Government Departments

Partner Institutions

South Africa and International Organizations in United Kingdom




Consular functions in terms of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963, Article 5:

In the event of emergency

  1. Communication with the next of kin and/or friends in South Africa in case of emergencies  d as an emergency.
  2. Abduction and kidnapping, which also covers forcible restrictions on the freedom of movement of persons for different outcomes.  All instances of kidnapping outside of South Africa should be reported immediately. We provide advice and guidance to the next of kin of affected nationals.
  3. Assist and render advice on emergency evacuation for SA citizens as well as a result of natural or man-made disasters, political unrest and war. No financial responsibility.
  4. Logistic support/non-financial assistance for SA nationals who are hospitalized abroad or who   may need to be repatriated to South Africa for urgent medical or professional attention.
  5. Communication with the next-of-kin in the event of reported death or life threatening illness or injury. We also provide logistical assistance with the importation of mortal remains (including import permit applications) or burials of South African nationals abroad. We do not provide financial assistance arising from the death of a South African national abroad
  6. Provide guidance to next-of-kin and liaison with relevant stakeholders in the search for missing persons abroad and/or determination of the whereabouts of South African nationals abroad under certain circumstances
  7. Assistance to families under certain circumstances in facilitating the transfer of funds to family members in distress/destitute abroad where commercial means are non-existent, or limited, or where levels of destitution dictate. A family member in South Africa must deposit the funds at a regional office of the Department of Home Affairs
  8. Advice, guidance and support to a custodial parent/guardian in matters of child abduction or child stealing. Where there is evidence that the health and safety of the child is in jeopardy, the matter is treated as an emergency
  9. Abduction and kidnapping, which also covers forcible restrictions on the freedom of movement of persons for different outcomes. All instances of kidnapping outside of South Africa should be reported immediately. We provide advice and guidance to the next of kin of affected nationals 
  10. Assist and render advice on emergency evacuation for SA citizens as well as a result of natural or man-made disasters, political unrest and war. No financial responsibility.

Services not rendered by the South African High Commission

1.         Give legal advice;

2.         Institute court proceedings or obtain legal advice on behalf of South African nationals locally and abroad.

3.         Interfere in or initiate court or legal proceedings on behalf of South African citizens and body corporate;

4.         Intervene in court and legal proceedings (in foreign countries); to get South African nationals out of prison, on bail or an early trail;

5.         Secure a release from prison/detention;

6.         Support a South African national financially whilst in prison;

7.         Assist with the transfer of funds to a national who is not in distress;

8.         Request local authorities to give preferential treatment to South Africans;

9.         Investigate crimes or deaths;

10.       Be directly involved in the legal process for the return of a child that has been abducted by a parent / family member.

11.       Obtain a criminal record check on your behalf;

12.       Pay for cremations, burials or the repatriation of mortal remains to South Africa;

13.       Be directly involved in the enforcement of a South African custody agreement abroad, or to compel a country to decide on a custody case.

14.       Pay private hotel, legal, medical, travel or any other expenses;

15.       Act as an agent for travel arrangements, airline, banking, or any other private matters.

16.       Arrange accommodation, employment or work permits.

17.       Intervene in disputes between employer and employee;

18.       Store personal effects or assist in searching for lost items;

19.       Accept or distribute personal mail or parcels;

20.       Be directly involved in matters relating to pensions and/or social security benefits;

21.       Formally assist dual nationals in the country of their second nationality.

For further Consular information, click on the links below:


Authentication / Legalisation of South African public documents for use in South Africa only

1. These documents could be Powers of Attorney, Affidavits, Declarations, South African birth, marriage and death certificates, divorce decrees, South African educational qualifications, etc.

2.The South African High Commission, London works strictly on an appointment basis. You will always be offered the first available appointment. Those with appointments are asked to arrive at 09h00, documents are available for collection from 15h00 until the office closes at 17h00 on the same day. Should you wish to make an appointment, please contact us on: (020) 7451 7299.

3. Should your matter be urgent and you cannot get an appointment in the time, you are advised to use the services of a UK Notary Public. This can be done in terms of Rule 63 2 (e) of the Rules of the High Court of South Africa. It is essential that you first speak to your South African lawyer before using the services of a Notary Public in the UK.

4. You will find a listing of Notaries in your local Yellow Pages/Business Directory. Should  you have difficulty in locating a UK Notary the UK Notaries Society can be reached at:

The Secretary

The Notaries Society

23 New Street


IP12 1DN

Fax: 01394 383 7772



The Notaries Society or the UK Notary Public should not be expected to give you advice / information that is specific to South Africa. This is the role of your South African lawyer.

N.B:    A valid passport is required for identification, to be presented when signing documents

Educational Qualifications

Divorce Documents

Birth / Marriage and Death Certificates 

·         These documents must be Full/Unabridged and are stated as such on the document.

·         These documents must have been issued within the past 2 years.

·         These documents must be originals as issued by the Department of Home Affairs. PHOTOCOPIES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

If your document does not satisfy the above criteria, you will have to apply for a new one through the South African Home Affairs Office at 15 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2DD (020 7925 8910 and 020 7925 8901)

 You are advised to request the Consular Official, in writing, to have your document authenticated/legalised in South Africa prior to its return to London.

