The U.S. participates in the Hague Convention abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. All original U.S. birth certificates, court -approved custody agreements, divorce decrees, and teaching licenses are public documents, so they meet this standard. Also, the original state-certified Articles of Incorporation and other state-certified business documents fall into this category.
The UAE did not agree to that Hague Convention. However, a public document issued by the U.S. state or federal government, and bearing the official seal of the issuing body does NOT need to be stamped again, legalized, or notarized in order to be used in the UAE. For example:
When I did the preliminary steps for UAE citizenship in May Protected content , my original U.S. birth certificate was accepted without authentication. When my American-Palestinian friend sponsored her 3 sons, neither their birth certificates nor their custody orders required authentication.
Additionally, an original document issued by an educational institution, which bears the seal of that institution, is accepted in the UAE for purposes of a work visa. However, a photocopy of my diploma from a U.S.institution was accepted.
If you would like to get a U.S. document legalized/authenticated for use in the UAE, then you must follow the steps below. The UAE Embassy in the Washington, DC will not simply stamp any documents that you send. There is a process called legalization (also known as authentication) which you must go through, if you desire to be sure that it will be recognized in the UAE.
Authentication/Legalization Step 1: If the document is a state-issued document, you must go to the Secretary of State of your state first and get the Apostille. (authentication) They will authenticate it. If it is a federally-issued document, then go to Step 2.
Authentication/Legalization Step 2: You must submit the original birth certificate or the original notarized other document to the U.S. Department of State, along with a form DS- Protected content and a check or money order for $8.00 per document.
A notarized ("attested") public document will NOT be authenticated; all public-issued documents must bear the official seal of the issuing body. You should expect to receive the document within 15 days Protected content days). You should use Fedex or another courier, if you are in a rush.
Authorization/Legalization Step 3 Submit the document to the UAE Embassy in Washington, along with the appropriate fee You should get the documents back within another 20 days.