DIRCO apostille services: Get your documents legalised quickly.

THE TYPE OF DOCUMENTS WE CAN APOSTILLE / LEGALIZE (AUTHENTICATE) IN SOUTH AFRICA

REQUIREMENTS 

RECOMMENDED APOSTILLE ISSUANCE AUTHORITY
 Home affairs:

  • Unabridged Birth Certificate,
  • Unabridged Marriage Certificate,
  • Letter of No Impediment
  • Determination of Citizenship Status Letter
To obtain an apostille certificate, original copies are required. Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO)
  • Divorce decrees –
  • & settlement agreements.

 

Assistant Registrar (not a clerk of the court or a registrar’s clerk) to sign and stamp the divorce decree and each page of the settlement agreement (should the settlement agreement be required) Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO)/ High Court Apostille Certificate Affix
The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC):

  • Drivers Licence Confirmation Letter
To obtain an apostille certificate, original copies are required. Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO)
Saps Criminal Record Centre (CR & CSM)

  • Police Clearance Certificate
To obtain an apostille certificate, original copies are required. Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO)
Department of Education, UMALUSI) & SAQA

  • Metric Certificate Verification Letter

The qualifications verified by UMALUSI for this purpose are:

  • Senior Certificate (schools)
  • National Senior Certificate (schools after 2008/11)
  • National Senior Certificate (Colleges N3 subjects and two languages)
  • National N3 Certificate
  • National Certificate (Vocational) – Levels 2, 3 and 4
  • General Education and Training Certificate (ABET Level 4)
  • subject statements/certificates and/or learning area certificates for the above qualifications.
  • SAQA Verification Letter
  • School Transfer Cards – Grade R, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
You must submit original verification letters along with copies of the Stamped Qualifications in order to obtain an apostille certificate. Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO)
Commissioner of Child Welfare of the Children’s Court (Department of Justice and Constitutional Development) or the Registrar of Adoptions at the Department of Social Development.

  • The original adoption papers.
To obtain an apostille certificate the original adoption papers signed and stamped by the relevant Presiding Officer are required Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO)
Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

  • Export-related documentation
Please take note: The chamber will not certify government-issued documents i.e. food-inspection certificates, veterinary health certificates, halal certificates, etc. However, the chamber can issue a short letter on its letterhead to the effect that the chamber has examined the certificate, and that based on its examination of the certificate supplied, the information contained therein to be true and correct (and to include the “number of pages” of the attached documentation).This letter on the original letterhead of the chamber must be signed by the authorised employee, stamped with the chamber’s seal and placed on top of the original document concerned. Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO)
HPCSA

  • Medical certificates
  • Transportation of livestock/ Livestock Transport Permits including pets

 

To obtain an apostille certificate medical certificates must be stamped and signed (every page) by the authorised official at the Health Professions Council of South AfricaBy stamping and signing the certificates, the HPCSA confirms that the medical doctor is a registered medical practitioner in South Africa

Documents pertaining to the transportation of livestock, including pets, should be stamped and signed by an authorised State Veterinarian.

Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO)
South Africa Registered Court Translators

  • Sworn translated documents.- All Types of documents issued in South Africa for use in the following countries:
  • Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cabo Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macau, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Samoa, São Tomé and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Türkiye, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela

 

To obtain an apostille, translated documents must be stamped and signed (every page) by a Sworn Translator authorized by the high court. The translation must accompany the certification. South African High Court Apostille Certificate Affix
South Africa Registered Court Translators

  • Sworn translated documents -All Types of documents issued in South Africa for use in the following countries:
  • Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burma, also known as Myanmar, Cambodia, Cameroon, Congo Democratic Republic, Congo Republic, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Kuwait. Laos, Libya, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Yemen
Translated documents must be stamped and signed (every page) by a Sworn Translator authorized by the high court. It is mandatory to submit the translation with the certification to the chief registrar’s office for authentication of the signatures prior to submission to Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) for legalization Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO)

Note:

We do not charge a fee for Apostilles or certificates of authentication. We only charge for handling the services on your behalf. For assistance with Apostilles, please contact us by email at [email protected] or WhatsApp +27 69 170 7916

Understanding Apostille Services

An apostille is a certificate that authenticates the origin of a public document. Through the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents, which was signed on 5 October 1961, the apostille was established as a simplified form of legalisation.

