Latest Application Form – Umm al-Qura University, Makkah

Bismillaah, ar-Rahmaan, ar-Raheem

Please download the latest official application form (Version: 7) for Umm al-Qura University, located in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, here:

http://www.freewebs.com/ahlussunnah/UQUApplicationFormv7.pdf

BarakAllahu Feekum. 

Authenticating/Certifying American Educational Documents

Bismillaah, ar-Rahmaan, ar-Raheem

The authentication (attestation) of your American educational documents (degrees, diplomas, transcripts) are done by the Office of Authentications in the U.S. Department of State.

Before you can submit your documents to the Office of Authentications, they must go through the following three (3) steps:

  1. You will need to get the documents notarized from a Notary Public. Just in case you do not know what a Notary Public is, it is well known so just ask around [or search on the Internet] and you should be directed to one. Make sure the one who notarizes your documents is from the same county that you live in [you will know why when you read step # 3].
  2. After having the documents notarized, you will need to go to the ‘County Clerks Office’. They certify documents according to the county which your document was notarized in. As for me, they did not certify my documents because they were from a different city, so I had to get them re-notarized from a Notary Public that they were familiar with and that was in the same county as well.
  3. After getting the documents certified by your county, you need to get them certified by the state as well. So you need to get the number for the ‘Secretary of State’ and have them certify your documents by the state.

You can read about these requirements in brief form [I tried to elaborate and explain above] on the section “Authetications Requirements” at the official website of the Office of Authentications (under the U.S. Department of State) here:

http://www.state.gov/m/a/auth/c16920.htm

After you have fulfilled the above three (3) requirements for each of the document which needs to be authenticated, you may mail/post the documents to the Office of Authentications, which is under the ’United States Department of State’. The address is as follows:

United States Department of State
Authentication Office
518 23rd Street, N.W. SA-1
Washington, D.C. 20520
 

The Authentication of documents takes approximately 5 business days to process from the time of receipt [Please note: U.S. Postal mail entering the U.S. Department of State must go through a screening process which may delay the time in which they will receive the document]. You must include a cover-letter (see here) with your name, telephone number, address and email address. You must also indicate the name of the country where the document will be used. Use a self-addressed stamped envelope for faster return of your documents. Documents received without a return evelope and postage will be returned through the State Department regular mail, which can result in a 2-3 week delay. You can use DHL, Fed/Ex, UPS and express mail services for faster receipt/return of your documents. However, you must enclose a prepaid airbill and envelope with the documents.

The authentication fee is $8.00 per document. A personal check or money order made payable to the U.S. Department of State must be submitted with the documents. Visa and Mastercard are accepted for Walk-in Service only.

For those living in the D.C. area or willing to travel personally to the U.S. Deparment of State, then you can submit your documents in person. If you have 15 documents or less, they will be processed while you wait. You may do this from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m, Monday to Friday, except Federal Holidays.

The location for the walk-in service is:

Authentications Office Columbia Plaza Store Front
518 23rd Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20520

For more information, please see the following section “Office of Authentications” at the official website of the U.S. Department of State:

http://www.state.gov/m/a/auth/

Obtaining the Letter of Approval (No Objection Letter) for Americans

Bismillaah, ar-Rahmaan, ar-Raheem

To obtain the letter of approval (no objection letter) granting you permission to study in Saudi Arabia from the American government:

  1. You will need to write up a letter of intent, which should be short and to the point. Mention the duration that you plan on staying for (number of years) and the location [keep it general and just say you plan on studying in Saudi Arabia, that way you can still use that letter for multiple universities]. You also need to put your name, passport number, and date of birth on it.
  2. After printing out this letter that you just wrote [as mentioned above], you will need to get it notarized from a Notary Public. Just in case you do not know what a Notary Public is, it is well known so just ask around [or search on the Internet] and you should be directed to one. Make sure the one who notarizes your document is from the same county that you live in [you will know why when you read step # 3].
  3. After having the letter notarized, you will need to go to the ‘County Clerks Office’. They certify documents according to the county which your document was notarized in. As for me, they did not certify my letter because it was from a different city, so I had to get it re-notarized from a notary republic that they were familiar with and that was in the same county as well.
  4. After getting the letter certified by your county, you need to get it certified by the state as well. So you need to get the number for the ‘Secretary of State’ and have them certify your document by the state.
  5. After getting the letter certified by both state and county, you need to send this document to the Authentication Office (Department), which is under the ‘United States Department of State’, to have your letter authenticated. The address is as follows:

    United States Department of State
    Authentication Office
    518 23rd Street, N.W. SA-1
    Washington, D.C. 20520
     

    For more information regarding this step, please see the following section “Office of Authentications” at the official website of the U.S. Department of State:

    http://www.state.gov/m/a/auth/

This might seem pretty overwhelming, but if you know the addresses of the places you need to go, then it should be very easy and simple, by the will of Allah.

May Allah reward the brother Fahmy for collecting the above information from a congressmen in his state.

May Allah help and aid you.

Things of Benefit – For Perspective Students

Bismillaah, ar-Rahmaan, ar-Raheem

All praise is due to Allah Lord of the worlds, and may the Salaat and the Salaam be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions.

