Help for British nationals overseas – guidance

Notarial and documentary services guide for the United Arab Emirates

Documents, certificates, letters and notes available at British embassies in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Introduction

British consulates in the United Arab Emirates issue a range of legal documents for British nationals. An appointment must be made for each service.

If there is no specific formal requirement for a notarial service or certificate to be provided by the British consulate, local notaries or lawyers can sometimes provide these services more conveniently, quickly and cheaply.

It is essential to check with the relevant authority (town hall/registry office/tax authorities/foreigners office, etc) either in the UK, United Arab Emirates or a third country, where the consular certificate or service will be accepted. Only the relevant authority can confirm which service you will require. This information cannot be verified by the British consulate.

Fees for consular certificates and documents are paid at the consulate on the day of the appointment and can be paid by credit card or in cash.

Refunds will not be given for certificates or notarial services that are not accepted by the requesting authority.

If you cannot find what you are looking for in the list below please see the our services section for British Embassy Dubai or British Embassy Abu Dhabi or see the list of services provided by other authorities.

From January 2014, the services we provide

  • issuing affidavits for marriages performed in other embassies, UAE Churches, Abu Dhabi and Dubai Courts
  • issuing a letter in standard english for no objection to adopt

All customers for these services must make an appointment using the links below:

In exceptional circumstances we will also:

  • administer an oath or attest a British national’s signature on a declaration or affirmation where evidence has been produced that the requesting authority will not accept any alternatives
  • consular civil marriages (if no other option available in the UAE is evidenced)

All customers for these services should email us at consular.uae@fco.gov.uk.

For all services:

  • you must make an appointment
  • bring your passport with you
  • bring proof of your physical, residential address
  • all documents provided must be originals
  • appear in person at the embassy

Marriages

Know what your options are if you would like to get married overseas.

If you are getting married in the UK then you should contact the registrar in the county the marriage will take place. It is not possible to process any paper work overseas and will need to be completed in the UK.

If you require a Marriage Affidavit/Affirmation to marry in the UAE, please see the information below. A Marriage Affidavit/Affirmation is valid for three months.

If you want to apply for this service you must be a British passport holder and at least one party must be resident in the UAE. If you are a dual national and have entered the UAE on another passport, then you are currently in the UAE as a national of that country and should contact that Embassy to perform this service. The Embassy has no responsibility if the services provided are not required.

You would need to produce the following original documents at your appointment:

  • your passport with the data page and UAE Residency or entry visa.

  • the data page and residency visa/UAE entry stamp in your fiancé(e)’s passport. If not resident then passport copy or copy of their ID card if they are not British.

  • proof of full residential address such as a utility bill, e.g. DEWA bill, rental contract, title deed etc. (PO Box alone is NOT acceptable). If your contract is in your company’s name we would require a letter from your company to state your home address and that they are providing you with accommodation along with a copy of the tenancy contract. If you are living with your parents or friend, we would need a letter from the person in whose name the tenancy contact is stating that you are living in that property together with a passport copy of the person and a copy of the contract.

  • if you or your fiancé(e) has been previously married, your divorce decree absolute or final order or the death certificate of your/their spouse.

  • completed and typed Affidavit or Affirmation in word format (we will send this after you receive your confirmation email). Please send the completed document to us by email to either Consular Dubai or Consular Abu Dhabi.

Book an appointment for a Marriage Affidavit/Affirmation in Dubai

Book an appointment for a Marriage Affidavit/Affirmation in Abu Dhabi

Issuing a no objection to adopt letter

The British embassies in Abu Dhabi and Dubai are unable to advise on the legalities or the procedures for inter-country adoption. Further information can be found on the adoption pages and on the website of the Inter-country Adoption Centre.

The embassy will only become involved when the government of the country that the child is being adopted from requests a letter of no objection from the British authorities.

The embassies in Abu Dhabi and Dubai can only issue such a letter if at least one of the parents is not habitually resident in the UK. It is the responsibility of the prospective adoptive parents to check with a lawyer that they have not retained habitual residence in the UK and to prove this to the embassy. The embassy will need to see a sworn declaration, witnessed by a lawyer, confirming that the prospective adopted parents have received independent legal advice and that they are not habitually resident in the UK.

An example of the acceptable form of wording is “I (name) confirm that I have received independent legal advice and with reference to all the circumstances of my particular case and in light of existing UK law I can confirm that I am not habitually resident in the UK.”

Please ensure you bring this document to the appointment.

