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Frequent Questions & Answers about Notarization & Authentication

 

1. What is the difference between Notarization and Authentication?

2. Must I apply for Notarization or Authentication?

3. What documents is required for application of Authentication?

4. What documents is required for application of Notarization?

5. What are the procedures for a South African document to be legally used in China?

6. Can the Chinese Consulate General directly authenticate the notarized Chinese document? Or else, can the Chinese Consulate General notarize a Chinese document, which could be use in South Africa?

7. How to apply certification of studies for Chinese overseas student?

8. How long does it take to Authenticate or notarize a document?

9. How could one define commercial and civil Notarization and Authentication?

10. How to apply a South African Foreign Affair Authentication?

11. How long does a Notarization and Authentication document valid for?

12. Must the applicant apply Notarization and Authentication personally, can he/she authorize a third party to apply?

 


 1. What is the difference between Notarization and Authentication?

Notarization is the national notaries agent certify the authenticity and legality of a legal action, a legal document or a fact according to relative legalization on the basis of application, so as to protect the public property and the legal interests of the identity and properties of a civilian.

Authentication is that a diplomatic or consular representative of a country certify the authenticity of the last signature and stamp on a notarized document issued by the notaries agent or the authenticate agent.

The purpose of authentication is to have a notarized document of one country to be recognized by the relative authority of the other country, and yet not to affect the legality by doubting the authenticity of the signature and stamp on the document. That is commonly regarded as to have the document valid abroad.

The Authentication only certify the authenticity of the signature and stamp of a public notary, a notarize agency, an official office responsible for authentication. It does not certify the legality and trustworthiness of the notarized document's content.

 

2. Must I apply for Notarization or Authentication?

Chinese citizen residence in South Africa can personally apply for Notarization with his/ her valid passport and the relative document. The notarization services that our office offers includes Power of Attorney, Declaration; Certification of still living, Certification of Residence and Certification of ID. However, in some cases, applicants should apply for notarization at the local public notary in China or SA, and then apply for the authentication.

SA citizen (including Chinese with SA nationality) should apply for notarization at the local notarization attorney. And then apply for authentication if the document needs to be used in abroad. The consulate does not accept any application of notarization by SA citizen.

 

3. What documents is required for application of Authentication?

Normally, we require applicant to bring the following documents:

1) Complete the application form correctly. (download the form)

2) Applicant's passport/ I.D. and a photocopy.

3) If the applicant is a Chinese citizen residence in South Africa, please provide the resident permit (such as: study permit, residence permit…etc) and its photocopy.

4) The original document that requested for Authentication and its photocopy (including: the original document, the Notarization page from High Court and its Authentication page issued by South Africa Foreign Affair Department)

 

4. What documents is required for application of Notarization?

Normally, we require applicant to bring the following documents:

1) Complete the application form correctly. (download the form)

2) Applicant's passport/ I.D. and a photocopy.

3) Applicant's resident permit (such as: study permit, residence permit…etc) and its photocopy.

4) According to different type of Notarization, applicant needs to submit the original document and its photocopy;

 

5. What are the procedures for a South African document to be legally used in China?

South African documents could not be legally used directly in China. The applicant must first apply Notarization for the associate document at South Africa High Court, or at the Notarization attorney in South Africa. Please take the Notarized document to apply Authentication at the Foreign Affair Department in South Africa before the applicant could apply Authentication at the Chinese Consulate General. Then the associate document could be used legally in China.

 

6. Can the Chinese Consulate General directly authenticate the notarized Chinese document? Or else, can the Chinese Consulate General notarize a Chinese document, which could be use in South Africa?

According to the International customs and relative regulation, the Chinese notary document (such as: Birth Certificate and the Notarized Chinese Academic Result) issued by the domestic public notary could only be used in the foreign country, after the following procedures: First of all, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs or local Foreign Affair Office has to Authenticate such Notarized document. After the associate country's Embassy or Consulate General in China authenticate such document, the document can be used legally in the associate country.

The Chinese Consulate neither accept the authentication application nor re-issue an notarized document on the basis of a notarized document issued by the Chinese domestic public notary.

 

7. How to apply certification of studies for Chinese overseas student?

Please directly contact the Education Section of the Chinese Embassy, the contact number: 012-3420911.

 

8. How long does it take to Authenticate or notarize a document?

If the applicant has submitted all the necessary documents, normally the document would be processed in 4 working days. For instance, the application was submitted on Monday, and it would be processed and ready to be collected on Thursday. However, if Tuesday were a public holiday, then, the document would only be ready on Friday. If the applicant wants to collect the notarized document in 3 working days, the Chinese Consulate General would charge the applicant an extra R170 rush fee. And if the applicant wants to collect the document on next working day, then he/ she would have to pay an extra R250 rush fee.

 

9. How could one define commercial and civil Notarization and Authentication?

Civil documents: Notarization and Authentication for one's marriage status, birth and death certificate, identity certificate, kindling certificate and evidence of financial support.

Commercial document: Notarization and Authentication for one's business license, status of legal person, creditability status, contract of employment, heritage donation of properties, property transfer, as well as buy and sells contract…etc.

 

10. How to apply a South African Foreign Affair Authentication?

In order to apply a South African Foreign Affair Authentication, one has to complete the following steps:

1) Apply the Notarization from the associate attorney or High Court. The associate attorney would be able to instruct the applicant about the instruction, content of the Notarization and other information.

2) Then apply the Authentication of the notarized document at South African Foreign Affair Department Their official address: Consular and Agency Services, Legalization Section, Eikendal Building, Tulbagh Park, 1234 Church Street, Pretoria.

 

11. How long does a Notarization and Authentication document valid for?

Normally except the certificate of Marriage Status, Certificate of good conduct, certificate of Savings, certificate of still living, Residences and Occupational certificate would only be valid for half a year; the other Notarization or Authentication documents do not have an expiry date.

 

12. Must the applicant apply Notarization and Authentication personally, can he/she authorize a third party to apply?

In principal, applicant must submit the application for the notarization personally, especially for the power of attorney, Certificate of still living, Certification of Residence and Notarization of fingerprints.

If the application get involved with more applicants, the applicants must be present at the same time.

However, the Chinese Consulate General does not require the Authentication Applicant to submit the application personally.



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