Things that Help:

  1. Letters of recommendation (Tazkiyahs) by people known to the University, such as present or ex lecturers/professors at the University, or students who have graduated from the University.
  2. Having a current student speak to a lecturer/professor in the University so that he [the lecturer] can remind the administration of you as well as give in a good word for you.
  3. Having a current student visit the administration once in a while, reminding them about you and asking them about your paper work.
  4. Personally visiting the Islamic University of Madinah and getting interviewed. Usually those who personally come to get interviewed are given precedence over those sending applications by mail/post.

May Allah reward our brother Abu Abdul-Waahid Nadir Ahmad (graduate Canadian student from the Islamic University of Madinah) for presenting the beneficial information above. 

Things that Might Help (from Personal Experience):

  1. Those who have applied once to the Islamic University of Madinah, and did not receive acceptance, should visit the University to apply again. It seems, Allah knows best, that those who apply for the second time, are usually accepted. We know of three students at the Islamic University of Madinah who were blessed with acceptance from the same city consecutively over the last three years who had applied for the second time. This may be true especially in light of the fact that the official application form for the Islamic University of Madinah contains a question which reads: “Have you ever applied for admission to the Islamic University before?” 
  2. From personal experience, it seems, Allah knows best, that presenting your documents in a professional manner seems to impress the people working in the administration. So those who receive recommendation letters in hand-written form may type (word-process) them in Arabic, and print them out on a piece of letterhead paper containing the name, address, and contact information of the masjids or the centers of the Imams or du’aat in question who wrote the letters. Take these word-processed letters back to the Imams or du’aat in question who initially wrote the letters for them to check it and sign it. Also, it may help to translate your documents into Arabic, and word-process them in a professional manner, and Allah knows best. [For those residing in or around the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) in Canada, click here]

Lastly, above all else, the thing of most benefit is Dua to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) to allow you to be accepted. Indeed He is near and is all able to grant this and make it easy upon whom He Wills – There have been applicants who have provided all the required documents, while also actualizing the above points, without any success, and there are others who have been blessed with acceptance by only sending their applications by mail/post. From personal experience, we know of two applicants from the same city who visited the Islamic University of Madinah to apply at the same time, and one of them was able to attain a recommendation letter (Tazkiyyah) from the governing prince of Jeddah/Makkah region, and he was not granted acceptance, while the other was an applicant who had no recommendation letter and was even missing a copy of his high school diploma, and was blessed with acceptance.

So gather all of the required documents, utilize all of your links and resources, and most importantly put your trust upon Allah and hope for the best from Allah (azza wa jal). Abu Hurairah (radiAllahu anhu) narrated from the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), that Allah (ta’ala) said [i.e. a Hadith Qudsi]: “I am as My servant thinks of Me.” [Bukhari and Muslim].

Allah is the granter of Success and may the Salaat and the Salaam be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions.

Obtaining the Letter of Approval (No Objection Letter) for Canadians

Bismillaah, ar-Rahmaan, ar-Raheem

To obtain the letter of approval (no objection letter) granting you permission to study in Saudi Arabia from the Canadian government, Canadians should contact the Canadian consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (Consulate of Canada in Jeddah). You can find contact information of the Canadian consulate here:

http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/world/embassies/Saudi_Arabia/about_Jeddah-en.asp

May Allah help and aid you.

Authenticating/Certifying Canadian Educational Documents

Bismillaah, ar-Rahmaan, ar-Raheem

The authentication (attestation) of your Canadian educational documents (degrees, diplomas, transcripts) are done free of charge by the Authentication and Service of Documents Section (JLAC) in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (Ministry of Foreign Affairs). The educational documents (degrees, diplomas, transcripts) must be issued by Canadian institutions, in the event that the educational documents have been issued by foreign educational institutions, you should contact the nearest embassy or consulate of the country from which the document was issued. That office will advise you of the procedures you will have to follow to have your documents authenticated.

For Canadian educational documents, one must send these documents along with a covering letter indicating your mailing address and outlining your specific requirements, to the Authentication and Service of Documents Section (JLAC) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Canada at the location below:

Authentication and Service of Documents Section (JLAC)
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
125 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1A 0G2

The Processing time is approximately 20 working days from the date the documents are received. The authenticated documents will be returned by regular mail at the provided mailing address which can take up to 5 working days. If you want your documents to be returned by courier, you must also provide a prepaid envelope from the courier of your choice with your documents.

For those living in Ottawa or willing to travel personally to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, then you can submit your documents in person. If you have 10 documents or less, they will be processed while you wait. If you have more than 10 documents, they must be left in the office for authentication and it will take approximately 20 working days to process them. When submitting your documents in person, appointments are not necessary. Simply report to the Reception Desk at the address mentioned above between 10:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. or between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. The office is closed on statutory holidays.

For more information, please see the following section “Authentication of Documents” at the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Canada:

http://www.dfait.gc.ca/common/authentication_documents-en.asp

To contact them via telephone:

1-800-267-8376 (Toll Free in Canada)
613-944-4000 (in the National Capital Region and outside Canada)

Pictures – Umm al-Qura University, Makkah

Bismillaah, ar-Rahmaan, ar-Raheem

Pictures of the Umm al-Qura University campus located in Makkah, Saudi Arabia can be viewed here:

http://www.bakkah.net/interactive/Umm%20Al-Quraa%20Gallery1/index.htm

May Allah reward our noble brother Abul-Abbaas Moosaa Richardson (post-graduate American student from Umm al-Qura University in Makkah) for presenting the pictures.