The process of obtaining an apostille involves a designated authority verifying the authenticity of the document. This is necessary for international use where the underlying document needs to be recognised across borders. this service ensures that documents are recognised in all participating Hague Convention countries. –

Apostilles are commonly required for documents such as birth certificates, court orders, or corporate records. They provide a recognised form of legal assurance, simplifying international document exchange.

Apostille Basics notes:

  • An apostille is a form of authentication issued to documents for use in countries that participate in the Hague Convention of 1961. It ensures your document’s international validity.
  • The certification by an apostille guarantees that public documents are recognised across member states without further authentication. This streamlines the legalisation process for a multitude of documents, ranging from judicial judgments to academic records.
  • An apostille does not validate the content of the document, only its origin and authenticity.
  • When requiring rapid service, HCSTI apostille services efficiently facilitate the legalisation. Understanding the urgency, our bespoke solutions deliver apostilled documents within a remarkably short timeframe to meet your objectives.

DIRCO Role:

  • DIRCO stands as the official body responsible for apostilling documents in South Africa, functioning under the auspices of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), which ensures a rigorous standard of document authentication.
  • Their expertise in legalisation processes makes them a pivotal contact for any apostille service requirements.
  • This entity operates with utmost diligence, ensuring that all documents are meticulously reviewed and processed in accordance with the Hague Convention stipulations.
  • Processing times are expedited through their structured system, which prioritises accuracy alongside swift service delivery.
  • DIRCO’s intervention in the apostille process is imperative for those seeking to use South African public documents internationally, assuring acceptance by foreign governments and institutions per the Hague Convention.
  • Moreover, they provide essential guidance on the nuances of document legalisation, assisting clients through the complexities of international bureaucracies.

Document Types Eligible for DIRCO Legalisation

A broad spectrum of documents can be presented for legalisation, but all must adhere to the criterion of being public documents. DIRCO legalises a diverse array of papers, including personal documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and educational certificates to more specialised papers like court orders or government-issued documents.

For corporate entities, the scope extends to foundational business documents such as articles of incorporation, patents, and export certificates. It is essential that these documents possess the requisite authentication prior to submission; either an original public document or a notarised copy, or sworn translated document corroborated by a practicing South African Sworn translator, will qualify for the apostille service provided by DIRCO.

DIRCO Apostille Personal Document Criteria

  • When deliberating on personal document legalisation, precision is paramount. Ensuring eligibility is a foundational step that cannot be overlooked.
  • In the realm of personal documents, the spectrum is inclusive yet stringent. A document must be original, devoid of any alterations, and issued by a legitimate authority to be considered authentic.
  • Moreover, for a personal document such as a birth, marriage, or death certificate to be applicable, the details must be clear and legible. There should be no ambiguity that could lead to questioning the veracity of the document.
  • Pertaining to educational credentials, the institution’s seal and official signature are imperative. These markers signify the authenticity of the document and thus meet the criteria necessary for it to be accepted under the apostille convention.
  • Lastly, any legal endorsements, such as a notary public’s seal or government apostille, must be visible and undamaged. This is necessary to maintain the integrity of the legalisation process.

DIRCO Apostille Commercial Document Standards

  • Commercial documentation necessitates an enhanced level of scrutiny. To facilitate international business, documents must adhere to global standards and be effectively processed for legal recognition in foreign countries.
  • For instance, empowering articles such as Certificate of Origin, Commercial Invoices, and Bills of Lading must be in compliance with international commercial law. Additionally, they require endorsement by the Chamber of Commerce to verify the legitimacy of the information stated. This authentication acts as a cornerstone for their acceptance in cross-border transactions, ensuring that business operations are not impeded by documentational discrepancies or irregularities.
  • In order to prevent fraud and misunderstandings, legalisation of commercial documents demands stringent verification processes. This typically involves a series of checks that authenticate the facts presented within the document. Stakeholders must be assured that the content is accurate and has received the appropriate official endorsements before they can proceed with confidence in commercial engagements.
  • Furthermore, when engaging DIRCO apostille services, companies must present documents that are unremittingly aligned with global commercial standards. These standards not only foster trustworthy international engagements, but also protect against legal implications that might arise from inaccurate or fraudulent documentation. Maintaining this high level of document integrity facilitates smoother international trade and contributes significantly to the stability of global market relations.

