As a South African document legalisation and sworn translation service based in Pretoria, we receive one particular question on an almost daily basis: “Does an apostille need to be translated for Spanish visa?” as we assist individuals with various vital records and other documents for Spanish Visa Applications in Pretoria, Johannesburg or Cape Town, and the answer is almost always “yes, you do” – and here we explain why.
In this article, we aim to address the common query: Does an apostille need to be translated for Spanish visa? It helps to better understand what the apostille certificate is and the importance of Apostille Translations for Spanish Visa Applications.
Understanding the Apostille certificate
An “Apostille” is an A4 certificate issued by DIRCO or the High Courts to accompany your document for use in countries that are party to the Hague Convention of 1961. Spain is a signatory to the Apostille Convention, also known as the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961. The Apostille is a standardised method of authentication for public documents, allowing them to be recognised and accepted in another member country without the need for additional legalisation procedures, to simplify the authentication process across international borders.
Before the Convention, the validity of each document was confirmed by double-certification, once by the originating country and second by the receiving state. Not only was that a time-consuming process, but it also wasted money on applicants who had to travel to different areas to get their certification.
According to the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH), an intergovernmental organisation, as of January 2024, there are 126 countries and territories worldwide that recognise and issue apostilles for the international legalisation of documents. The ‘Member States of the Hague Apostille Convention,’ collectively include countries such as Spain and South Africa, etc. You can find a full list here.
Why do I need to translate the apostille for my Spanish visa?
It’s a fair question: if the apostille is an international certification, why translate it – shouldn’t the Spanish authorities accept it as it is? According to the Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, Unión Europea y Cooperación, the Spanish Department of Foreign Affairs, sworn translations are required for all documents intended for official use in Spain, including apostille certificates. Most agencies in other countries, where your documents are sent, operate on the basis that they require full translation into the language of that country. Therefore, the Apostille, despite being a form of certification, must undergo translation into the official language of the destination country, in this case: Spain.
Do you translate your documents before or after the apostille?
When preparing documents for a Spanish visa application, individuals often wonder, ‘Does an apostille need to be translated for Spanish visa?’ The answer is yes. Keep in mind that obtaining the Apostille requires submitting the original document. For example, DIRCO will only attach the A4 apostille certificate to the original police clearance certificate. The authorities at DIRCO cannot issue an Apostille for copies or translations; thus, obtaining the Apostille must precede the translation
Other key considerations with regards to the translations of Apostille certificates:
- Consistency and Accuracy:
- Official translations ensure consistency and accuracy in interpretation.
- Communication with Spanish Authorities:
- Effective communication with Spanish authorities may require translated documents, especially in visa and legal matters.
- Clarity in Understanding:
- Translated documents ensure clear and easily understandable information for Spanish officials.
- Consular Requirements:
- Spanish consulates may specify translation needs for documents submitted in visa applications or legal processes.
- Consistency Across Official Records:
- Spanish authorities may require translations to align with the original document.
Global Apostille Services
At Global Apostille, we provide high-quality Apostille and sworn translation services from English to Spanish, ready for official use abroad. We offer apostille and translation services in Pretoria, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. Our DIRCO Express Apostille service guarantees an expedited Apostille within 5 days, faster than the standard DIRCO option which usually takes 4-5 weeks. We ensure proper certification of important documents in the shortest possible time.
For further information please contact us on 012 348 3134, Mobile: 081 347 6060 or email: email@example.com. Does an apostille need to be translated for Spanish visa? Discover the answers here, ensuring a seamless visa process for your journey to Spain.