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(Partner Content) Are you South African and planning to head overseas? We all know that proper preparation is key when it comes to travelling. If you’re leaving to start a new life abroad (or even just take a family holiday) there are at least 5 essential documents that South Africans need in order to leave the country.
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In this post, we’ll be taking an important look at exactly which documents you need when planning a trip outside of the Republic and why they’re important. Albeit this might not be the most exciting part of your planning, this admin is very, very necessary to ensure your trip actually happens!
Aside from your passport and visa/permit (depending on where you’re travelling and what for), you’ll also need to have the following paperwork in order before your trip:
Unabridged birth certificates will be required for each member of your family travelling outside of South Africa. These official documents contain information about a person’s biological parents or legal guardians. The Department of Home Affairs is renowned for taking anywhere between three and six months for issuing a birth certificate, but document assistance services – like Apostil.co.za – can help you obtain yours in as little as 1-3 weeks. Vault birth certificates may take longer.
All adults (everyone older than 18 years of age) travelling out of South Africa will highly likely need to have a valid SAPS Police Clearance Certificate. This certificate is issued after a background check has been done to verify an individual’s criminal records, using their fingerprints. If a person does not have a criminal record, they still need to obtain the certificate to state the fact that you have never had a criminal record in South Africa. This is needed for most visas and it is worth keeping a copy with you.
If you’re moving abroad for the purpose of working and living in another country, it makes sense that you’d need proof of your qualifications in order to start working. You’ll need to obtain original copies of your degree or qualification certificates, which is a multi-tier process that may see the educational institution re-issuing your certificates in the event that they might have been lost over time. Some universities, such as UCT, demand that you complete an affidavit or file a police report that it was lost or stolen.
Unabridged marriage certificates prove that two people are legally married and that they have a marriage contract in place. These are official certificates that serve a dual purpose. First, they serve as proof that nuptials are permissible and secondly, they prove that the marriage was witnessed by eligible witnesses. In some instances, unabridged marriage certificates are referred to as “long-form marriage certificates” or “full marriage certificates”.
If you are travelling to a country that is part of the Hague Convention, your documents will have to be legalised for official use abroad by means of the Apostille seal. If the country you are travelling to is not a Hague Convention member, the legalisation process is a bit more tedious and has to be completed by means of attestation or authentication by the high court. Both methods of legalisation make it easier for authorities abroad to verify the authenticity of South African documents.
The documents we just covered are the most crucial aspect of your travel plans and also the part of your planning that requires concerted attention and effort. The problem is that these documents all require endless queueing at Home Affairs, SAPS or DIRCO for hours on end and then waiting for the documents to be issues which could take months. And to be honest, time is a luxury you just might not have when your travel dates are fast approaching. If you need help with obtaining any of these documents, get in touch with Apostil.co.za today, a documentation assistance service that does the queueing for you, and can help you obtain your documents in record time!