Legalising documents

When you live in the Netherlands, you may have to present official documents such as civil status documents, diplomas or certificates at some point. Sometimes these documents do not meet the Dutch legal requirements. In this case, it is necessary to authenticate (legalise) the documents to show that the document has been issued by an official authority, that the document’s format is correct and that the signature/ seal and or stamp on the document are genuine. This legalisation process is usually done in the country where the documents come from.  

Leave plenty of time  

Please check if you need to legalise documents when preparing for your relocation to the Netherlands. If the answer is yes, leave plenty of time to legalise the documents because it can be a lengthy process. If possible, please arrange your document authentication before travelling to the Netherlands. In most cases your home government needs to authenticate your documents. And in some cases, if the document is written in a language other than English, French or German, you may need to provide a translation by a sworn translator as well. In some cases, you may need to get both the original document and the translation legalised. 

Do I need to legalise my documents? And how to do this? 

This depends on the country where you’re from. Sometimes countries have an agreement to exempt certain type of documents. If so, you can use your document without having it legalised. You can check whether you need to legalise your documents on the website of the Dutch government. If you need to legalise the documents, this website explains all the steps you need to take.

Do the check

Find more information about document legalisation on the website of the Dutch government. And contact the International Welcome Centre Utrecht Region if you have questions.