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These four countries now require Apostilles on South African documents

(Partner Content) If you’re traveling or moving to these countries it will be much less time-consuming and expensive to get your documents legally verified.


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In 2019, four major countries (that were not previously part of the Apostille Convention) have now joined the Hague Conference. Thus, becoming effective member countries of the Apostille Agreement.

Recap: What is an Apostille?

By definition, an apostille is a name for a specialised certificate, attached to an original document in order to verify its legitimacy and authenticity so that it can be accepted and used in member countries of The Hague Apostille Convention. South Africans that want to use their official documents outside of RSA borders have to get them apostilled to ensure their validity abroad. 

Jamaica, Fiji, Bahrain and the Philippines join the Apostille Convention

Since joining the Apostille convention, it’s much less expensive (not to mention time-consuming) for those wanting to use their foreign documents for visa and legal purposes in these countries. For the Middle East, the addition of Bahrain is a huge relief for a lot of South Africans who had to previously follow a tedious legalisation process. 

Instead of following a multi-tiered process of legalisations, you can now simply have your South African documents apostilled for legal use in these four countries.

Who is responsible for issuing apostilles?

The government department in each country that deals with apostilles (varies in name), but it is usually the office of foreign affairs. In South Africa, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) is responsible for issuing apostilles. 

What if my document was not issued within a country that is part of the apostille agreement?

If your document was issued in a country that is not part of the Apostille Convention, it will still need to be legalised via consular processes. For instance, if you have a document that was issued in Saudi Arabia, it will need to be legalised by means of a seal and red ribbon at the Saudi embassy in the Philippines, Jamaica or Fiji, as Saudi Arabia is not part of the Hague Convention. 

How to get started

Regardless of what your circumstances are, you can get all the document assistance you need at apostil.co.za, a document legalisation service. They can help you get your documents legalised for official use abroad whether they need to be apostilled or follow the more tedious consular legalisation process.