How to apply for an equivalency certificate in the UAE

Once you’ve accepted a job in the UAE, chances are your employer will ask you to submit an equivalency certificate.

What is an equivalency certificate?

An Equivalency Certificate is a document issued from the Ministry of Education in the UAE to verify that a degree that has been awarded by a recognised institute outside the UAE and meets the academic criteria in the UAE, including international education standards.

An equivalency certificate would be requested by a majority of academic and vocational departments to guarantee the legitimacy of degrees and certificates.

This process of attesting that a certificate has been issued by a non-UAE establishment has been implemented to prevent the use of counterfeit educational degrees and certificates. This also includes certificates issued from online/distance learning methods. Certificates following the distance learning mode, open school or any academic study not associated with the educational system in the UAE will not be equalized.

The certificate can be presented to employers in the UAE and abroad to prove that the degree holder is fully qualified for a job.

Who needs an equivalency certificate?

This certificate can be obtained for anyone who holds any academic qualification such as a secondary school certificate, bachelor’s degree, master’s, or doctorate.

For certain professions, it is a requirement if you desire to continue with your education or to seek career prospects in the UAE.

Those who are required to apply for an equivalency certificate are:

Students

If you wish to pursue higher studies in the UAE, an equivalency certificate of your previous educational award will be required in order to apply for an intake.


Teachers, professors & faculty members

If you are planning to teach or become part of the faculty of a school/college or university, you are required to have your degree equivalised 


Engineers

If you wish to work within the engineering sector, you will need to apply for equivalency of your engineering degree, which is the prelude to registering for the Society of Engineering card (SOE). This is a requirement by the authorities of Dubai. 


Expats in government offices

If you are an expat applying for a government office role, it is likely you will need to get your degree equivalised, especially if it is within a technical and/or scientific field. 


Doctors, nurses & medical staff

In order to apply for your medical licence from the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP), Depart of Health (DOH) or Dubai Health Authority (DHA) an equivalised educational certificate is required to complete the process.


Individuals applying for the UAE golden visa

If you are looking to apply for the UAE golden visa, the application may require you to submit an equivalised educational award/certificate as part of the application process.

HOW CAN I GET A UAE EQUIVALENCY CERTIFICATE?

The application process usually includes completing a form and submitting it along with the required documents

The Ministry of Education then verifies the information submitted by the applicant. If the information is confirmed, the Ministry will issue the equivalency certificate. You can then present the certificate to an employer in the UAE to prove that you have the required qualifications to work in that field.

Step 1: Degree Attestation

You are required to get your Master’s or Bachelor’s degree (highest award you've achieved) attested by the UAE embassy of the country you obtained your award in. Note, if your degree was not issued in English or Arabic, you will be required to have this translated for when applying for the equivalency certificate.

Once attested, the following supporting documents will need to be submitted for equivalency:

If you are applying with a Bachelor’s degree:
  • The attested Bachelor's degree
  • Transcript
  • High school/Secondary school certificate
If you are applying with a Master’s degree:
  • The attested master’s degree
  • Transcript
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Transcript of the Bachelor’s degree

If you wish to get your documents issued from the UK attested, you can visit our UAE attestation page with the step by step process of what is required. We can have your certificate completed within 7-8 working days up to the UAE embassy consular stamp.

Step 2: Applying for a ‘Genuineness letter’

The UAE embassy or consulate will issue a genuineness letter to confirm your study at your college or university was taken place at an accredited institute. 

Although required from a small selection of countries, it is not required from all countries.

The United Kingdom is communicated through the cultural mission in London through the "smart chip”. UAE Embassies/Consulates in the United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Jordan are communicated through their respective cultural missions. Documents from these countries, do not require the genuineness letter.

Countries that are communicated through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation through the service of the "validity of my certificate" can be found here: https://www.moe.gov.ae/En/EServices/ServiceCard/Equ/Pages/CountriesList.aspx

The cultural attache of an embassy in the country will communicate with the college/university, requesting a set of information. If this information is considered valid, this will be passed onto the Ministry of Education in the UAE for validation.

Step 3: Applying for an ICA travel report

You will also be required to submit an ICA travel report for the equivalency process. The ICA report is issued by an immigration authority and shows the following information:

  • Exit dates
  • Entry dates
  • Location (ports of entry/exit) 
  • Applicant’s passport number
  • Additional immigration related details

The report will be issued either by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA), or by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).

How do I apply for an ICA travel report?

