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APOSTILLE SEAL AND CERTIFICATE
Legalisation of documents is a process whereby documents are made suitable or acceptable to use in another country than its country of origin. For example, the preparation of South African Documents by Apostille, Authentication, Attestation, Notarisation and Embassy Authentication.
Several steps are necessary to make the documents suitable which can include certification by other Government Departments where the documents originated but in South Africa the Department of International Relations and Co-
(i) Also known as DIRCO and formerly known as Department of Foreign Affairs.
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This process can have several steps starting with the Government Department where the documents originates for example Qualifications at the Department of Education and Birth Certificates at the Department of Home Affairs. Further Notary Copies at the relevant High Court.
This process entails first where the relevant Department confirms the authenticity of the format and signatures of the document and then DIRCO confirming that the authentication was done by a competent and authorised person.
The following documents among others can be Legalised for use outside of South Africa.
• Birth Certificate – Abridged, Unabridged, Vault Copy, Hand Witten Full Certificate
• Business Documents
•• Certificate of Free Sale
•• Power of Attorney
• Degree from a Government University Registered with the Department of Higher Education.
• Degree from Private University Registered with the Department of Higher Education
• Degree from University NOT Registered with the Department of Higher Education
• Diploma from a Government College Registered with the Department of Higher Education.
• Diploma from a Private College Registered with the Department of Higher Education
• Diploma from a College NOT Registered with the Department of Higher Education
• Death Certificate -
• Death Certificate -
• Divorce Decree
• Letter of No Impediment
• Marriage Certificate – Abridged, Unabridged, Vault Copy, Hand Witten Full Certificate
• Matriculation Certificate obtained from Department Education up to end of 2007
• Matriculation Certificate obtained from UMALUSI from 2008
• Medical Certificates
• Notary Copies
• Police Clearance Certificate
• SAGE Certificate
• SARS Tax Certificate
• School Transfer Documents for a Government School
• School Transfer Documents for a Private School
• Single Status Certificate
• TEFL Certificate
• Translation Services
It has too be noted though that Legalisation of a documents does in no way confirm the correctness of the contents of the document just that it is the correct format and signed by a competent and authorised person and thus conforms to the legal requirements of such a document.
How does legalisation work?
First it must be understood that there two processes which depends on the individual country whom decides namely Apostille which is accepted by countries whom are signatories of the La Hague protocol of 1961 and Embassy Authentication for those countries who are not.
The steps for in the country of origin with other words South Africa legalising documents involves?
Step 1: Confirming the Authenticity of Document by the relevant Governmental Department.
The document is presented and the signatures and that the document conforms to the requirements.
Usually a certificate or seal is affixed to either the original documents or to a copy made by the specific authority from the original document.
Examples of these authorities in RSA are:
Step 2: Department of International relations and C-
After approval a certificate and seal is affixed to the document. This shows the target country that the document that the document has been issued by a competent authority in South Africa.
Step 3: Apostille.
If the target country is a signatory to the La Hague Convention of 1961 protocol the affixed certificate and seal is called a Apostille and no further action is needed – the document can be presented to the target country.
Countries whom are signatories to the 1961 Protocol of Apostille by the La Hague Convention. ( https://www.hcch.net/en/states/hcch-
Step 4: Embassy Authentication
If the target country is not a signatory a further step is needed namely that the document must be presented to that country Embassy or Consular office in South Africa for Embassy authentication where a seal or stamps are affixed to the document. Only now the document can be presented to the target country.
Authentication by Embassy Process of countries whom are not signatories. List of countries we deal with most often.