What is an Apostille Legalisation Certificate? Why do i need one?
Apostille is a French word meaning a certificate issued by a government of a country, authenticating the signature and or seal of a public official on a public document issued by that country, and intended for use in a foreign country.
It is a truncated process in terms of the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents. South-African public, company, commercial or educational documents, including documents witnessed, attested, notarial copies that are certified and sealed by an South-African Notary Public, when affixed or attached with an Apostille Certificate, issued by the South-African Government, will automatically be accepted for legal use in foreign countries who are signatories to the Hague Convention. Apostille Certificates are restricted in their use to those countries which are signatories to The Hague Convention. If the documents are destined for use in an country which are not a signatory to the Hague Convention a lengthier legalisation process called chain authentication and possibly an embassy or consulate legalisation procedure must be followed.
Herewith a list of subscribing countries (member and non-members) to the Hague Convention: The following countries have AGREED to participate in "The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents" Albania Lithuania Andorra Luxembourg Antigua & Barbuda Macau (SAR of China) Argentina Macedonia Armenia Malawi Aruba Malta Australia Marshall Islands Austria Mauritius Azerbaijan Mexico Bahamas Moldova Bahrain Monaco Barbados Mongolia Belarus Montenegro Belgium Montserrat Belize Namibia Bermuda Netherlands (The), including: Aruba, Suriname, Netherlands Antilles: (Curacao, Bonaire, St Martin, St Eustatius, and Sabah) Bosnia-Herzegovina New Zealand Botswana Niue British Guyana Norway Brunei Darussalam Oman Bulgaria Peru Cape Verde Panama Cayman Islands Poland China (Hong Kong-Special Administrative Region (SAR) only) Portugal Colombia Romania Comoros Islands Russian Federation Cook Islands St. Christopher (Kitts) & Nevis Costa Rica St. Georgia & South Sandwich Islands Croatia St. Helena Cyprus St Pierre & Miquelon Czech Republic St. Lucia Denmark St. Vincent & the Grenadines Dominica Samoa Dominican Republic San Marino, Republic of Ecuador Sao Tome and Principe El Salvador Serbia Estonia Seychelles Fiji Slovakia Finland Slovenia France including: French Guiana, French Polynesia, Guadeloupe, Martinique, New Caledonia, Reunion, St. Pierre, Miquelon and Wallis and Futuna South Africa Germany South Korea Georgia Spain Greece Suriname Grenada Swaziland Guernsey Sweden Guyana Switzerland Hong Kong (SAR of China) Tonga Honduras Trinidad and Tobago Hungary Turkey Iceland Tuvalu India United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland, including: Anguilla, Guernsey, Bahamas, Isle of Man, Barbados, Jersey, Bermuda, Montserrat, British Antarctic Territory , St. Georgia & the South, Sandwich Island, British Virgin Islands, St Helena Cayman Islands, Tonga & Caicos Islands, Dominica, Turks & Caicos, Falkland Islands, Virgin Islands, British Gibraltar Ireland United States of America, including: 50 USA States, The District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam (Territory of), Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands Isle of Man Ukraine Israel Uruguay Italy Uzbekistan Japan Vanuatu Kazakhstan Venezuela Korea (Republic of) Yugoslavia Latvia Lesotho Liberia Liechtenstein
An Apostille Certificate is the appropriate form of legalisation, if your South-African public document is required to operate in any of the above participating Hague Convention countries.
- How to ascertain if the Hague Apostille Convention is appliccable to your document or not?
- Permission to travel letter for minor children signed before Notary and legalised for use outside South-Africa