Fast-Track DIRCO Apostille Process

In the matrix of international commerce, time is a paramount asset; therefore, the facilitation of a Fast-Track Apostille Process is imperative for businesses operating across borders. HCSTI recognises this urgency and offers an expedited service where documents can be legalised with exceptional celerity. This swift procedure ensures that critical commercial documents are authenticated and bear the revered apostille seal, which is a quintessential requirement for their global acceptance. Such alacrity in service diminishes the latency in document processing, thereby empowering businesses to continue their international operations without unnecessary temporal setbacks.

Simplified Application Steps

  1. Begin by gathering all necessary documents that require legalisation and ensure they are in the proper format and fully completed.
  2. Next, arrange payment for the legalisation service according to the provided fee structure.
  3. Subsequently, submit the documents and payment confirmation to the HCSTI service, by the recommended courier service.
  4. Await confirmation of receipt from HCSTI, after which the documents will undergo a verification process to ascertain authenticity. Upon successful verification and legalisation, the documents will be returned to you, bearing the official apostille certification, validating them for international use. Engage with customer service for any queries or follow-up throughout the process to ensure a seamless experience by email [email protected].

Expedited Service Options

For urgent document legalisation, expedited service is paramount.

  • Priority Processing: Your documents will be handled with the utmost urgency.
  • Same-Day Service: When available, documents are processed and returned within the same day.
  • Exclusive Courier Options: Utilise private couriers for faster document submission and return.
  • Online Tracking: Monitor the progress of your document legalisation in real-time.

Understanding the importance of time-sensitive matters, choose an expedited option that aligns with your schedule.

By opting for these services, rest assured that your documents will receive prompt and preferential treatment.

Validating DIRCO Apostilles

  • The apostille itself carries a unique identification number, which allows for its authenticity to be confirmed by the relevant authorities. This number corresponds to a recorded certificate in the issuing apostille’s database, ensuring that the document can be verified swiftly and without dispute.
  • In instances where verification is required by foreign entities, the apostille’s unique number serves as a point of reference for cross-border checks. Verification is typically a straightforward process, where the authority in the country where the document will be used requests confirmation of the apostille from the issuing body. Prompt validation fosters trust and facilitates international legal transactions, reflecting the apostille’s role as a robust bridge between jurisdictions.

DIRCO Apostille International Acceptance

Harmonisation of document recognition is essential globally.

International engagement frequently necessitates the legalisation of documents. This involves verifying their legitimacy across countries, ensuring that a document issued in one jurisdiction will be recognised in another. The Hague Convention abolishes the requirement for consular legalisation of foreign public documents, using the apostille as its authorised form of authentication.

Understanding the apostille process elevates transactional efficiency.

The apostille ensures a streamlined validation process – no need for further diplomatic or consular authentication. This expedites cross-border document recognition, a prerequisite for global operations, whether personal or professional.

Securing an apostille stamp bolsters document credibility across jurisdictional lines.

With DIRCO apostille services, document legalisation becomes less cumbersome, using a recognised mechanism that is compliant with the standards established by the Hague Convention 1961. This assures parties of the document’s validity, ensuring seamless international business, education, or personal ventures in participating countries.

Apostille of Sworn and Translated documents for use in category A:

Countries party to the Apostille Convention.

The apostille of sworn translated documents is highly recommended if they are intended for use in countries whose official language is not English and are party to the apostille convention, for example:

Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cabo Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macau, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Samoa, São Tomé and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Türkiye, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela

South Africa’s High Courts- provide authoritative legal certification for translated documents.

If your country’s embassy or consulate requires your South African government documents, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, police clearances, business certificates, etc., a sworn translator must translate them to ensure validity in foreign countries without English as the official language.

This is in accordance with the Rule 59 of the supreme court and Act 8 of 2014 of the South African Language Practitioners’ Council:

Sworn translations must be performed by South African registered sworn translators and validated by the chief registrar in the South African High Court to ensure their validity.

