Document Procurement and Legalisation – Why is this important?

Document Procurement and Legalisation Why is this important|Why should I apply for Permanent Residence in South Africa

If you need help with document procurement and legalisation, you’re in the right place. Our immigration consultants have 20 years of combined experience dealing with the institutions involved in legalising immigration documents. When you work with our consultants to procure and authorise your documentation, you are guaranteed legality and compliance. 

Our Services:

At IBN Immigration Solutions, we can help you with the following:  

  • Obtaining vital records, legalising academic records, criminal history reports, and assignment documents for applicants and their family members 
  • Obtaining or authenticating corporate documents, including powers of attorney, technical services agreements, certificates of good standing and incorporation certificates 
  • Document legalisation assistance including apostille 
  • Translation services assistance 
  • Consular support with document procurement and legalisation matters 

Q&A – Why choose IBN Immigration Solutions? 

Senior Immigration Consultants Bianca Nicholls and Melissa Moses break down the advantages of working with IBN when collating and legalising the necessary documentation for your visa option.  

1: Why would you recommend that a prospective visa applicant work with IBN Immigration Solutions to procure and legalise documentation, instead of attempting it alone?  

BN: We take a lot of the administrative stress away from applicants, so, the follow-ups, chasing various authorities and getting it done within an agreed timeline is all on our shoulders. It is quicker if we do it as opposed to the applicant because we do this quite frequently as we’re familiar with the officials and the processes. That is the value we add.  

2: How does your experience as an immigration consultant help with legalisation obstacles?  

BN: We do it so often, so we already know the hiccups that could occur and we’ll inform you upfront. For example, if your marriage or birth certificate doesn’t have the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) stamp – that will be a problem when we need to have it apostilled or authenticated by the Department of International Affairs and Cooperation (DIRCO), whereas someone inexperienced may just see the certificate and try to go ahead, causing unnecessary delays.  

 3: What would you say to the individual taking the document procurement and legalisation process on without assistance? 

MM: You could attempt to do it on your own but a lot of the time, clients don’t necessarily know what the processes are or how to go about it. You may overcomplicate the process for yourself, whereas if you come to me and say, ‘I need my qualifications legalised for use in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E)’, I can give you a three-step process that you’ll need to follow as the applicant. I wouldn’t recommend a client take this on alone because with us, you benefit from quicker processing time. Much of the time, our clients are already mid-way through a visa process for another country and need to procure these documents as quickly as possible. 

4: How has Covid-19 and the reduced staff contingent at DIRCO affected processing times?   

BN: Covid-19 and reduced staff at DIRCO caused a backlog for up to six weeks recently, which has been QUITE a challenge. Sometimes, these documents must still be submitted to the relevant embassy, so there’s an additional step that can cause further delays. With the new year starting, people being back in the office and reduced Covid hospitalisations, we’ve been seeing improved processing times, so we’re going back to the usual three-week processing period.  

5: Can you give us an example of how you’ve assisted clients recently with document procurement and legalisation? 

BN: I had a case where we needed to legalise school documents from Botswana for use in the U.A.E but, of course, there is no U.A.E embassy in Botswana. The nearest one is here in South Africa. We had to confirm that the embassy in SA would legalise the documents. Once they confirmed, we could go ahead but needed the documents authenticated by Foreign Affairs in Botswana. The signatory in Botswana was not on the U.A.E embassy’s radar as a registered signatory, so there was a LOT of back-and-forth. After much pushing and calling Foreign Affairs and the embassy, we managed to get it done. There was still a slight delay but we pleased the client immensely in achieving the end result.   

MM: I had a client whose marriage certificate had been pending for two years. We assisted him in expediting the issuance of the certificate and we received it in our 21-day timeframe.  

6: What are some of the common obstacles you experience as a consultant when it comes to document procurement and legalisation? 

MM: From the client’s side, they may not always be able to locate their transcripts, or their certificates are badly reproduced or copied. The processing times with DIRCO can be an obstacle but that is being resolved.  

7: What advice would you offer your clients to make the process easier? 

BN: We need clear, scanned copies of your documents, not a photo taken with your cellphone! There is also a big struggle for clients abroad who need Police Clearance Certificates signed by a Commissioner of Oaths or a notary, especially during lockdowns when there are travel restrictions in place. Qualifications that are not issued by a university but from a training institution can be difficult to approve. If the client has a higher qualification, we’ll usually get that approved instead.

At IBN, our people are the essence of our brand’s success. We are happy to assist our clients wherever they are in the document legalisation process.

If you are struggling to procure or authenticate your documents, contact our friendly immigration consultants today! 

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Contributors: Bianca Nicholls

Written by: Simon Carletti

At IBN Immigration Solutions, we believe in transparency and abide by Google’s rules. Please note that we are a privately-owned immigration practice and fully comply with the Immigration Act of South Africa, with registration number 1998/008448/07. We offer our expertise in successfully applying for temporary and permanent residency services, for which we charge a fee. While forms required for the process can be obtained for free at any Department of Home Affairs office, we provide them as part of our service. It’s important to note that we are not affiliated with the South African Government, but we do provide a valuable service to those seeking to immigrate to South Africa. Users who prefer to deal directly with the Department of Home Affairs can contact them at

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