You can apply for an ICA report from any of the following:

  1. ICA customer happiness centre
  2. Tasjeel
  3. DubaiNow App – Dubai visa holders can apply for immigration services online, including the ICA report

Step 4: Apply for the equivalency certificate through the Ministry of Education portal

How do I get an equivalency certificate online?

Now that you have all the relevant documents, you can apply for the equivalency certificate through the Ministry of Education (MOE) website below:

https://www.moe.gov.ae/En/EServices/ServiceCard/pages/CertEquivalent.aspx

What documents are required for an equivalence certificate:
  1. Copy of a valid Emirates ID
  2. Copy of a valid passport and visa page
  3. ICA report – exit entry report
  4. Genuineness letter (if required)
  5. Attested degree/award
  6. Provide Arabic ministry exam for Arabic passport holders
  7. Provide Islamic studies ministry exam for Muslims

Required documents based on the curriculum:

CurriculumMOE requirements
American CurriculumCopy of graduation diploma
Copy of transcripts for grades 10, 11 & 12
Students are required to pass 5 approved subjects successfully (note: Arabic and Islamic Studies are excluded from these subjects)
Emirati students:
EMSAT English (minimum score: 1100)
EMSAT Math (minimum score: 500)
Resident students:
English: EMSAT English (minimum score: 1100) OR Academic IELTS (minimum score: 5.0) OR TOEFL IBT (minimum score: 61)
Math: EMSAT Math (minimum score: 500) OR SAT1 Math (minimum score: 450)
British CurriculumStudents are required to successfully complete Year 12/13
Successfully complete 5 approved ordinary Level, GCSE or IGCSE subjects with a grade of (A*, A, B, C, D or E)
(Note: Arabic and Islamic studies are not included)
Successfully complete two approved Advanced Subsidiary Level subjects or one approved Advanced Level subject with a grade of (A*, A, B, C or D)
International Baccalaureate (IB) DiplomaSuccessfully complete grade 12 or its equivalent
Successfully pass one of the following two tracks:
First Track (IB Diploma)
Obtaining the International Baccalaureate Diploma without considering the Islamic Studies as a required subject to obtain the diploma
Transcript related to the IB Diploma (in case the diploma certificate doesn’t contain grades)

Second Track (IB Certificate): 
Student must pass 6 subjects from the International Baccalaureate subjects (IB Subject Certificate) without considering the Islamic Studies as a required subject and according to the following conditions:
Minimum grade required for each subject is 3
Minimum overall grade required is 21
To pass the core subjects (English, Mathematics and a science subject) within the 6 required subjects in the High Level (HL) or Standard level (SL)
The subjects must be within the approved lists of the International Baccalaureate Organization
Canadian CurriculumThe final graduation diploma must be issued by the province that accredits the school
The student must pass grades 10, 11 & 12 according to the curriculum and the study plan of the province
Australian CurriculumThe final graduation diploma must be issued from the province that accredits the school
The student must pass grades 10, 11 & 12 according to the curriculum and study plan of the Australian state or the province
French BaccalaureateDIPLOME DU BACCALAUREAT
Successfully pass grades 10, 11 & 12 according to the curriculum
Russian Curriculum(Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, etc.)
Recognized high school certificate that follows the 11-year education program
A copy of the attested graduation certificate and an attested copy of the academic transcript for the last 3 years of study OR an attested copy of grade 9 certificate + an attested copy of certificate for the last 2 years of study
Indian and Pakistani CurriculumGraduation certificates for grades (10 & 12)
Academic transcript for both years attested by the educational board or council
Three-year diploma curriculum:
Diploma certificate + transcript of grades for three years attested by the educational board or council
Grade 10 certificate + transcript of grades attested by the educational board or council (all attestations)
Iranian Curriculum (12 years of study)Copy of graduation certificate
Copy of transcripts for grades 10, 11 & 12

What is the cost for an equivalency certificate?

According to the MOE website, the cost is 50AED to apply for the equivalency certificate.

How long does it take to get an equivalency certificate from the UAE?

On average it takes 5 working days. It may take longer, if your degree is obtained from an institute that requires further checks.

Aspire Attestation can assist with getting your documents attested in order to apply for your equivalency certificate, we cannot, however, provide an update pertaining to any submission made through the MOE website. 

If you wish to apply for UAE attestation, you can find more information on our UAE page at https://aspireattestation.com/uae/, and a member of our team will be in contact with you.

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