Other documents required:

  • Passport and copy

  • Residency visa and copy

  • Marriage certificate (original), if required

  • Partner’s passport and copy, if required

We cannot give guarantees that children adopted abroad will be eligible for British citizenship or be granted entry clearance. These are both granted at the discretion of the Home Secretary and decisions cannot be prejudged. We can only give a factual statement outlining the normal approach and procedures.

To request a no objection letter Click here to make an appointment in Dubai.

To request a no objection letter Click here to make an appointment in Abu Dhabi.

Administering an oath or attest a British national’s signature on a declaration or affirmation

If you require an oath, affirmation or declaration then you must prepare this statement and have it witnessed by a local lawyer or solicitor. You must check with the requesting authority what provider will be acceptable.

The British embassy will only provide this service where the requesting authority and the applicant can provide evidence that no other alternative is acceptable. You should email us at consular.uae@fco.gov.uk explaining in full detail why you need us to provide this service attaching the evidence and full contact details of the requesting authority. If approved, you will need to make an appointment for this service. You should prepare this document yourself or with the guidance of a legally trained lawyer. You are also required to use the embassy formats which will be provided only when the services has been agreed.

This service and the acceptance of the wording provided are at the discretion of consular staff and we can refuse to undertake any such service.

Certifying copies of British passports

We can also certify copies of British passports where evidence has been produced that the requesting authority will not accept any alternatives.

Fees

For the current fee, please see our consular fees information.

Proof of address and identity

We will need proof of your physical, residential address. This can either be a utility bill or a tenancy contract. If these are in your company’s name, please bring a letter from your company to say where you reside. You can send in copies for the purposes of confirming your appointment but you must bring the original documents when you come to the embassy.

Please bring your valid passport as proof of identity.

Informative notes

The British embassy no longer handles applications for renunciation and naturalisation or registration as a British citizen. All applications are now handled by the UK Border Agency.

From 1st October 2013, we will no longer provide notarial and documentary services to Commonwealth citizens in countries where they do not have any diplomatic representation, unless there is a clear UK connection to the document or service. For more details, please see the information note we have produced on the changes.

From 1st November 2013 the British embassies in Abu Dhabi and Dubai will no longer issue Visa Recommendation Letters to British nationals applying for visas to travel to any country. Visa officers are requested to accept a British passport as evidence of a person’s identity and nationality. If required, we have produced a Visa Recommendation Letter (PDF, 260KB, 2 pages) which can be used as necessary.

From 1st December 2013, the British embassies in Abu Dhabi and Dubai will no longer issue No Objection Letters to British nationals to sponsor their non-British spouse. We have notified the UAE Government. If required, we have produced a sponsorship note British nationals sponsoring a non-British Relative (PDF, 193KB, 2 pages) which can be used as necessary.

British nationals required to provide UAE authorities with British ID card as proof of identity, please refer to the Information note (PDF, 207KB, 2 pages) .

Services provided by other authorities

We have provided a list of local lawyers that can provide the following services:

  • witnessing signatures or administering declarations on powers of attorney
  • witnessing signatures or administering declarations on wills
  • witnessing signatures or administering declarations on company documents
  • witnessing signatures or administering declarations on name change deed polls and similar documents
  • certificates or statements of law in the UK
  • certified photocopies of British passports, UK educational documents (including those issued in the UK by a recognised institution and listed in the Legalisation Office website), British driving licences, British divorce decrees and foreign documents including passports, educational documents and ID documents
  • certifying your identity for British banks, building societies and other institutions

Copies of British birth, death & marriage certificates

For copies of British birth, death & marriage certificates visit the General Register Office website.

Renew British driving licences or provide certificates regarding British driving licences

Contact the DVLA.

Certificates of good conduct

For information on obtaining a Police Clearance Certificate / Certificate of Good Conduct from the UAE, visit the UAE Embassy website. More information is also on the Abu Dhabi e-government website, Dubai Police and Sharjah Police websites.

If you are asked for a “certificates of good conduct” or “police clearance certificate” from the UK Police, see the Metropolitan Police website.

Legalisation of signatures on apostilled documents for use in the United Arab Emirates

There are three steps you need to follow to have your United Kingdom document legalised for use in the UAE:

(1) The Legalisation Office, Milton Keynes.

Get the document legalised by the Legislation Office in the UK. Follow the steps on how to get a document legalised.

(2) UAE Embassy, London.

