Legalisation of documents from Japan for use in the Netherlands

If you want to use a document from Japan in the Netherlands, you must have it legalised by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is done with a special stamp called an apostille.

Who can have documents legalised?

Anyone who has one or more documents from Japan can have them legalised for use in any part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands:

  • the European part of the Netherlands
  • Aruba
  • Bonaire
  • Curaçao
  • Saba
  • Sint Eustatius
  • St Maarten

Requirements for your document

  • Your document must be original and complete. If the document refers to other documents or annexes, these must be included.

Translation of a document

If your document is not in English, French, German or Dutch you might need to have it translated. The following rules apply:

  • Your document must be translated by a sworn translator.
  • It must be translated into English, French, German or Dutch.
  • If the sworn translator is not registered in the Netherlands, you must also have the translation legalised.

Which documents can be legalised?

You can have various documents legalised, such as diplomas and certificates. The most common documents are extracts from the population register. This is known in Japan as the Family Register:

  • an official copy of a birth certificate
  • an official copy of a marriage certificate
  • an official copy of a divorce certificate
  • an official copy of a death certificate

You can get an extract from the Family Register, or request an official copy from the municipal authorities in the municipality where the birth, marriage, divorce or death took place.

If you are not a Japanese national

Request an official copy from the municipal authorities in the municipality where the birth, marriage, divorce or death took place.

Certificate of unmarried status

If you are currently in Japan:

Please contact the Japanese authorities to find out where to request this document.

If you are currently in the Netherlands:

The Japanese embassy in The Hague can draw up a certificate of unmarried status based on an extract from the Family Register. You must then have the certificate legalised at the Consular Service Centre (CDC) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Consular certificate in English for official copy of Family Register entry

If you have an official copy of an entry in the Family Register (whether legalised with an apostille or not) that is in Japanese only, you can get a consular certificate in English from the Japanese embassy in The Hague.

You must then take the certificate and the copy in Japanese to the Consular Service Centre at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for legalisation.

Where can you have your document legalised?

You can get an apostille from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For details see the website of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) After your document is legalised with an apostille, you can use it in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Assistance from the CDC in The Hague

The Consular Service Centre (CDC) cannot help you apply for documents or have documents legalised for you in Japan.

Verification of your document

The stamp or sticker on your document means only that the correct signature is on your document. It does not prove that the content is correct or that the document is authentic. A municipality in the Netherlands, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) or another authority may decide to check this.