I am looking for a job in Qatar and they informed me to attest my certificate and documents from the Qatar embassy. Do we need to do attestation for every country where want to go?
First of all, what is certificate attestation?
It is a kind of document legalization that is performed in order to prove its genuineness. Also, attestation is required only for the countries that are NOT a part of the Hague Convention. For those countries that are a part of the Convention, a different kind of legalization is performed, called apostille. In the case of Qatar, certificate attestation is performed because Qatar is not a part of the Hague Convention.
Why is attestation needed?
Mainly, the kind of attestation that is being referred to here is needed only in certain cases. It is generally done to show that the claimed original documents are credible and are acceptable. Since you are looking for a job in the country, certificate attestation is mandatory. Other scenarios where attestation from the embassy is compulsory is when you are applying for a long term resident visa or student visa or doing business with the country. Neither attestation nor apostille is required at the time of issuing short term visas.
What is the procedure for certificate attestation?
There are three different kinds of documents - personal, educational and commercial. For a job application, you will mainly require attestation of educational documents and perhaps some of the personal documents. Commercial document attestation is mainly required only for the businessmen looking for expanding their business or carrying out business deals overseas. Since there are different kinds of documents, the procedures shall differ as well. Well, there is a common hierarchy that is followed. It can be understood as follows:
It is the initial level of document authentication. There are different departments here for different kinds of documents as well.
- Notary - Personal Documents
- Issuing Board or University - Educational Documents
- Chamber of Commerce - Commercial Documents
There are three different departments here - Home Department, Human Resource Department (HRD), Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM). The SDM is independent of the state government, however, the attestation done here is still considered as state-level authentication. Also, commercial documents do not require state-level attestation.
- Home Department - Personal and sometimes Educational Documents
- Human Resource Department - Educational Documents
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is the central government department that attests the documents at the central-level. Generally, the MEA is the final certification in the case of an apostille. Although, there is further verification for attestation. Here, all three types of documents are verified by the department and a stamp is provided to be further verified by the Qatar embassy.
After obtaining a stamp from the MEA, Qatar embassy attestation is the next step. The embassy will provide a stamp on the documents and the certificates. However, this is not the final part of certificate attestation.
There is an additional level of verification in the case of Gulf countries, called MOFA attestation. MOFA is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that is a central government department in the Gulf countries correspondent to the MEA. This is done in the country of interest, Qatar in this instance. This is where the certificate attestation is complete.
The procedure for Qatar attestation is quite complicated to be carried individually. It takes about a couple of weeks to a month for completion depending on the type of the document. Also, the MEA and the Embassy do NOT accept individual attestation requests, you can get your certificate attestation by approaching the authorities through attestation agencies. This way, you are even assured that your documents are handled professionally.