Schools do not admit children without a transfer certificate, which states the last grade they have successfully completed.
Some schools ask parents moving to the emirates for a Transfer Certificate (TC) attested by the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UAE Embassy in their country of origin.
Children moving to the UAE from countries like Australia, New Zealand and South Africa - where the academic year begins in January - may find it difficult to transfer to schools that begin in September.
"If the child is being transferred before he has completed a grade or year, he will have start in that same grade at the new school - even if the child is appropriate for the next school level," said Caron Welsby, admissions officer at the Greenfield Community School in Dubai.
Abdula Nasser, the executive director of customer relations at the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, said it reviews applications passed on by schools on a case-by-case basis that includes children who are being transferred to another curriculum.
Most schools give parents up to the end of the first term for registration while those new to the country are given a little longer.
If parents decide to move a child from one school to another within the UAE, they need to show a TC stamped by the Ministry of Education. "This is the most critical document," Ms Welsby said.
Parents who want to move their children to a school that teaches a different curriculum have to take differences in academic years and ages into consideration.
Parents should inquire about the difference between a grade level and year level at different schools.