An official website of the United States government

April 19, 2018

Please note: If you are applying for a UAE residency visa, you may be told to have your civil and educational documents “stamped” or authenticated at the U.S.  Embassy.  This is not a service that the Embassy can provide.  Please see the section below on Document Authentication.  In addition, the Consular Section does not/not make certified copies of non-federal documents such as educational degrees and US state birth certificates.

Documents issued in one country which need to be used in a foreign country, such as powers of attorney, affidavits, and birth, death and marriages records, must be “authenticated”, “attested” or  “legalized” before they can be recognized as valid in the foreign country.

UAE Document Authentication

You may authenticate UAE documents originating in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in Abu Dhabi.  Once the MFA has authenticated the document you may schedule a notary or other services appointment at the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi to authenticate the MFA signature.  The fee for each MFA signature authentication is US$50 or the equivalent in UAE dirhams.  This is payable in U.S. dollars, dirhams, or by credit card.

Please note, if your document was authenticated by the MFA in Dubai or any other the Northern Emirate, then you will need to authenticate the documents in our Consulate General in Dubai.

U.S. Document Authentication

We recommend that U.S. citizens authenticate their documents (especially educational certificates and marriage certificates) in the U.S. before coming to the United Arab Emirates. The Embassy is unable to authenticate documents.

If the document is for use in the United Arab Emirates, you must complete the “chain authentication process” in which a series of authorities will affix a succession of seals beginning with your document and ending with the seal of the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC and the appropriate office of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

How to Authenticate a Document

STEP ONE:  Obtain the document and complete the first authentication:

  • Documents issued by educational institutions (college degrees, vocational/educational certificates, transcripts):
  • Documents issued by educational institutions should be originals and be obtained from the educational institutions themselves. Most schools have notaries public to provide certified copies of the degrees or transcripts. Once issued, these documents must then be authenticated by the state’s Secretary of State. Contact the school to determine how best to have your document authenticated by the state’s Secretary of State. In some cases, you may be required to bring the document to a county office for authentication, and  only then have it authenticated by the state’s Secretary of State.

Documents issued by a U.S. State:

State documents are those originating with a state court or agency (birth, death, and marriage certificates, etc.).  They must be authenticated by that state’s Secretary of State.  Contact them or send your original document or its certified copy for initial authentication of the town/county/state’s issuing officer.

Information on the offices of Secretaries of State for the U.S. states is available at:


Notarized documents:

The procedure for authenticating documents executed before a notary public, such as affidavits or acknowledgments, varies from state to state. It is advisable to contact the state authentication authority to learn what steps, if any, are required between the notary seal and the state level authentication.

Documents issued by federal agencies:

If your document was issued under the seal of a federal agency, it does not require a state level authentication. You may proceed directly to Step Two.

Documents issued by federal courts:

Documents issued under the seal of a federal court should be sent to:

Justice Management Division, Security Program Staff
Physical Security Office, Room 6531
9th and Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C.  20530

Telephone: (202) 514-2314 or 514-4667

STEP TWO: Get your document authenticated by the U.S. Department of State Authentications Office

Once you have completed the state level authentication, you must get your document authenticated by the U.S. Department of State Authentications Office. There is a fee of $8.00 for each authentication. You may pay by a check drawn on a U.S. bank or a money order made payable to the Department of State.

Department of State Documents Authentication Office
518 23rd ST. N.W., SA-1, Columbia Plaza
Washington, D.C. 20520
Telephone: (202) 647-5002 or 1-800-688-9889, FAX: (202) 663-3636,
E-mail: aoprgsmauth@state.gov


Processing time for authentication requests sent by mail is five working days or less. For additional information, call the Federal Information Center at 1-800-688-9889.

STEP THREE:  The final authentication at the UAE Embassy in Washington DC:

You must submit the chain of authentications to the UAE Embassy in Washington DC for their final authentication.  You may contact the UAE Embassy at:

The Embassy of the U.A.E.
3522 International Court, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037
Telephone: (202) 243-2400


Click for additional information on Authentication of Documents.