In the realm of international travel and work, the concept of “apostille” may seem like a foreign language, but understanding its significance is crucial for seamless transitions across borders. 


An apostille is an international authentication certificate of-documents that validates the authenticity of a public document issued in one country for use in another that is a signatory to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. In South Africa, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) in Pretoria serves as the authorized apostille authority.

Understanding the Apostille Cost

Obtaining an apostille in South Africa involves a nominal fee, currently set at R875 per document. This fee applies to the following common types of documents that require apostille for international use:


Navigating the Apostille Process

The apostille process in South Africa generally involves the following steps:


  1. Collecting Required Documents: Gather the original and copies of the document requiring apostille, along with any supporting documentation.
  2. Authenticating the Document: Submit the documents to the appropriate institution or department, magistrate, or assistant magistrate for authentication.
  3. Submitting to DIRCO: Once authenticated, forward the documents to DIRCO in Pretoria for apostille certification.
  4. Receipt and Delivery: DIRCO will affix the apostille to the document and return it to you via DHL or another courier service.

Achieving Apostilles While Living Abroad

If you reside outside of South Africa, you can still obtain apostilles for your South African documents. DocAssist, a leading document processing agency, offers a convenient service that simplifies the process:


  1. Send Documents to DocAssist: Send the original and copies of your documents to DocAssist’s offices in South Africa.
  2. DocAssist Handles the Rest: DocAssist will authenticate the documents, submit them to DIRCO for apostille, and arrange for DHL delivery to your international address.

What to Expect in Terms of Turnaround Time

DIRCO’s standard processing time for apostilles is approximately 4-6 weeks. However, DocAssist can significantly expedite the process:


  • Standard Processing: With DocAssist’s standard processing, you can expect to receive your apostilled documents within 7 working days.
  • Urgent Processing: For urgent applications, DocAssist can expedite the process and deliver your apostilles within 3 working days.

Understanding Apostille Validity

It’s crucial to note that apostilled documents have a limited validity period of six months from the date of issuance. To ensure the continued acceptance of your documents, ensure they remain within their validity period.

Empowering You with DocAssist’s Expertise

DocAssist understands the complexities of the apostille process and is committed to assisting you in obtaining your apostilles efficiently and effectively. Our experienced team will guide you through every step, ensuring that your documents are accurately prepared, swiftly processed, and delivered to your doorstep without any hassle.


Partner with DocAssist and let us handle the intricacies of the apostille process for you. Contact us today for a free consultation and discover how we can streamline your journey towards international document authentication.


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