unabridged birth and marriage certificates

How to get unabridged birth and marriage certificates from Home Affairs in South Africa. Image: AdobeStock

Obtaining unabridged birth and marriage certificates from South African Home Affairs

South Africans that want to travel abroad to work or study in foreign countries will need a variety of documents to assist their visa application process.

unabridged birth and marriage certificates

How to get unabridged birth and marriage certificates from Home Affairs in South Africa. Image: AdobeStock

South Africans planning to venture abroad for work or studies require a range of documents to facilitate their visa applications. Among these, unabridged marriage and birth certificates are of paramount importance. However, these crucial documents are notorious for their lengthy acquisition process.

In this article, we delve into the intricacies of obtaining unabridged birth and marriage certificates in the quickest possible time, and we also explore available support channels when you find yourself in need.

Understanding unabridged birth certificates

Unabridged birth certificates were available upon request until April 2016. Only standard (short-form) birth certificates were issued for children born before this date. Individuals born after April 2016 automatically receive unabridged birth certificates. These certificates contain comprehensive information about one’s two biological parents or legal guardians. Any South African under the age of 18 must present an unabridged birth certificate when entering or exiting the country.

Unabridged marriage certificates

Unabridged marriage certificates are extensions of the certificates obtained when a marriage is registered with the Department of Home Affairs. Like unabridged birth certificates, they contain more detailed information than their short-form counterparts and are indispensable for international travel. These certificates provide legal proof of a marriage, including a binding marriage contract. They hold additional significance for legal proceedings.

Processing times for civic certificates

If you attempt to apply for these documents independently, expect substantial delays. South Africans applying for their documents through South African embassies abroad can experience waiting periods ranging from 6 to 8 months. Those within South Africa may still face delays of up to two months. In most cases, time constraints are critical, leaving no room for such lengthy waits.

Consequently, many South Africans are now turning to document concierge services like Apostil.co.za. These services can expedite civic certificates, with processing times ranging from one to six weeks, depending on the document and whether an express service is chosen.

How to apply for unabridged marriage or birth certificates

The Department of Home Affairs is responsible for issuing unabridged marriage and birth certificates. Applications for these documents must be submitted directly to the DHA. It’s worth noting that this institution is known for its time-consuming procedures.

South Africans residing abroad can also apply through embassies, missions, and consulates, but these applications are eventually forwarded to the DHA Head Offices in Pretoria. To apply for your certificates, you will need copies of your South African ID document, and you must complete the relevant application form:

Where to get help with your civic certificates

For South Africans seeking to obtain unabridged birth or marriage certificates promptly, Apostil.co.za offers a valuable solution. As a professional documentation agency in South Africa, they specialize in legalizing and verifying South African documents. Apostil.co.za manages all aspects of the process on behalf of their clients, serving South Africans both within the country and those residing abroad. Contact them today to explore their wide range of services and discover how they can efficiently assist you in obtaining your essential legal documents.

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