The following steps should be followed to apostille sworn translated documents:

  • Send PDF copies of your documents to [email protected] along with a note indicating the country in which you intend to use them.
  • Please inform us of any specific translation requirements you have received from the embassy or civil registry, or the institution where you intend to use the documents.
  • • As soon as the documents have been translated, they will be brought to the relevant South African High Court office to be Apostilled.

Note:

It is important to note that this procedure applies to all official documents issued in South Africa, including court orders and extradition documents.

It is not necessary to legalize the documents (attest to them). After completing this process if they are intended for use in countries that are party to the Apostille Convention you can use the documents in any country that is a member of the Apostille convention.

We recommend that if you intend to use your translated documents in countries that are not parties to the Apostille Convention, you refer to the following section: Authentication of South African sworn translations for use in countries that are not parties to the Apostille Convention.

Note:

  • As a general rule, customers should also check if any specific requirements are set by the organization requesting the Apostille certificate or Certificate of Authentication.
  • Their requirements may include Recognizing only recent documents, translating the documents, accepting more than one document at the same time, accepting originals only, and not notarized copies, and accepting electronic apostilles or paper apostilles.

for more information, please email [email protected]

Authentication of Translated South African public documents for use in countries classified as category B:

Countries that are not parties to the Apostille Convention

Translated documents in South Africa are certified by the High Court and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO).

It is possible that the embassy or consulate of your country will require translation of South African government documents, including birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, police clearances, and business documents. For validity in foreign countries where English is not the official language, a sworn translator must translate these documents.

It may be necessary to provide an authenticated sworn translation of South African documents to the following countries:

Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burma, also known as Myanmar, Cambodia, Cameroon, Congo Democratic Republic, Congo Republic, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Kuwait. Laos, Libya, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Yemen

As per the South African Language Practitioners’ Council Act 8 of 2014, please note the following: To ensure the legal validity of a sworn translation, it must be performed by South African registered sworn translators and validated by the chief registrar in the South African High Court to confirm their credentials.

The following steps should be followed to authenticate sworn translated documents:

  • Please email PDF copies of your documents to the sworn translators of the South African High Court at [email protected] or [email protected], indicating the country you intend to use them.
  • It is important that you communicate with HCSTI any specific translation requirements you have received from the embassy or civil registry, or the institution where you plan on using the documents.
  • As soon as the documents have been translated, they will be brought to the relevant South African High Court office for authentication.
  • Upon authentication, the translated documents will be submitted for authentication of the chef registrar’s signature to the department of international relations and cooperation.
  • Upon completion, the documents must be presented to the Embassy or consulate of the intended country in South Africa for Embassy Legalization (attestation).

For more information about this service please email [email protected]

The following types of original official (public) documents can be submitted directly for Apostille service request, provided the documents were signed and stamped by the relevant issuing authority, as listed below:

It is important to note that: we require the actual originals to be couriered to us. In cases where you do not have the originals, please contact [email protected] for assistance to have your copies reprinted by the appropriate authority. We will no longer be able to provide assistance with new civic service application requests from Home Affairs; only reprints of previously issued documents will be provided.

  • The original unabridged or full birthmarriage and/or death certificates; original (valid) letters of no impediment (marital status); letter confirming an individual’s citizenship status (letters confirming naturalisation) and renunciation letters as issued and duly signed and stamped by the authorised Home Affairs official
  • The original (valid) Police Clearance Certificate as issued, signed and stamped by the South African Police Service (SAPS) – Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management [previously referred to as the Criminal Record Centre (CRC)].

(Note: A Police Clearance Certificate is only valid for six months from date of issue. However, clients intending to use the certificate in Portugal should be aware that it is only valid for three months. For more information, please email [email protected]

  • The original adoption papers signed and stamped by the relevant Presiding Officer/ Commissioner of Child Welfare of the Children’s Court (Department of Justice and Constitutional Development) or the Registrar of Adoptions at the Department of Social Development.
  • Original Drivers licence confirmation letters as issued (stamped and signed) by the Department of Transport – Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), confirming that the applicant holds a valid driver’s licence. (Note: The Legalisation Section cannot legalise actual driver’s licences).

