You need to have official foreign documents legalised. Official documents are, for example, birth certificates, unmarried status declarations, marriage certificates or diplomas.
During legalisation it is established whether the document is issued by the proper person or organisation. Legalisation is done with a stamp or sticker. After legalisation your document is ready for use in the Netherlands.
Legalisation can take a lot of time. Please start in time.
Do you want to know how to legalise your foreign document? Please, check the website of Netherlands Worldwide.
For most documents the validity and date of the legalisation are not relevant to the IND. These are documents of which the details are so final that the date of issue is less relevant. For example:
The IND accepts these documents even if these have been legalised some years ago. Provided the legalisation was done by a Dutch authority at the time.
An unmarried status declaration is accepted by the IND only if it is not older than 6 months.
It is of no use to have already legalised documents legalised again. Does a Dutch authority request a recent and legalised document? You then have to request the document again and have that document legalised.
You can register a foreign marriage with the municipality of The Hague's the Foreign Documents Department (Afdeling Landelijke Taken) (website in Dutch only). This is also possible if you are not living in the Netherlands. This registration converts a foreign marriage certificate into a Dutch certificate. The original certificate is kept. You can request a copy of this at any given moment. You can also use this when you submit an application to the IND. You then do not have to submit a legalised certificate from abroad again.
Is your document not written in Dutch, English, German or French? Then the document must be translated into one of these languages. You can have the document translated in the Netherlands or abroad. The following applies:
The translator should be certified by a Dutch court. On the website www.bureauwbtv.nl (in Dutch only) you can find a certified translator.
Are you having the document translated abroad? In that case, you usually must have both the document itself and the translation legalised. Look for the procedure per country on the website of Netherlands Worldwide.