Obtaining Apostille Certificates for original South African documents is very important if you intend on using these documents abroad. These certificates authenticate the signature or seal of a public official on a public, company, commercial or educational document.
The Notary Public needs to have witnessed, certified, and sealed the document if an Apostille Certificate is attached or affixed to it. This legalises the documents for use in foreign countries which are signatories to the Hague Convention.
The Apostille Certificates can used in said countries. If you intend on using your public, company, commercial or educational documents in countries which aren’t signatories, then you will need to follow a full embassy or consulate legalisation procedure.
Below is the list of all the countries which have become signatories to "The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents":
Albania; Andorra; Antigua & Barbuda; Argentina; Armenia; Aruba; Australia; Austria; Azerbaijan
Bahamas; Bahrain; Barbados; Belarus; Belgium; Belize; Bermuda; Bosnia-Herzegovina; Botswana; British Guyana; Brunei Darussalam; Bulgaria
Cape Verde; Cayman Islands; China (Hong Kong-Special Administrative Region (SAR) only); Colombia; Comoros Islands; Cook Islands; Costa Rica; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic
Denmark; Dominica; Dominican Republic
Ecuador; El Salvador; Estonia
Fiji; Finland; France including: French Guiana, French Polynesia, Guadeloupe, Martinique, New Caledonia, Reunion, St. Pierre, Miquelon and Wallis and Futuna
Germany; Georgia; Greece; Grenada; Guernsey; Guyana
Hong Kong (SAR of China); Honduras; Hungary
Iceland; India; Ireland; Isle of Man; Israel; Italy
Kazakhstan; Korea (Republic of)
Latvia; ; Lesotho; Liberia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg
Macau (SAR of China); Macedonia; Malawi; Malta; Marshall Islands; Mauritius; Mexico; Moldova; Monaco; Mongolia; Montenegro; Montserrat
Namibia; Netherlands (The), including: Aruba, Suriname, Netherlands Antilles: (Curacao, Bonaire, St Martin, St Eustatius, and Sabah); New Zealand; Niue; Norway
Peru; Panama; Poland; Portugal
Romania; Russian Federation
St. Christopher (Kitts) & Nevis; St. Georgia & South Sandwich Islands; St. Helena; St Pierre & Miquelon; St. Lucia; St. Vincent & the Grenadines; Samoa; San Marino, Republic of Sao Tome and Principe; Serbia; Seychelles; Slovakia; Slovenia; South Africa; South Korea; Spain; Suriname; Swaziland; Sweden; Switzerland
Tonga; Trinidad and Tobago; Turkey; Tuvalu
United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland, including: Anguilla, Guernsey, Bahamas, Isle of Man, Barbados, Jersey, Bermuda, Montserrat, 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 and US Virgin Islands; Ukraine; Uruguay; Uzbekistan
If your South African public document is needed to operate in any of the abovementioned countries, then an Apostille Certificate serves as an appropriate form of legalisation.
Contact us for all your notarial requirements and expert legal advice.
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