by Expatguru - 01/30/2015
"This article gives an overview of the procedure to be followed by western expatriates for attestation of degrees, which is mandatory if you are a job seeker in Saudi Arabia."
Saudi Arabia is home to thousands of expatriates, both qualified and unskilled. In recent years, there has been a spate of applicants obtaining work visas using fake degree certificates. In an attempt to curb such practices, the Saudi Government has put forth certain procedures to be followed by potential job seekers in the kingdom, in order to verify the authenticity of their certificates. Attestation of your degree certificates is now mandatory for job seekers in the kingdom.
If you hold a university degree, you must first submit the original certificate to the Registrar or the Records Office of your university. This is the first step. When the Registrar receives your certificate, he verifies whether the candidate has really completed his degree and whether the certificate has been issued by his university. He then prepares the file and hands it over to the regional commissioner or one of the senior officials authorized by the Saudi embassy in your country. (The authorized official varies as per country). The regional commissioner then puts his signature and vouches for the authenticity of the certificate. With this, the first part of the process is complete.
The next step is rather complicated and varies from one country to another. For citizens of UK and the US, it is the university which verifies the authenticity of your degree, unlike certain countries from the Far East where it has to be certified by the Ministry of External Affairs or equivalent.
The most important part next is that the certificate must now be attested by the Saudi Cultural attaché in your country. This is a new procedure which did not exist earlier. It is absolutely necessary that your employment contract be attested by the Saudi Chamber of Commerce as well as the Saudi Government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). These two attestations would have to be done in the kingdom and would be taken care of by your potential employer. You must send a whole bunch of documents to the Saudi cultural attaché. In the US, you MUST send a prepaid return label and envelope from the US Postal Service or UPS/FedEx). You must attach a copy of your passport, your name and social security number (if applicable), your employer’s name and copy of the employment contract, copy of your degree certificate and updated official transcript in a sealed envelope to the Saudi cultural attaché.
You must also attach a letter saying why you need the attestation and must mention the name of your university and telephone number / contact person in the records office, your School ID number a consent to the Saudi Cultural Mission to verify your certificate’s authenticity. For British citizens, you must email your documents to the Saudi Arabian Cultural Bureau in London (www.uksacb.org) with a request to your university to send an email confirmation to them.
Once the Saudi cultural attaché is satisfied about your certificate’s authenticity, he puts his seal on the certificate which completes the process. You are now ready to receive your employment visa on your passport !