Visa

Preparing supporting documents for Dutch visa and permit applications

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Learn about the process of getting your documents certified before applying for residency in the Netherlands.

When applying for residency in the Netherlands, you’ll need to provide supporting documents from your home country to prove your identity. Generally speaking, these will need to be certified by your government in before they’ll be accepted by the Dutch immigration authorities.

In this guide, we explain how you can get a identification document certified ahead of your move to the Netherlands.

Documents required for a Dutch visa: the basics

When you apply for a permit to visit or stay in the Netherlands, you will be asked to provide supporting documents. These must be properly authenticated in your home country, and be provided in a language approved by the Dutch authorities - that’s Dutch, English, French or German.

Find out more about residency permits in the Netherlands in our full guide on Dutch visas and permits.

How to get an Apostille stamp

You can get your documents – a birth, marriage or civil partnership certificate, bank statement, etc. – legalised with an ‘Apostille' (pronounced ‘a-poss-teel') certificate or stamp. This stamp means your documents will be recognised as 'authentic' in a whole host of countries.

That’s because there is a reciprocal agreement between 105 member states signed up to Convention 12 of the Hague Convention, whereby member states recognise foreign documents ‘apostilled'by other member states.

Generally, certification services can only be provided by your home country’s government. For example, this is carried out by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in the UK, and the Department of State in the US, for example.

You’ll usually need to pay a fee to have documents certified - and how much it’ll cost you varies significantly from country to country.

How to get your documents legalised

Unfortunately, the process isn’t always as simple as getting in touch with the relevant government department.Before a document can be legalised by the government it will usually need to signed by an official from the issuing body (e.g. a medical report should be signed by a doctor from your country's professional medical association) and/or certified by a solicitor or notary public. Only then can you submit a document for official legalisation (the Apostille stamp).

How to find an apostille in your country

For details of how to get a document legalised, you should check your government's website. While some countries provide fast services, you should try to start this process a few months before you apply for your permit to ensure everything is ready in time.

Below, we’ve explained how the certification process works, and where to go to get more information in the United Kingdom, United States of America and Australia.

United Kingdom

In the UK, you'll need to apply to the government’s Legalisation Office to confirm a signature or stamp is from a certified UK public official.

The service costs a fee of £30 (€34) per document, plus courier costs of £5.50 (€6.25) per 1.5kg. To have the document delivered to a European country, the courier cost increases to £14.50 (€16.50) per 1.5kg,.

The UK government says it takes two working days to process documents on its standard service (4-5 days in October due to high demand). It also offers a £75 (€85) same-day business service, for which documents must be taken to and from an office in London.

You can find out more by using the UK's document legalisation service.

USA

In the USA, apostilles and authentication certificates are provided by the US Department of State's Office of Authentications.

Authentication services can be requested by mail, appointment (for urgent cases) or pick up and drop off at the Office of Authentications. The postal service takes around 12 business days once the Office of Authentications has received your documents.

In the US the prices are much lower than in the UK, with a fee of $8 (€7) for each document you submit.

You can find out more on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website.

Australia

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade deals with authentications in Australia, though staff in Australian Passport Offices are also authorised to provide these services.

Certification services are available by mail or in person, and if you choose the latter option you'll need to make an appointment at the Passport Office.

The government doesn't provide specific details of how long the process takes, though it does say that you should expect delays during peak holiday periods and the end of the school year.

Apostille and authentication services in Australia cost $81 (€50).

You can find out more on the Australian government’s smart traveller website.

  • For more information about legalisation of documents in the Netherlands, you can call the Ministry of General Affairs on +31 77 465 6767, email info.consulair@minbuza.nl or visit www.rijksoverheid.nl / www.government.nl.

How to get your documents translated

All documents provided to authorities in the Netherlands must be in Dutch, English, French or German.

If they’re not in one of these languages, they must be translated by a translator sworn in by a court, and submitted along with the original documents. If this process doesn’t take place in a Dutch court, the translation will also have to be legalised in the country of origin, as above.

You can find a list of interpreters and translators who have been sworn in by Dutch courts on the WBTV website

For more information

For general and specific queries, you can contact the IND by phone Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm on 088 0430 430 from within the Netherlands or +31 88 0430 430 from abroad.

The IND's twitter account @IND_NL is also for general queries between Monday to Friday 9am–5pm.

 

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