July 26, 2020

Attested Documents Explained

If you are planning to move to Qatar to live, work or study, you will need to provide documentation to support your application. Documentation, such as educational qualifications, birth and marriage certificates, medical records, and professional qualifications, more often than not, require confirmation stamps, certificates and signatures to verify that the document is genuine. This process is called attestation or legalisation.

Attestation or Legalisation

An attested or legalised document is a notarised* document with a seal, signature or stamp that has been confirmed to be genuine by an authorised authority or individual. Once a document has been authenticated, a stamped official certificate (or an apostille** in some cases) will be attached to it.

*A notarised document is one that has the signature(s) of the person(s) authorised or required to sign it, and the signature of a notary public witnessing the signature(s), accompanied by an impression of his or her official notary seal. (A notary public is a person licensed by the government to perform acts in legal affairs, in particular witnessing signatures on documents.)

Prior to having your document(s) attested, you should also check whether your document needs to be certified, signed or dated by a Solicitor or Notary Public. Many documents already have the required signature or stamp and do not need further certification (i.e. birth certificates and marriage certificates). Other documents do need checking and certifying by a solicitor or a notary (i.e. company documents, personal papers and academic or qualification certificates).
**An apostille is a stamped official certificate that certifies that a document has been signed by a notary public. The apostille certificate makes documents from one country, valid in another, if they are both signatories to the 1961 Hague Convention.

Additional Information

Getting a document attested involves authorised authorities and individuals in your home country and those in Qatar (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs [MOFA]):

  • Generally, the relevant Government foreign office in your home country will be responsible for attesting notarised documents;
  • The Embassy of Qatar, located in your home country, will be responsible for attesting foreign office signatures, stamps and seals;
  • The MOFA in Qatar will provide the final attestation of the document.

To have a document attested, you will generally be required to provide a one or a number of the following:

  • All of the original documents that need to be attested.
  • A photocopy of all of the documents that need to be attested.
  • A photocopy of your passport and/or identification.
  • Any other supporting documents as required by the country you are moving to.

You can undertake the process of getting documents attested yourself prior to entering Qatar and on arrival. However, there are numerous third-party agencies, both in Qatar and abroad, specialising in providing attestation services - for a fee. These agencies undertake all of the processes involved in attesting your documents in both your home country and in Qatar.
We recommend you check with your home country’s foreign office and Qatari Embassy to confirm any necessary documents you may require prior to moving abroad.

Published: January 01, 2020
Last updated: July 26, 2020
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