Lack of documentary evidence

Last update: 19 May 2022

To become a Dutch citizen through naturalisation or option you need to have a passport and a birth certificate. Find out when you do not need a passport and/or birth certificate. How to get a passport and birth certificate. And what you should do when you cannot get these documents.

What is lack of documentary evidence?

When you want to become a Dutch citizen, you need to have a legalised birth certificate and a valid foreign passport. Do you not have these documents? Then, the IND expects you to make an effort to obtain these documents. Is it really not possible for you to get these documents? And can you proof with documents why this is not possible? Then, the IND may decide that you no longer need to submit these documents. This is what we call lack of documentary evidence.

When do I not need a passport and a birth certificate?

You do not have to show a passport and/or birth certificate in the following situations:

Show details Hide details

How do I get a valid foreign passport?​​​​​​​

For every country, there are different rules. At the embassy or consulate of your country, you can ask how this works.

How do I get my foreign birth certificate or proof of birth?

First, find out how births are registered in the country of your birth. Check this with your government. Is birth registration done in your home country with birth certificates? Your birth certificate is then often in a registry. At the registry in your country, you ask for your birth certificate. Sometimes, your embassy can help you with this. You can also ask other people if they will request a birth certificate for you in your country of birth. These could include family, friends, a notary or a lawyer. You then do not need to travel to your country of birth yourself.

Sometimes it is difficult to obtain the documents. In the following FAQ, you can read what you can do:

Legalisation of a birth certificate

At Government of the Netherlands ​you can find information about legalisation of a birth certificate. Is information about your country of birth not listed? You can contact the authorities or representation of your country.​

Countries with other supporting documents

For these countries, other documents may also be used:

Show details Hide details
  • Afghanistan

    open minus
  • China

    open minus
  • Eritrea

    open minus
  • Iraq

    open minus
  • Syria

    open minus
  • Somalia

    open minus
  • Azerbaijan

    open minus

Lack of documentary evidence for naturalisation / becoming a Dutch citizen

Does lack of documentary evidence apply to you? Then you need to show that it really is not possible for you to get a passport and/or birth certificate. ​You must prove with documents why this is not possible. The IND then determines, for your situation, if you are unable to meet the standard of proof.

You must have a good explanation for why you are not able to obtain to a birth certificate and/or passport. Can you not get a passport? Please explain with evidence why your government will not or cannot give you a passport. For a birth certificate and/or passport you may need to travel. Sometimes you need to travel to your country of origin. This takes you a lot of effort. You must show what you have done and why it did not succeed.

Documents to proof lack of documentary evidence

You do not easily get an exemption from the obligation to provide a birth certificate or travel document. Only on the basis of your personal situation can you be given an exemption. You could, for example, show one of the following pieces of evidence:

  • A declaration from your authorities stating that you are not able to show a passport and/or birth certificate. The declaration also states why this is not possible. You can contact your embassy for this. You can also contact the authorities in the country of origin.
  • Documentary evidence from which it is evident that you have made an effort to obtain a passport and/or birth certificate. For example, travel documents (tickets) of trips that you and/or your family members have made. Letters or emails containing information you have requested or requests that you have submitted. Documents from schools, churches, lawyers or other organisations that you have requested to help.

Examples of lack of documentary evidence

In these examples, there is lack of documentary evidence.

Show details Hide details
  • Example 1 lack of documentary evidence

    open minus
  • Example 2 lack of documentary evidence

    open minus

Examples of no lack of documentary evidence

In these examples, there is no lack of documentary evidence.

Show details Hide details
  • Example 1 no lack of documentary evidence

    open minus
  • Example 2 no lack of documentary evidence

    open minus
  • Example 3 no lack of documentary evidence

    open minus
  • Example 4 no lack of documentary evidence

    open minus