You must indicate which foreign authority has asked for the document(s) to be authenticated / legalised.

Birth/Marriage/Death Certificates that satisfy the stated criteria and are accepted are sent to South Africa and are normally returned to London in approximately 5 weeks from the first Thursday after you handed them in.

Police Clearance Certificate

South African Police Clearance certificates are obtainable from the Criminal Records Centre in Pretoria South Africa. For information on obtaining a Police Clearance Certificate contact this Mission on:

Telephone: 020 7451 7110


South Africans that work, travel and reside abroad will require Police Clearance Certificates for purposes such as court requirements, residence permission or securing employment.  Therefore the service from the South African Police Services (SAPS) – Criminal Record Centre is available to South Africans who require confirmation on their criminal status.

The application for a Police Clearance Certificate is a personal matter that the applicant must attend to and the issuing of a Police Clearance Certificate is the sole responsibility of the SAPS - Criminal Record Centre in Pretoria.

In some countries Police Clearance Certificates are also known as “No Objection Certificates” or “Certificates of Character”.   


The South African Police Services (SAPS) is planning to outsource services for the police clearance certificates.  South African Diplomatic and Consular Representatives abroad will be informed of any new procedures in due course.  Until such time, the guidelines as per this chapter should be followed.



Customers must forward applications/requests directly to the SAPS - Criminal Record Centre in Pretoria.


If forwarded from abroad, the application may be forwarded via any reputable courier company. The courier company must be PREPAID to collect the documents from the Criminal Record Centre and return the documents to the sender. 


It is important to find out whether the requesting authority would need the police clearance certificate to be legalised.  It will save time and money to submit the original Police Clearance Certificate to the Department International Relations & Cooperation– Legalisation Section before it is returned to the applicant.  Customers must specify this in their application to the SAPS - Criminal Record Centre.  Refer to for further information regarding legalisation (authentication) of official documentation.


The customer must present his/her green bar-coded Identity Document or valid passport at the South African Diplomatic and/or Consular Representatives, as proof of identification, when abroad. The customer is responsible to forward the application/request for a Police Clearance Certificate directly to the SAPS – Criminal Record Centre in Pretoria.



The Home Affairs section at the South African High Commission in London can only take fingerprints for the purpose of issuing Identity Documents i.e. Passports and ID Books. The High Commission is prohibited by law (Data Protection Act) in the United Kingdom to take fingerprints for any other purpose than the issuing of Identity Documents. If South Africans that work, travel and reside in the United Kingdom wish to have their fingerprints taken for any other reason they need to contact their nearest Police Station.


There is no specific application form available from the SAPS, however the following information must be contained in the applicant’s letter/request addressed to the SAPS – Criminal Record Centre when submitting their application for a Police Clearance Certificate or refer to attached Annex 23B (Application for a Police Clearance Certificate) which has been designed to facilitate inquiries.  The following details are required:


a)    Surname
b)    Maiden name (if applicable, also specify in which surname the certificate should be issued)
c)    Given names
d)    Date of birth
e)    Place of birth
f)     South African ID number (if applicable)
g)    Last residential address in South Africa
h)    Last SA business / employer's address
i)     Telephone number of the above (h)
j)     Date
k)    Signature
l)     Mailing address in the country of application
m)   Zip/Postal Code
n)    Telephone number


An application, consisting of the written request (containing above mentioned information), full set of fingerprints, and copy of ID document/passport and proof of payment must be forwarded directly to the SAPS - Criminal Record Centre in Pretoria.  Fingerprints are done by your closest Police Station in the United Kingdom.


The application has to be accompanied by:

  • A fee of ZAR59-00 (either a South African bank guaranteed cheque, banker draft, money order, or electronic payment into the South African Police Service account made payable to the South African Police Service, is acceptable).  Note:  It is advisable not to forward cash with the application.
  • A self-addressed and franked envelope if you want the application to be returned to you by post.


The application, copy of ID document/passport, original fingerprints and fee, should be forwarded by the applicant to:

The Head (Attention:  Police Clearance Certificates)
Criminal Record Centre - SAPS
1st Floor, Room 14 Botongo Plaza West
271 Schoeman Street
Pretoria, 0001
Republic of South Africa

Tel. No. 002712 393 3928  
Fax No. 002712 393 3909

E-mail: or

Website:– refer to information under the heading FAQ’s – Application for Police Clearance Certificates (PCC) for further information.


Office hours in South Africa are from 07h30 to 16h00 (Monday to Friday). Office hours at the South African High Commission are from 09h00 to 17h00


The average time to render the service will take approximately twenty one (21) working days from the day that the complete application is received at the Pretoria Criminal Record Centre (SAPS) until the Clearance Certificate is issued.


Annex 23B (Application for a Police Clearance Certificate)


Department of Justice and Correctional Services

Service of Process (edictal citation, rogatory letters, maintenance orders, etc.)

Department of Transport - South African Driving License

South African and international driving licenses are not dealt with by the South African High Commission in London. You must contact the National Traffic Information System (eNatis) at the Department of Transport in South Africa for guidance on matters as they affect you.

Postal Address

National Traffic Information System South Africa

Department of Transport

Private Bag x193


0001 South Africa

National Traffic Information System