Australian High Commission
Fiji

Notarial Services

Notarial services

Notarial services are legal acts which allow a written record to be used for official or legal purposes.  This includes using a document in a court of law.

The Australian Government can provide some notarial services, and Australian consular officials can legalise many Australian documents overseas.  They can also witness signatures, similar to what a Justice of the Peace would do in Australia. 

Certifying photographs and copies of original documents

We can certify photographs and true copies of documents. 

We can’t tell you if you need a photograph or true copy certified, or if we must do it.  You will need to ask the receiving authority if you need it certified and who can do it for you.

We can photocopy your original document and certify it is a true copy.

Documents must be Australian, or for use in Australia.

We apply the following certification on it:  “This is a true copy of the document presented to me”.  This is DFAT approved wording and we cannot alter it.

We don’t certify or endorse the contents in your document.  We only certify the copy is identical.

We can certify that your photograph is of you.

The photograph must be for use in Australia.  If it’s for local use, you may need to find a local Fijian authority to certify it.

We will certify the photograph once we have confirmed you are the person in the picture by sighting a valid photo identification (e.g., passport, driver’s licence, national identity card, student card, etc.).

We apply the following certification on the rear of the photograph: “This is a true likeness of [your name].”  This is DFAT approved wording and we cannot alter it.

See here on how to request our services.

Witnessing signatures and certifying copies of documents

Consular officials can witness signatures on Australian documents overseas.  They can also certify true copies of some documents and photographs.  There is a fee for this service.

Consular officials can also witness the signing of property transfer documents, including ‘Client Authorisation Forms’, according to the requirements of the relevant State or Territory.  As requirements vary for each jurisdiction, we require clear written instructions from an Australian legal practitioner or conveyancer on the procedures for witnessing land or property transfer documents. 

Learn more about authorised witnesses.

Administering Oaths, Affirmations and Affidavits

An affidavit is a legally binding statement of fact to be presented as evidence in an Australian court or other legal proceedings.  If you are providing an affidavit, you will be required to sign the declaration either under oath or by affirmation.

Our consular officers are able to administer oaths and affirmations under various Commonwealth and State and Territory legislation.

You can choose to confirm the truthfulness of your statement contained in your affidavit by making either a religious statement (i.e., an oath) or a non-religious statement (an affirmation).  Both carry equal weight under law and the choice is entirely yours.

Consular officers are not responsible or liable for the content of an affidavit; they are responsible only for establishing the identity of the person signing the declaration, confirming that they understand the declaration, and witnessing their signature.

Religious oaths can take different forms, depending on your beliefs.  For example, clients who hold Christian beliefs may swear an oath on a Bible, while clients who identify as Buddhist would swear an oath on the three Holy Existences.  Clients may bring their own religious text or item of religious significance to use during the swearing of an oath.

If you do not hold any religious beliefs, or if you prefer, you can choose to make an affirmation. 

In either case, the consular officer will lead you through the oath/affirmation making process.

Making an affidavit is a solemn legal act.  If you are unsure of the contents or implications of signing an affidavit, you should seek advice from an Australian legal practitioner.

Australian statutory declarations

Consular officials can witness Australian statutory declarations overseas.  However, please note that Australian statutory declarations are for use in Australia only.  We cannot witness an Australian statutory declaration for use in Fiji (or elsewhere).

Learn more about statutory declarations.

Certificates of No Impediment to Marriage (CNI)

If you’re thinking of getting married in Fiji, you will need a certificate of No Impediment to Marriage (CNI).

Consular officials in Suva can issue CNIs, but you are advised to check with your marriage celebrant or church on whether this will be accepted. 

See  here  on how to apply for a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage.

Legalising documents

Some foreign authorities may request a document be issued with an Apostille or an Authentication certificate before it will be accepted by that foreign country.  This is referred to as ‘legalisation’.  Legalisation verifies that the signature, stamp or seal on it is genuine.  Once legalised, a person can use the document in another country. 

We can legalise Australian documents for use in Fiji.  We cannot legalise Fijian documents for use in Australia.

Before submitting your documents for legalisation, contact the receiving authority.  Ask what they need, and for a list of people who can legalise the documents.

