The Netherlands is a member country of the Convención sobre Apostilla, under which the law of authenticating or legalizing documents is done by means of an apostille. Dutch apostilles are issued by the district court and are legalised to be used for official purposes in all member countries of the Apostille Convention.
What are Dutch Apostilles?
Should you wish to immigrate or conduct business abroad, you will most likely be required to present your Dutch documents to the foreign country in question. The Apostille Seal is affixed to all public documents in the country of origin of the document in order to legalise it for use outside of the issuing country. This method of legalisation can only be used in the event that you wish to use your documents in a country that is also a member of the Apostille Convention. If the receiving country is not a member of the Convention, a range of other steps will need to be following in order to legalise your documents.
Which documents require Dutch apostilles?
An apostille is a stamp or sticker which legalizes and authenticates your documents for official use abroad. In general, the following documents require an apostille.
- Official certificates not drawn up by a civil notary
- Diplomas, certificates and other declarations
- Public documents issued by non-EU countries
- Certified copies issued by an EU country
Please keep in mind that this is not a complete list and getting in touch with the authorities to require if your documents need apostille stamps is always advised.
Are there documents that cannot be authenticated with an apostille?
The following documents cannot be legalised by means of apostille:
- Documents issued by diplomatic consular agents such as declarations of unmarried status drafted by a foreign embassy in the Netherlands
- Documents pertaining to commercial transactions or customs formalities
Using official documents within the EU
If you have one or more public documents issued by an EU member state that you wish to use in other EU country, you might not need to have them apostilled. As of 16 February 2019, certain documents issued by European Union (EU) member states can be used in other EU countries and certain territories without Dutch Apostilles.