The processing time for the attestation of documents is approximately 3 - 7  working days and is largely dependent on the documents which are required to be attested and the country that they are required to be attested for.

Document Attestation

Authenticated documents are typically required when people go abroad for employment or immigration purposes. Getting them verified from the country’s embassy in South Africa ensures that authorities can be certain that these personal or commercial documents are genuine and not fake.

For instance, authenticating somebody’s degree certificate means their new employers can trust that they do genuinely hold a degree. Individuals that don’t get their documents authenticated may face difficulties entering another country or be rejected from doing so altogether.

What is Embassy Document Attestation?

Embassy attestation is the process of verifying the authenticity of a legal document in one country so that it will be accepted in another. This is required as it is often difficult for the relevant authority—such as an employer or the government—to determine whether a document is genuine or not. Only when its authenticity has been declared by the signatures of the verifying personnel will the document be considered attested.

It is important to note that there are many terms used to describe document attestation, including authentication, legalisation, verification, stamping, and notarisation. Please do not get confused as these terms often all mean the same thing.

Let’s consider the example of a South African individual needing their marriage certificate attested so that they can move to Portugal or Angola. To complete this process, the document must be verified by both Ministry of international relations and cooperation (DIRCO) and a solicitor or notary public before the Portuguese Embassy or Angola Embassy will attest to it. Only then will Portuguese or Angolan authorities recognise the marriage certificate’s authenticity.

Because of how sensitive the process is, there are three steps that need to be undertaken:

  1. Attestation from a solicitor (some exceptions)
  2. Attestation from DIRCO (no exceptions—all documents must undergo this)
  3. Attestation from the relevant embassy

What is an Apostille?

An apostille is a certification provided under the Hague Convention of 1961 for authenticating documents for use in foreign countries. The sole function is to certify the authenticity of the signature of the document. Put simply, an apostille is a certificate that is attached to another document so that it will be accepted when used overseas.

Required document

The certificate is approximately 15cm’s square in size and it is permanently glued to another document. Once attached, the certificate and the document that it is attached to are then embossed with an official government seal.

On the top is the text APOSTILLE, under which the text Convention de La Haye du 5 October 1961 (English translation: Hague Convention of 5 October 1961) is placed. In the numbered fields the following information is included:

  1. Country...[name of country issuing apostille] This public document
  2. has been signed by ... [name of the person who signed the document]
  3. acting in the capacity of ... [the capacity in which the person signed the document]
  4. bears the seal/stamp of ... [issuing authority] certified
  5. at ... [place of issue]
  6. the ... [date of issue]
  7. by ... [issuing authority]
  8. No ... [ registration number]
  9. Seal/stamp ... [stamp of issuing authority]
  10. Signature ... [signature of representative of issuing authority]

What are the main types of attestation documents?

The two main types of attestation documents are personal (like degree, birth certificates and marriage certificates) and commercial (such as invoices and Articles of Association). Some of the most common documents that get attested include:

  • Educational Certificates
  • Passports
  • Driving Licences
  • Finance Documents
  • Non-ACRO Police Documents


  • Degrees
  • Birth Certificates
  • Marriage Certificates
  • Death Certificates
  • Adoption Certificates
  • Divorce Documents
  • Court Documents
  • ACRO Police Documents


How can we can help?

Here we handle the whole attestation process on your behalf. This includes getting your document translated before getting them attested from all the relevant bodies required before sending it back to you. This all-inclusive service has a single price for completing all the necessary steps email to get started.

Getting documents verified and attested can be a long and tedious task, and unless you’re familiar with the process, there is plenty of room for mistakes to occur.

Here at our team are experts in getting documents attested the right way. We do everything on your behalf, including all administration, presenting, and delivery, to ensure everything is completed in a timely manner.

We know the process:

Document attestation is one of our core services, so we know the ins and outs of the entire process. This leaves much less room for error, and ensures that your documents are attested and verified on their first application, rather than leaving you to face any problems and having to repeat the process again.

We save you time:

Our team is available to walk you through the exact process you need to follow, leaving no room for mistakes. All you need to do is supply us with the documents you need attested, along with any supporting documents, and leave the rest to us. This means you don’t need to spend time filling out forms and chasing solicitors and the legalization section for verification.

We save you money:

If you opt to complete the attestation process yourself, but live far from one of the international embassies in Pretoria, you will need to pay for travel and may even need overnight accommodation as well. Choosing our attestation service saves you this hassle, while getting the process done properly—all you need to do is post your documents to us directly. Get in touch with our team for more information. Email for more information.

How to submit a document for attestation

The process to submit your documents for attestation depends on their location.

  • We deliver our services in South Africa by Email, DHL & Postnet
  • Overseas, we deliver attestation services through DHL and FEDEX.

Available Services:

Kuwait Embassy Document Attestation

Angola Embassy Documents Attestation

Portugal Embassy Documents Attestation

Legalising official documents (Authentication of Official Documents)

Updated Available Services