Do I need my document legalised?

You must ask the receiving authority what documents they want, and which ones you must get legalised.

We can’t tell you what an authority in another country wants, needs or expects.  You must ask them directly.  Be aware that many overseas authorities don’t ask for legalised documents.  They may accept your originals or copies as-is.

Some common examples of when authorities ask for legalised documents are below

  • If you’re going overseas to study or work, the receiving authority may ask for a range of Australian documents.  This could include your degree, transcript, and other identity documents.  Some you’ll just need notarised, others you’ll need legalised.
  • Employers often ask for legalised education documents.  Academic fraud is a common issue worldwide.  Legalising documents is part of wider processes to verify people’s credentials.
  • If you’re getting married overseas, the overseas authority may ask for Australian documents.  They may want proof that you’re free to marry.  This could include a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage (CNI), divorce certificate, or other evidence.
  • If your child is travelling without both parents, the overseas authorities may ask for documents.  You may need to present court of other documents to prove your child can travel.  This helps prevent international parental child abduction.

You must ask the receiving authority overseas what they expect of you.  Or contact the consular staff at the High Commission for further advice on:

Telephone:  (+679) 338 2211
email:  consular.suva@dfat.gov.au

Who can notarise documents for use overseas?

Australian Notary Publics can ‘notarise’ documents for use overseas.  This is different from legalising.  Notarising refers to a Notary Public who verifies the identities of all signatories to a document, witnesses their signatures, and marks the document with a stamp or seal.  A Notary Public is a solicitor who has undertaken formal qualifications.

Many receiving authorities are satisfied with a notarised document.  They may not ask you to take the extra step to get it legalised.

We can’t tell you what an overseas authority wants.  Always ask them to specify what they need.

Legalising documents

We can legalise documents by applying either an apostille or authentication certificate to the original document that you supply.  The apostille or authentication certificate verifies the signature, stamp or seal on the original document, or that of the Notary Public for documents that they have notarised.

We can’t advise which one you will need.  You must ask the receiving authority what they want.

Documents we can legalise

We can legalise many types of documents for use overseas.  Documents must be Australian public documents.  This means documents that are:

  • Originals issued by an Australian government agency or official, such as
    • Birth certificates, including ceremonial certificates and extracts
    • Marriage certificates (excluding ceremonial certificates)
    • Death certificates
    • Single Status or Record of No Result certificates
    • Court documents, including Divorce Certificates
    • Police Criminal Record Checks or Fingerprint Reports
    • Australian citizenship certificate or International Movement Record
    • Australian government commercial documents (eg, from ASIC, ATO, or TGA documents)
    • Other Australian government issued documents.
  • Originals issued by an Australian education institution, including
  • Notarised copies of documents from Australian private schools and colleges
  • Verified originals issued by primary and secondary schools
  • Copies of many other documents notarised by an Australian Notary Public, including
    • Private documents (eg, Power of Attorney, Wills, bank statements, company documents)
    • Documents issued by an authorised Australian Chamber of Commerce
    • Documents in a foreign language, f prepared by an Australian Notary Public.

We only accept original documents (as noted above), or copies notarised by an Australian Notary Public.

We can legalise private documents once they have been notarised by an Australian Notary Public as notarised documents are considered ‘public’ documents.

We accept some official Australian public documents electronically. 

We only accept documents originally issued electronically.  This might include some court issued documents, such as divorce certificates

Before submitting an electronic document, contact us on tel (+679) 338 2211 to confirm if it’s eligible.

If your original document is electronic, you must submit it in its original electronic form.  Don’t submit a printed copy, even if it is signed by a Justice of the Peace.  We cannot accept it.

Submit it by email to the address we will provide you, once you have contacted us.

Once submitted, we will print it and issue an authentication or apostille certificate on our printed copy.  We can only legalise copies of electronic documents that we’ve printed ourselves.

For more information on legalisation of documents, visit https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/consular-services/notarial-services/documents

Appointments for notarial services

Notarial appointments are available between 08:30am – 12:00 noon weekdays, expect for Public Holidays.  Appointments can be booked  online

Fees

Notarial services attract a fee.  A schedule of fees can be found here. [hyperline to fees page]