents that you will need to get attested depending on your personal circumstances, which include things such as taking a spouse or children with you to the UAE.
An ‘Authentication Guide’ will be provided during the first webinar if, like me, you go through TeachAway.