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What is an Apostille certificate in South Africa-pretoria-johannesburg-capetown-durban

An apostille in South Africa can be described as a certificate, which officially authenticates/certify a public document in order for it to be used legally in other countries. The foreign country which will be receiving the apostilled documents should be a signatory member of the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961. These countries decided to do away with what was previously known as the Requirement of Legislation for Foreign Public Documents and replace it with Apostille Hague Convention and follow one single formality. The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) and the South African High Court are the departments that issue Apostilles.

Documents which often have to be apostilled

The ABCs of Apostilles - South Africa-pretoria-johannesburg-capetown-durban

  • Birth Certificates
  • Police Clearance Certificate
  • Death Certificates
  • Marriage Certificates
  • Letter of No impediment to be married abroad
  • Degree Certificates
  • Diploma Certificates
  • TEFL Certificates
  • Single Status Affidavit
  • Copy of Passport
  • Power of Attorney
  • Copy of Driver’s Licence
  • Transcripts
  • Divorce Decrees

Description of an Apostille

The ABCs of Apostilles - South Africa-pretoria-johannesburg-capetown-durbanThe Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) has a model of what an Apostille looks like and what content an apostille should have. The signatories of the Hague Convention have to closely follow what the model looks like. An Apostille is attached or bound to your original public document, as an extra page. It’s a statement signed and has a stamp to determine the legitimacy of the person who issued the document. The signature and stamp on the Apostille is verified by a ribbon tied to the Apostille page.

The Apostille page has the following details. It has its main heading Apostille which basically identifies the document as an Apostille. What follows next is the title of the convention ⧿ Convention de La Haye du 5 Octobre 1961 ⧿ written in French. It states the date on which the convention was declared a permanent intergovernmental organisation. It is written in French because when it was established the organisation used French as their official language, hence the name Apostille taken from the French language meaning certification. In 1964 they adopted English as their second official language

The 10 numbered standard informational items on an Apostille

The ABCs of Apostilles - South Africa-pretoria-johannesburg-capetown-durbanThe informational items come next and are numbered 1 to 10.

N# 1: The first one on the list is country, this represents the countries that are signatories to the Hague Convention. There are 124 signatory countries. The name of the country from which the public document originates is written next to the country item.

N# 2: Are the names of the person who signed the public document

N# 3: Is acting in the capacity of, what would be filled next to this item is sworn translator, this means that the sworn translator takes full responsibility for the authentication of the public document, by performing their duties as a sworn translator who has taken an oath before the high court.

N# 4: Is bear the seal of, what would be written here is sworn translator, as the Apostille would have the stamp or seal of the sworn translator that authenticates the Apostille.

N# 5: At, is the item that follows next, it’s the city where the document was signed and issued.

N# 6: The, is the day which the Apostille was issued.

N# 7: By, follows next, here the name of the registrar is written, the registrar is the person who verifies the signature and stamp of the sworn translator, this is done by checking that the sworn translator is registered with the South African High Court.

N# 8: No, follows next. This is the certification number of the Apostille.

N# 9: Item nine is the Seal or Stamp of the sworn translator. The seal or stamp helps authenticate the document, so it can be used in other countries.

N# 10: And lastly is the sworn translator’s Signature, which is another authentication procedure of an Apostille.

Global Apostille services

We at Global Apostille provide quick service of official documents, Apostilled through the High Court of Pretoria. The High Court registrars are the primary source of information; however, they cannot always take all calls or reply to emails. The professionals at SA Apostille have years of expertise in helping people and businesses acquire Apostille certificates from the High Court. Intended for use in nations that are part of the Hague Convention. Provide your required documents to us upfront to secure your apostille. We will handle your request in 1-2 days, which is more convenient if you’re in a hurry. You can contact us on the following number 012 348 3134 or email us at where our friendly staff will assist you.

What is an Apostille Certificate in South Africa
Article Name
What is an Apostille Certificate in South Africa
This article goes into detail explaining what an Apostille Certificate is in South Africa and also describes how it looks.
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Apostille Legalisation
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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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