Certificate of life in South Africa

If you live in South Africa and you need a certificate of life, the embassy in Pretoria or consulate-general in Cape Town can draw up this document for you.

When might you need a certificate of life?

Dutch financial and benefits agencies like the ABP Pension Fund and the Social Insurance Bank may ask you to provide a certificate of life (verklaring van in leven zijn or attestatie de vita).

What documents do you need?

To apply for a certificate of life, you will need to appear in person at the consular section of the embassy or consulate. You will need to meet the following conditions:

  • you must have a valid Dutch identity document
  • you must be able to provide proof of your nationality or nationalities
  • you must be able to provide proof of your address and place of residence. For example you could produce a certificate of registration from the municipality where you live
  • you must be able to establish your marital status, for example by producing a marriage certificate

You may need to have the original legalised and translated. The rules vary per country.

Getting a certificate of life stamped

Some Dutch financial and benefits agencies draw up their own certificates of life. The embassy or consulate can then sign and stamp these documents (free of charge). This means you don't have to apply for a separate certificate of life.

But you will need to meet following conditions:

  • you must be a Dutch national
  • you must appear in person at the embassy or consulate
  • you must produce a valid Dutch identity document
  • you must provide proof of your address, for example official documents issued by the authorities
  • You must sign the documents at the embassy or consulate in the presence of an embassy or consulate staff member

Obtaining a certificate from the municipality or a notary

If you are unable to go to the embassy or consulate you can instead obtain a certificate of life from the municipal authorities or from a notary in the municipality abroad where you live.

Certificate of life in this country or region

Make an appointment

Make an appointment via the online appointment system.

Have your pre-printed certificate of life from the SVB stamped 

You can have a pre-printed certificate of life stamped at the Dutch embassy in Pretoria or at the consulate general in Cape Town. This is free.

  • At the embassy in Pretoria: Monday to Thursday between 8 AM and 12.30 PM
    Make an appointment before you come by calling +27 12 425 4590
  • At the Consulate General in Cape Town: Monday to Friday between 9 AM and noon.
    You do not need to make an appointment in Cape Town.

You can also have the form stamped at the local police station.This is also free.
After the from is stamped, you can scan the form and send it by e-mail to the embassy in Pretoria. You can also hand the stamped form in by at the embassy or consulate general. They will make sure that the form reaches the SVB.

Any questions?

In case you have questions, contact us via the contact form.