Legalisation of South African documentation for use abroad
South African public documents can be legalised for use outside of the Republic of South Africa. Legalisation of documents is the process by which the authenticity of South African public documents are verified to enable the use of these documents abroad. The legalisation of documents entails that South African public documents executed within the Republic of South Africa for use abroad are attached, sealed and signed either with an apostille certificate (where countries are party to The Hague Convention) or with a certificate of authentication (where countries are not party to The Hague Convention).
The legalisation procedures for certain classes of documentation in South Africa have recently changed. Apostilles for birth certificates, marriage and/or death certificates, letters of no impediment and other documents signed and stamped by an authorised Department of Home Affairs official are issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO). Diplomas, degrees and other academic qualifications need to be verified by the Department of Higher Education prior to apostille certificates being issued. Senior Certificates must be verified by UMALUSI prior to apostille certificates being issued.
Unaffected classes of documents, i.e. passports, identity documents, affidavits, power of attorneys and / or work contracts, have to be verified by a Notary Public and the High Court must verify the signature and seal of the Notary Public by issuing an apostille certificate or certificate of authentication. Where countries are not party to the Hague Convention and a certificate of authentication has already been issued by the High Court, the documents must be submitted to DIRCO for further authentication.
Let us assist you
We assist clients with the legalisation of all South African public documents and has a dedicated courier service to DIRCO. Due to the different legalisation procedures, we would advise that applicants first contact our offices to obtain a quotation based on the specific documentation that must be legalised.