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Time is of the essence and most people are usually on the go and working on a schedule. When travelling overseas it is always important to know the waiting period of when you can get your apostilled documents. That way you will be able to schedule it properly within your travelling date. South Africa as a member state of the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961, chose the South African High Court and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) as the two legal entities to issue apostilles. This blog post will go into detail about how long it takes to have a document apostilled in South Africa from both the South African High Court and from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO). 

South African High Court

How long does it take to get a document apostilled in South Africa_-pretoria-johannesburg-capetown-durban-The High Court is one of the departments that issue Apostille Certificates. It can take anytime between a day to 5 days to have your document apostilled. This is because they allow walk-ins, where you can personally submit your documents, with no appointment needed. You need to submit your documents through the registrar of the High Court, as they are the ones that usually deal with administration. After submitting the documents you can expect to receive them back within a week. Using an Apostille agency can also come in handy as they are able to fast-track the process.

Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO)

How long does it take to get a document apostilled in South Africa_-pretoria-johannesburg-capetown-durban-2023DIRCO takes about 4 to 6 weeks to get your documents apostilled. It used to take a maximum of two days but has since changed due to Covid-19. This is also partly due to the fact that they don’t allow any walk-ins, instead, you have to mail your documents to them via post office or use a courier service. This brings us back to scheduling your time properly in order to get all your documents ready. As soon as your apostilled documents are ready, you’ll be notified by email. You need to schedule an appointment for collection. After scheduling the appointment, you can either choose to come collect your documents yourself or have them couriered back to you.

How you can get your documents apostilled within record time

How long does it take to get a document apostilled in South Africa_-pretoria-sandton-capetown-durbanPeople usually find the process of apostille certification jarring and lengthy and most often prefer to go to a secondary organisation, such as Global Apostille Legalisation to help them through the process. Agencies can fast process your documents especially if you are in a hurry and make sure that you get your documents within two days. Some people don’t know about Apostilling documents until they have to apostille them and waiting for a period of 4 to 6 weeks doesn’t always work for them. Meaning they have to find an alternate way to apostille their documents. This leads to contacting an apostille agency, for fast, legally authenticated documents.

Global Apostille legalisation 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


How long does it take to have a document apostilled in South Africa
Article Name
How long does it take to have a document apostilled in South Africa
In the article, you'll find the waiting period for getting your documents apostilled, either at the South African High Court or the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), for legal use in countries contracted the Hague Convention.
Publisher Name
Global Apostille Lagalisation
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  1. Good Evening

    We are urgently needing a marriage certificate to be apostilled. We can hand it in by Thursday. How long will it take to get done if we make use of your services?

    Kind regards

    1. Global Apostille- South Africa

      Good day Emily,
      Kindly send us an email to and our team will gladly assist you.
      Alternatively, you could give us a quick call on 012 348 3134 for more information regarding our apostille services.

      Warm Regards.
      Global Apostille team

  2. I need my DIRCO documents expedited. Is there any possible way you guys can help me in getting it done in a couple of days?

    1. Global Apostille- South Africa

      Good Day Naomi
      Thank you for your comment. DIRCO usually takes 4-5 weeks to apostille your documents and the High Court takes a maximum of 5 days.
      For more information kindly refer to the DIRCO website.

      Best Regards

  3. We are in Durban and wish to Notarize and Apostille documents for work in China with a Z visa. There are views that the 3 documents required should be treated differently regarding Apostille. The degree and verification letter from SAQA, the Police Clearance Certificate, and the TEFL teaching certificate (usually from an institution abroad). There is also the view that government-issued documents (SAQA verification letter and PCC must be Apostilled by DIRCO. So thank you for clarifying this. Now we can confirm that both the SA High Court and DIRCO have been designated as competent authorities so we can take all 3 documents to the High Court. Should the 3 documents be notarized by a Public Notary Attorney first?

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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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