Have your document legalised by the UAE embassy in London. Once the Legalisation Office attests your document(s), you will need to take them to the UAE embassy in London for the next stage of the process. You can either go in person or send the documents by courier.

The address of the embassy is:

UAE Embassy,
48 Prince’s Gate,
London, SW7 2QA

Telephone: 020 7808 8306 Email legalisationuk@mofa.gov.ae

The Legalisation Department of the embassy is open from 9.30am until 1pm, Monday to Friday.

Up-to-date information, such as the current fees, can be found on the UAE embassy’s website. If sending by courier, check that the UAE embassy is aware of this and that they understand you are using a courier to collect the documents.

(3) Ministry of Foreign Affairs UAE

Have the document legalised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Once the UAE Embassy in London has attested the document, you will then need to go to the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the final step in the process.

This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the embassy by the relevant local authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice.

Educational certificate (UK)

To have your UK educational certificates legalised, follow the guidance on the British Council website.

Legalisation of signatures on apostilled documents issued in British overseas territories and non-represented Commonwealth countries for use in the United Arab Emirates.

As From the 1st October 2013, all apostilled documents issued in all British overseas territories will be legalised by the Legalisation Office in the UK. These countries are:

  • Anguilla
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Jersey
  • Guernsey
  • Gibraltar
  • Isle of Man
  • Cayman Islands
  • Bermuda
  • St Helena
  • Turks and Caicos
  • Falkland Islands

There are four steps you will need to follow to have these document legalised for use in the UAE.

(1) Country of origin.

The first step is to have the document apostilled and signed by the relevant authority in the country of origin.

(2) The FCO’s Legalisation Office, Milton Keynes.

The second is to have your documents legalised by the Legalisation Office of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Milton Keynes, UK.

Address for customers in the UK:

Legalisation Office,
Foreign & Commonwealth Office,
PO Box 6255,
Milton Keynes,
United Kingdom,
MK10 1XX

Address for customers from overseas:

The Legalisation Office,
Foreign & Commonwealth Office,
Hanslope Park,
Hanslope,
Milton Keynes,
United Kingdom,
MK19 7BH

The telephone enquiry line is open from midday to 4pm Monday to Friday, UK telephone 037 00 00 2244 or for international callers, 0044 207 008 5959

E-mail legalisationenquiries@fco.gov.uk or visit the information on getting a document legalised.

The documents can be sent by post (we recommend by courier or special delivery). These should be delivered during office hours: 9.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4pm Monday to Friday. You should state that the documents are for presentation to the UAE authorities, printing your name and address clearly. You must enclose a stamped returned address envelope with these documents. Your documents will normally be processed and dispatched within 10 days.

Please visit their website mentioned above for payment and fee details.

(3) UAE Embassy, London.

Once the Legalisation office attests your certificate(s), you may wish to arrange a courier to collect your documents from their office and transfer these to the UAE Embassy by courier as the FCO’s Legalisation Office does not perform this service. The third step is to have the FCO Legalisation signature attested at the UAE Embassy in London.

The address of the Embassy is:

UAE Embassy,
48 Prince’s Gate,
London, SW7 2QA
Telephone: 020 7808 8306

Email legalisationuk@mofa.gov.ae

The legalisation department of the embassy is open from 9.30am until 1pm, Monday to Friday. Up-to-date information, such as the current fees, can be found on the UAE Embassy’s website.

(4) Ministry of Foreign Affairs UAE.

Once the FCO signature is attested at the UAE embassy in London, you can take them to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dubai or Abu Dhabi for the fourth and final stage of attestation.

We will not be responsible for any documents or fees incurred by postage for any British Overseas documents sent to our office after 1st October 2013.

Legalisation of official signatures on apostilled documents issued in a Non Represented Commonwealth country for use in the United Arab Emirates

From 1 October 2013, we will no longer legalise signatures of non represented Commonwealth countries documents. These include but are not limited to:

  • Mauritius
  • Barbados
  • Seychelles
  • Bahamas
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago

If you require the use of these documents in the UAE you should contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in these countries for advice. You can also contact the UAE Embassy that is closest to these countries.

Data Protection

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office holds and uses data for purposes notified to the Information Commissioner under the Data Protection Act 1998 (which may be viewed at Information Commissioner’s Officer. Such personal data may be disclosed to other UK government departments and public authorities.

Disclaimer

This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the embassy by the relevant local authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. Accordingly the FCO and the British embassy will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. British nationals wishing to obtain any further information must contact the relevant local authority.