Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Notarizing and Apostilling: SA jumps on the red-tape bandwagon

My recruiter sent all their applicants an email today explaining that the SA high court has changed its laws, making us align more with the rest of the world in terms of the apostilling process. While for the last 6 years all we had to do was send certified copies of documents to Teach Korea, and they'd get stuff apostilled for us, as of last Thursday the bureaucrazies require you to get the documents notarized by a Notary Public before they can be apostilled. From the TK email:

For the past 6 years TeachKorea has provided free Apostilles to our clients as a value added service.

Last week we were informed that the apostille procedure has been changed at the High Court and that they are: 

• no longer permitted to attach an apostille to certified copies of degree certificates.
• no longer permitted to attach an apostille to the original SAPS Police Clearance Certificate.

The new procedure now requires that both these documents first be NOTARIZED by a NOTARY PUBLIC.

This can be done at most law firms or attorneys offices, just phone ahead to check that they do have a partner who is a registered Notary Public.
 For those of us who jumped the gun and sent in documents before we knew if we'd passed the interview (risking having to apply for all-new ones if we failed the interview), we're the lucky ones. Cliff says that they're going to get the Criminal Background Checks (Police Clearance Certificates) that they already have in the office notarised and apostilled for us. If your degree was sent in weeks ago, like mine, then it's probably been apostilled too, although it might be worth your while emailing them to check. However, their poor local Notary Public can't handle hundreds of new submissions on top of the ones they already have, so if you haven't sent your documents in yet, you MUST get them notarized yourself.

Once again, I'm blown away by the awesomeness of Teach Korea, although I did panic and throw a million hyperventilatey questions at Cliff the moment I saw the email. I'm in the clear, but applicants who have not yet sent in their documents MUST get their stuff notarized. From some brief googling, I think you probably need to take Photo ID with you. I don't know if it costs anything, so take money just in case.

Bureaucratic red tape: Not as fun as it looks.
Note: this only applies if you need to get things apostilled at a High Court; if you're going through Foreign Affairs, check the docs4expats guidelines as the procedures may be different.

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