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Legalisation of documents

For your visa or permit application you may need one or more legalised documents. A birth certificate is normally required. If you plan on bringing your spouse and/or children, you may need other legalised documents as well.

Legalisation is the verification that a document has been issued by the relevant authority and that the signature on the document is that of the signatory. Once a foreign document has been legalised, the Dutch authorities consider it to be legally valid in the Netherlands. Legalisation has to take place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country of origin as well as at the Dutch embassy or Consulate General in that same country. It can take up to several weeks to collect all the necessary stamps and signatures, so start early! Please contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the country of issue for details on the exact legalisation procedure.

Legalisation or apostille?

In certain cases, the simpler ‘apostilisation’ formality can replace the more complex process of legalisation. If your country of origin has signed the Apostille Convention, your document does not require legalisation by the Dutch embassy or consulate. Affixing an apostille, issued by the designated authority in the country of issue, will suffice. Contact the designated authority for further information on how to obtain an apostille. Further information is also available on the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

Apostille authorities

Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs