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DIRCO apostille processing time

DIRCO Apostille processing time-pretoria-johannesburg-capetown-durban-2023

Getting your documents apostilled is fairly an easy process, but the processing time is often a source of annoyance, and often takes longer than a person might like. DIRCO Apostille processing time on average can take up to 4 to 5 weeks, incomparable to the South African High Court which takes about a day. 

South Africa is part of the Hague Apostille Convention of 5 October 1961, being a signatory to this convection means doing away with the old tedious way of Apostilling documents in favour of one single legal formality, recognised by all signatory members of the convection. This single formality was made to save cost and time. As part of the convention, South Africa chose DIRCO (Department of International Relations and Cooperation) and the South African High Court as the two legal bodies which issue Apostilles. Below is detailed information on how long it takes to get an Apostille at DIRCO.

How long does it take to Apostille documents at DIRCO?

DIRCO Apostille processing time-sandton-pretoria-capetown-durban-2023At the moment DIRCO takes about 4 to 5 weeks to Apostille documents, its processing time has since improved from 4 to 6 weeks. Their processing time was between 1 to 5 days, but this has since changed due to the backlog caused by COVID-19. With the emergence of COVID-19, people were not allowed to personally walk in and request an Apostille or collect their apostilled documents. Everything had to be emailed or couriered. Another factor is loadshedding which contributed to the backlog and long processing time. Once you email your documents or have them couriered, DIRCO will then notify you by email, that your documents are ready. Your documents can either be emailed or couriered back to you

One way you can fast-track the processing time is by using a third-party agency, like Global Apostille. We at Global Apostille work with the South African High Court to get your documents apostilled within 24 hours. Meaning you won’t have to wait for weeks if you use our quick apostille services. You can contact us to learn more about our services.

Why some countries only allow DIRCO Apostille and not the one from the South African High Court?

The legal weight of the South African High Court Apostille and DIRCO Apostille is equal and they both serve the same purpose — which is authenticating public documents in accordance with the Hague Apostille Convention — so that you’ll be able to use them in other nations. This means that Apostilles from either the South African High Court or Dirco offer the same legal value and are equal in every manner. Though some embassies and consulates of nations like Mozambique and Spain prefer the DIRCO Apostille (but also accept the High Court apostille). This is merely a matter of legal preference and in no way implies that the Apostille may differ. In this situation, certain nations may additionally demand that visitors have their South African Embassy or Consulate certify their travel documents.   

Department of International Relations and Cooperation

DIRCO Apostille processing time-pretoria-johannesburg-capetown-durbanThe Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) is a government department in South Africa whose main purpose is to coordinate, formulate, implement, and manage international relations and foreign policy, it also aims to promote South Africa’s values, national interest and the African Reinassance. Because of its involvement in international relations and foreign policy, it was chosen by the South African government to serve as a legal entity to issue Apostille documents.  

The following services are provided by the DIRCO legalisation service:

  • Legalises official (public) documents created within the Republic of South Africa for use outside the Republic of South Africa using an Apostille Certificate or a Certificate of Authentication.
  • Provides consumers with guidance for obtaining the necessary signatures/documents if documents presented are inaccurate or incomplete.
  • Provides information to customers by phone, mail, and email.

Global Apostille Legalisaton Services

Global Apostille is a Pretoria-based legalisation agency that assists corporations and individuals  in getting apostilles and embassy legalization services in South Africa for documents to be used abroad. We make the legalization and apostille of South African documents simple for our clients.

Understanding that document authentication can be challenging and time-consuming, our main aim is to ensure our clients feel at ease. Our goal is to lessen this load by offering top-notch apostilling services at reasonable rates, without any hidden charges.

Global Apostille can handle various types of documents on your behalf from Birth Certificate to Power of Attorney. Our service offers a comprehensive solution, ensuring both official translation and legalization processes are straightforward. If you want to know more about our services, feel free to get in touch with us.

Tel: 012 348 3134 | 081 347 6060


DIRCO Apostille processing time
Article Name
DIRCO Apostille processing time
DIRCO can take up to 3 to 4 weeks on average to Apostille your documents, compared to the South African High Court, which takes around a day.
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Global Apostille Lagalisation
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Please note that we are not a law firm and are not regulated as such.

Global Apostille is a Pretoria-based authentication and legalisation agency that assist corporations and individuals in South Africa in obtaining Apostilles and Embassy legalisation service.


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