MOFA Attestation: Procedure for Personal and Commercial Documents

MOFA attestation refers to the final verification process of a certificate or document that involves getting the stamp and seal of the authorized Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) personnel. The UAE requires completing MOFA attestation because it is the highest form of legalizing to assess the authenticity and originality of any document regardless of whether the document has been issued within the country or outside the country.


There are several scenarios when a person needs to obtain MOFA attestation for their document and certificate legalization. Some of these are:

  • When a person needs to obtain a labor card or an employment visa for the UAE
  • When a person wants to obtain a residency permit or family visa
  • When a person seeks to gain access to the right of selling or owning property in the UAE
  • When a person applies for a higher degree of education in the UAE

What documents are required for MOFA Attestation?

One may need to submit some or all of the following documents (may need other documents as well) depending on why you are going to the UAE.

Personal Documents

  • Degree and other educational certificates
  • Medical reports and certificates
  • Experience certificates
  • Birth and death certificates
  • Marriage (and/or Divorce) certificates
  • Power of attorney documents


Commercial Documents

  • Budget approval
  • Recruitment contracts
  • Official pledges to start or close a business
  • Product registration
  • Trademark registration
  • Partnership withdrawal

What is the procedure of MOFA Attestation?

In order to get the MOFA attestation, your documents will be scrutinized by several departments upfront.

  • Notary – You need to get your documents notarized by authorized government personnel.
  • Home Department – After notarization, the Home Department of your state (where documents were issued) will attest the document. Assessment by the Home Department after notarization is essential for only personal documents.
  • Sub-Division Magistrate – For educational documents, the SDM will affirm the originality of the documents with the concerned school or university. Once the verification is complete, the SDM attests the documents with an official signature and stamp.
  • MEA – Once the documents are attested by SDM or Home Department, they will be examined, signed, and stamped by the Ministry of External Affairs (if you are travelling from India).
  • UAE Embassy – Now, your documents will be verified by the UAE embassy to check the authenticity of the documents.
  • MOFA – Once your documents are verified by the UAE Embassy, they are forwarded to the MOFA. MOFA attestation of your documents is the last step of the attestation process.


What about MOFA Attestation of Commercial Documents?

When it comes to attesting commercial documents, MOFA attestation can be a more complicated process. First of all, you need to know that MOFA attestation is essential for you to open a bank account, set up a company, or secure a loan in any of the emirates. The process involves a detailed verification and assessment.You might also need translation services because the official language of the UAE is Arabic and it is used in all legal documentation and tasks. Apart from the departments mentioned above, your document may also be scrutinized by other relevant authorities, such as the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, mainland or free zone authorities based on the nature of your request.You can easily gather that the whole process of attestation of personal as well as commercial documents is not easy. It is time-consuming, requires lots of legwork, and several visits to government offices. Thus, it is always a wiser choice to find a reliable attestation agency that can help you with MOFA Attestation.
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