How to get an Apostille on documents issued in South Africa?
Apostille on documents issued in South Africa ? If you intend to get married, set up residence, take up employment, study, or establish a business anywhere outside South Africa. You may be asked to provide documents so that your marriage, residence, job, or business can be registered legally in the new country. Each document needed outside South Africa may also need to be legalised.
Documents for submission abroad are often only recognized if its authenticity has been certified. Usually, in order for public documents to be internationally recognised, they must be notarised. However, this procedure takes a long time. For that reason, the Hague Apostille convention, which South Africa is a signatory, was introduced to speed up and simplify the legalisation procedure. In this article, you’ll find out what an Apostille is, who issue it in South Africa and what it’s used for.
What is an Apostille in South Africa?
An apostille is a simple form of certification of a foreign document, done by an internal authority of the state in which the document was issued. Simply put, An Apostille is a certificate that makes ‘local’ documents valid for international use. It was adopted in the Hague
Convention on the Exemption from Legalisation of Foreign Public Documents during the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) in 1961.
Apostilles are only valid in jurisdictions that have adopted the provisions of the Hague Convention on the mutual recognition of documents, which includes South Africa and as of August 2018, There were 115 states members of the Apostille Convention in total.
Almost all European countries are members of the Hague Convention, as are China, Australia, India, Canada, Japan and the USA.
Since the introduction of the apostille as a form of notarial certification, the international transfer of documents has become far easier and faster. For example, documents that are required for forming a company abroad must be legitimised by apostilisation so that they remain valid in other countries.
Issuing Authority and Prerequisite of Apostille in South Africa
In South Africa, the designated Competent Authorities to issue an apostille are: the High Court
as well as the Department of International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO).
The apostille can be exclusively issued for the original document. Therefore, the latter must be presented in good condition, with all stamps and signatures clear and readable. Furthermore, it should not contain alien markings or labels. You can Apostille any public, legal document in South Africa. The kinds of documents that you will most likely be asked for if you are pursuing a job overseas include but are not limited to –
- Unabridged birth certificates;
- Marriage certificates;
- Police Clearance Certificates;
- Letters of No Impediment;
- Matric Certificates / Tertiary Degrees, Diplomas, Qualifications;
- Any document issued by the Department of Home Affairs;
- Powers of Attorney,
- Degrees, Diplomas and Matriculation Certificates;
Note – matric certificates / tertiary degrees, diplomas or qualifications require verification from
the Department of Higher Education or the Department of Basic Education prior to submission
for the Apostille.
Legalisation of Document in a non-Hague country
For any country that is not a signatory to the Hague Convention, a separate legalisation procedure may be necessary. This depends on the requirements of the foreign country, and may often require embassy legalisation. This is often the case for countries such as China & United
Arab Emirates. Legalisation of South African documents is a standard procedure which can be used where necessary. This procedure is separate to and administered by a different administrative authority than those that issue apostilles.
Your document legalisation partner
At SA-Apostille, Apostille & Legalisation Services, we believe in providing a speedy and easy way to get your documents legalised for international use. Our job is to take your documents and make sure that they are legalised within the shortest period of time. If you need more than one document legalised like a set of your educational documents, certificates, company documents, grant of probate documents etc. we can brief you on how to save money by assembling them into sets.
We assist in processing official documents at the Pretoria High Court or DIRCO Head Office You can send/ bring your documents to our offices or courier to us and we can deliver back the Apostille documents back to you within SA or anywhere in the world within the shortest time possible.
In addition to the legalization of your public documents, we can provide you with high quality translations. On average, processing the documents takes 1-2 days. Courier services are charged and invoiced separately according to the courier service’s rates. ”All in all, we’re here to assist you!”