Frequently asked questions

APOSTILLE / AUTHENTICATION

Why do I have to Apostille my documents?


Before a document issued in one country can be submitted to the government of another country (eg. for a work permit application), it has to first be legalised. Legalisation is basically the way in which the issuing country's government assures the receiving country's government that the document is not fraudulent. A great many countries (including South Africa) have entered into what is known as the "Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Documents" also known as the Apostille Convention. What the Apostille Convention does is simpify the legalisation process for documents going between countries that are both signatories to the Apostille Convention.




Where are documents Apostilled?


In South Africa, Apostille Certificates are issued primarily by 1. The Registrar of the High Court, where documents have been

  • Authenticated by a notary public;
  • Translated by a sworn translator;
2. The Department of International Relations and Cooperations (DIRCO) in respect of the following documents
  • Unabridged birth and marriage certificates;
  • Police clearance certificates;
  • Degrees, diplomas and transcripts;
  • Matric certificates, school transfer certificates and reports;
  • Drivers licence confirmation letter;
  • Medical Reports;




What is an Apostille Certificate?


An Apostille Certificate is a certificate issued by the Department of International Relations (Foreign Affairs) or the High Court confirming that the person who signed / verified the document (the notary public or government official) is authorised to do so and that their signature is authentic.




What if my documents are going to a country that is not a signatory to the Apostille Convention?


If the documents are going to a country that is not a signatory to the Apostille Convention, a longer process will need to be followed in order to have them legalised. The High Court and / or DIRCO will issue "Authentication of Signature" Certificates instead of Apostille Certificates and thereafter the authenticated documents will need to be submitted to the relevant country's Embassy / Consulate for Legalisation.




What is the difference between apostilling and authenticating a document?


  • When a document issued in South Africa is required to be used in another country which is also a signatory to the Apostille Convention, an Apostille Certificate will be issued either by the High Court or by the Department of International Relations (DIRCO). This will be the end of the Apostille process.
  • Where a document is required to be used in a country which is not a signatory to the Apostille Convention (such as China or the UAE) the document will receive an Authentication of Signature Certificate (not an apostille certificate), which must be issued by DIRCO, irrespective of whether the document has gone to the High Court first.
  • Once authenticated by DIRCO, the document must then be submitted to the relevant country's Embassy for legalisation. Only once legalised by the Embassy will the authentication process be complete.





GENERAL

Do I have to submit original documents?


The short answer is Yes! We will pretty much always require your original documents in order to begin the required processes.




Will the original documents themselves be apostilled / authenticated?


Only for certain documents will the originals themselves be legalised, for instance:

  • Home Affairs issued documents (birth & marriage certificates, letters of non-impediment, etc)
  • Police clearance certificates
  • Medical Reports
For documents such as degrees, matric certificates, passports, etc, only copies will be legalised, but we will still require the originals in order to verify / notarise the copies.




What does Be Authentic need in order to assist me?


The answer is as simple as this: 1. Call us, email us or click on the "Get a Quote" button and complete the form advising us of the following:

  • How many documents you need assistant with;
  • What each of the documents is (eg. degree, marriage certificate, etc);
  • Which country the documents are required to be apostilled / authenticated for;
2. Once you have contacted us we will provide you with:
  • A formal quote;
  • Confirmation of the processes involved;
  • An estimated time frame;
3. Once you have accepted our quote, all that is left to do is send us your original documents by one of the following means:
  • You deliver / courier the documents to our offices;
  • We arrange for our courier to collect your documents from anywhere in South Africa;




What if I am not in Gauteng (or in South Africa for that matter)?


We have accounts with two very reputable and reliable couriers and so should you need, we can arrange for our courier to collect from you anywhere in South Africa and deliver the legalised documents anywhere in the world.





2017 by Be Authentic.

  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Twitter Icon

011 513 3510 | 083 235 4921

info@beauthentic.co.za | shaneil@beauthentic.co.za

Spaces Building (formerly The Business Centre)

Leslie Ave, Design Quarter District, Fourways 2191