pexels-photo-862730.jpegDisclaimer: The following post relates to authenticating documents in the State of Texas for the United States. Each state and each country has their own set of rules related to authenticating documents. Please view the authentication guide provided by your recruiter for specifics related to your country. 

After receiving an offer letter, the initial step is to accept or decline the offer. This is done by signing the letter, and emailing it back to your recruiter. The sooner the better, but I think there are seven (7) days to do so, but don’t quote me on that. After accepting the offer, then beginnith the arduous task of authentication.

My Spring Break started the week after I accepted the offer, so I made the most of the week off, and headed for Austin, TX (the state capital) to begin authentication. Oh, let me back up. Actually, before heading to Austin, I headed to the UPS store. Here are the four (4) steps of authentication for the U.S.:

  1. Notarize a COLOR copy of the highest degree conferred and teaching certification STEP ONE
  2. Take the notarized copies to the state capital (for me this is where Austin comes in) STEP TWO
  3. Take the authenticated documents from state capital and mail them to the US Department of State in Washington, D.C. (STEP THREE)
    1. Note: This is by far the longest step. The documents are mailed to a P.O. Box this is only checked once a week
    2. Absolutely be sure to send priority (for tracking purposes)
  4. Send all authenticated documents to the UAE Embassy in Washington, D.C. (STEP FOUR)
    1. Absolutely be sure to send priority (for tracking purposes)

So, back to my story. To cut down on costs, I decided to do all steps of authentication myself. Using the endorsed agency would have cost HUNDREDS of dollars, and I did not have that type of money. So, to Austin I headed. I met up with another hopeful (who I connected with on Facebook in one of the hopefuls’ group), and we both completed the Austin step (step 2). Each document cost $15 to be authenticated, so my total was $45. I had my teaching certificate, degree, and marriage license authenticated.

After completing step one and two, I progressed to step three. My three authenticated documents were sent to the US Department of State. Each document cost $8 to process. The wait was horrendous! My documents sat in the P.O. Box a week before even being processed. But, the silver lining was receiving personally signed documents from John Kerry a.k.a. the man who could’ve been the president of the United States!

After completing step three, I was finally on to step four a.k.a. the most expensive step. All documents were sent to the UAE Embassy in Washington, D.C. Each document cost $45 to process. Like individually. Like seriously. And they only accept postal money orders or cashier’s checks. Luckily for me, I only had three documents to get attested. I feel for the people who have kids’ birth certificates, custody papers, etc to get attested.

Once the documents returned, they were bound together with a shiny seal from the embassy. DO NOT DISASSEMBLE. It will invalidate the documents. They are official being bond together.

The final step was to send COLOR scans to the documents department. Yes, you have to scan the front and back of EACH document without separating them. It is hard, but doable.

TIP: Use a flatbed scanner and PDF merge.

The entire process from start to finish took about five weeks, but saved me hundreds of dollars.