The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) plays an important role in the process of legalising documents for acceptance and use in other countries.
People in various sectors often need to authenticate documents before they travel abroad with those documents. These can be students intending to study at foreign educational institutions, employment candidates who receive offers of employment abroad, businesspeople who need to submit documents for export purposes and so on.
Since it is difficult for foreign institutions abroad to verify the authenticity of documents emanating from other countries, the Hague Convention of 1961 was put in place to provide a simplified and uniform procedure with regards to how documents are legalised for use in member countries.
South Africa is a signatory to the Hague Convention and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation administers this process in South Africa.
Stakeholders such as the High Court and Notaries also have a role to play in the legalisation process. This article discusses the role played by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.
Within the DIRCO itself the Legalisation Section is responsible for the legalisation of documents and the issuing of the Apostille Certificate (party to the Hague Convention) or Certificate of Authentication (not party to the Hague Convention).
The Apostille Certificate endorses the signature, correctness of the seal or stamp on the document and the capacity of the signatory. It does not provide the contents of the document being authenticated. The following applies with regards to the role of DIRCO in the legalisation of documents:
These include but not limited to;
Contact us for assistance with the process of legalising documents for acceptance and use in foreign countries, or foreign documents for use within the Republic of South Africa.
The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. One should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this site without seeking legal or other professional advice. The contents of this site contain general information and may not reflect current legal developments or address one’s peculiar situation. We disclaim all liability for actions one may take or fail to take based on any content on this site.
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