Ineligible documents for Apostille: Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO)

The following documents are not accepted by DIRCO,

  • e. abridged certificates or computer printouts (in other words a shortened version of the unabridged certificate). The reason for this is that an abridged certificate is simply a computer printout, and it does not contain the signature and stamp of the issuing authority.
  • The marriage certificate as issued by the marriage officer will not be accepted for legalisation purposes. If you wish the marriage certificate to be legalised, then the original unabridged marriage certificate, as obtainable from the Department of Home Affairs will be required.
  • Certified copies of i.e. birth, marriage, death certificates; police clearance certificates; letters of no impediment (marital status); proof of citizenship; travel documents or identity documents,
  • Documents, which were certified as a true copy of the original by a Commissioner of Oaths.
  • “Old” documentation: Please take note that although the original document is an original and valid document, the signature of the official (or employee) who originally issued and signed the document might not be available on the DIRCO signature database, neither be obtainable from the specific government department, as the official (or employee) who originally issued and signed the document is no longer employed at the specific department, which makes it impossible to legalise the “old” document at such a late stage. Therefore, it is advisable that the document should preferably not be older than one yea furthermore, recommends that customers must also verify with the relevant foreign representative in South Africa what their specific country requirements are.
  • A Letter of No Impediments (marital status) can be legalised if on an original, official Home Affairs letterhead, signed and stamped by the authorised Home Affairs official (Head Office only). (These documents are only valid for a period of six months from the date of issue.) Important: The Department of Home Affairs confirmed that the Letter of No Impediments (marital status) is issued, stamped and signed by the authorised official at Head Office of the Department of Home Affairs only. Letters issued by the Regional Home Affairs offices will not be accepted for legalisation purposes, as these were issued without authorisation.
  • Note: Documents which have been laminated will not be accepted for legalisation purposes.

Important Information:

The following details should be reviewed before you request our services:

It is imperative to note that we do not impose a charge for apostille or certificates of authentication services rendered. On the contrary, a fee is levied for procuring these services on behalf of our esteemed customers.

  1. The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) has introduced a walk-in service, which is currently accessible via their website. This new service option provides an opportunity for individuals to obtain services in person, allowing for a more personalized approach to addressing inquiries or concerns. The website provides further details on the procedures and requirements for utilizing this service, ensuring a seamless and efficient experience for all users. For more information, please visit: https://dirco.gov.za/consular-notarial-services/.
  2. DIRCO or High Court Apostille Certificates Verification: It is important to note that for fraud prevention purposes, all documents issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) are accompanied by a reference at the back of the document, which can be used for authentication. Additionally, the apostille certificate bears a unique number on the certificate itself as well as a reference at the back. These references can be utilized to verify the authenticity of the document by contacting the legalization section via email at [email protected].
  • Should you require our assistance in the procurement of apostilles or certificates of authentication: we would be pleased to facilitate this process. Kindly inform us of your needs and we will endeavor to provide you with our professional support and expertise.
  • In the interest of preventing fraud: 

    it is imperative to note that all documents issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) are accompanied by a reference at the back. This reference can be utilized to authenticate the document. Moreover, the apostille certificate bears a distinct number on the certificate itself, in addition to a reference at the back. These references can be employed to verify the authenticity of the document by contacting the legalization section via the following email address: [email protected].

Policies concerning payment:

Our organization adheres to a stringent policy of refraining from requesting payment prior to the provision of services, except in cases where it is imperative for SAQA and police clearance applications, as well as facilitating the acquisition of documents from Home Affairs for individuals who are currently residing abroad.

Embassies’ payment policy for attestation:

  1. Clients are advised to make direct payments to the embassy for the attestation of both business invoices and individual documents as per their preferred embassy’s requirements. It is recommended that clients comply with the embassy’s payment guidelines to expedite the attestation process and ensure a seamless experience.
  • Kindly note that the embassy’s payment policies may vary, and clients are encouraged to clarify any payment-related queries with the respective embassy beforehand to avoid confusion or delays.

recommendation Prior to accepting our quotation:

  • To ensure that you get the most suitable quote for your budget, we recommend that you conduct a thorough comparison of quotes from different agencies before accepting our quote. By doing so, you can make an informed and constructive decision that meets your needs. We are committed to providing you with the best possible service, and we believe that this recommendation will help you achieve that.