Apostille Certificates and the Hague Convention
Apostille is a French word (pronounced "ah-poh-steel"), 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.
South-African public, company, commercial or educational documents, including documents witnessed , 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 signatories to the Hague Convention.
Apostille Certificates are restricted in their use to those countries which are signatories to The Hague Convention otherwise a full embassy or consulate legalisation procedure is necessary.
South-Africa is a member of The Hague Convention.
As at 1st January, 2010, the following countries have AGREED to participate in "The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents"
Antigua & Barbuda
China (Hong Kong-Special Administrative Region (SAR) only)
China (Macau-Special Administrative Region (SAR) only)
Hong Kong (SAR of China)
Isle of Man
Korea (Republic of)
Macau (SAR of China)
Netherlands (The), including:
Aruba, Suriname, Netherlands Antilles: (Curacao, Bonaire, St Martin, St Eustatius, & Saba)
St. Christopher (Kitts) & Nevis
St. Georgia & South Sandwich Islands
St Pierre & Miquelon
St. Vincent & the Grenadines
San Marino, Republic of
Sao Tome and Principe
Trinidad and Tobago
United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland, including:
Anguilla, Guernsey, Bahamas, Isle of Man, Barbados, Jersey, Bermuda, Montserrat, Brunei, Mauritius, 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
United States of America, including:
50 USA States
The District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam (Territory of), Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands
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.
Popular South-African Public Documents
Consent letter for children to travel or visit overseas
Powers of Attorney
University, degrees, diplomas, course certificates, school certificates and transcripts
Doctor and Dentist applications for overseas appointments
Birth, Death and Marriage Certificates
Change of Name documents
Single Status Certificates
Certificate of No Impediment to Overseas Marriage
Statutory Declaration signed before a Notary Public
Probate, Letters of Administration
Land Transfer documents
Affidavits, sworn Statements, and depositions sworn before an South-African Notary Public
Certificate of Incorporation of South-African Company issued by CIPC and miscellaneous original company documents
Notarised copy of Passport, Drivers Licence and other identity documents
Certificate of Divorce issued by the Court of South-Africa
Police Clearance Certificate ("no criminal record") issued by SAPS
Miscellaneous notarised documents for use overseas
This list is not exhaustive. If you have a document not listed above which you require Apostilled, Contact us for free professional guidance.
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