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Diploma Attestation

Among the many important tasks that both current and rising seniors have to keep in mind throughout the academic year is the degree attestation process.

Among the many important tasks that both current and rising seniors have to keep in mind throughout the academic year is the degree attestation process. Degree attestation is an important procedure, especially if one plans on working in the UAE or enrolling in a graduate program in Europe after graduation. Both the high school certificate and the NYU Abu Dhabi diploma must be attested.
Attestation is an official government stamp on your high school or university diploma that confirms the degree granting institution and the diploma’s existence and authenticity. The UAE requires all diplomas, whether obtained abroad or within the country, to be attested due to the increasing number of fake diplomas and fake accomplishment claims.
Everyone applying for an employment visa needs to have their diplomas attested, especially if it is a high-skill job. However, this process is mostly required for private sector companies. Alternately, attestation is not mandatory for employment in the UAE government or at many NYUAD departments.
It is important to note that a high school certificate of completion cannot be used as an equivalent to the examination certificate. Examples of acceptable certificates include the International Baccalaureate, A Levels or National Examination Certificates.
There are two steps to follow in order to have high school certificates attested. The first step is to bring the original diploma or certificate along with the certificates containing exam scores to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the country where the diploma was granted to obtain an official stamp. This process is country-specific and will take different durations depending on the country. The stamp from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will confirm the existence of the high school and that the diploma is recognized within the country’s education system. In some countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will require the diploma to be authenticated by the Ministry of Education in the same country prior to providing their official stamp.
The second step is to bring the stamped documents to the UAE Embassy located in the same country for a stamp. This process can cost up to 150 AED. This second stamp will confirm that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ stamp is authentic and is recognized by the UAE.
However, there can be some exceptions. What if the UAE does not have an embassy in your country? In that case, the relevant documents need to be approved by the country’s embassy in the UAE. For countries that do not have an embassy in the UAE — such as Mauritius, Jamaica or Moldova — the documents must be notarized by the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs accredited to the UAE. With this step, the process for attesting high school certificates is complete.
The next step is to attest the NYUAD Diploma, requiring both the high school diploma and the NYUAD diploma to be attested in the UAE. This step takes around three weeks and 450 AED when considering both attestation fees and taxi fare. There are three steps involved in NYUAD diploma attestation. The first step is to bring the attested high school diploma and scores to the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abu Dhabi. They have many attestation centers around the city. This process should only take ten minutes and costs around 150 AED. This stamp confirms that the diploma is legitimate and is recognized by the UAE foreign affairs mission.
The second step can only be done with the official NYUAD diploma, which can only be collected after graduation. Bring the attested high school diploma and the official NYUAD diploma to the UAE Ministry of Education, located in International Tower near ADNEC/Embassy District in Abu Dhabi, to request a certificate of equivalency for the high school diploma. The certificate of equivalency is a translation of your high school diploma to the UAE education system. This can take up to two weeks and costs about 75 AED. This step is where the UAE determines the equivalent of the high school diploma in their education system in order to translate the degree into their own metrics.
Once this step is complete, return to the Ministry of Education in the same location with your NYUAD diploma so they can put the final stamp on it. It costs about 50 AED. This final step takes ten minutes. However, sometimes, you may be asked for a letter from the NYUAD Registrar stating that you actually graduated. Students may want to collect this document from the Registrar prior to bringing their diploma for the final stamp.
Once the diploma has been attested, the next step is to apply for a UAE work visa.
If it is impossible to attest the diploma in the degree granting country, one can speak to their employer about the issue and they may be able to find an alternate solution. Certain solutions include changing the job title on the future employee’s labor visa to a profession that does not require attested diplomas, such as Sales Assistant. Changing the job title highly depends on the individual company’s and said company’s free zone agreements. If you were educated in a country other than your home country, it is likely that your home country recognizes the diploma. If it is the case that your home country recognizes your high school diploma, you may undergo the high school diploma attestation process in your home country.
There are certain services in the UAE that can do the whole attestation process for a fee. This process is only available for certain nationalities, including: US, Canada, most European countries, India, Pakistan and Australia.
Diploma attestation can be a long process, but it may prevent you from having to travel back to the UAE later in your career to complete the process. For this reason, it is safer to start attesting your high school diploma as early as you can while at NYUAD and complete the process as soon as you graduate.
Thirangie Jayatilake is Features Editor. Arame Dieng is a contributing writer. Email them at
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