Legalisation of documents from Switzerland for use in the Netherlands

You can use certain documents from Switzerland immediately in the Netherlands. Other documents need to be legalised first by the Swiss authorities. This is done with a special stamp called an apostille.

Who can have documents legalised?

Anyone who has one or more documents from Switzerland 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
  • St 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 your 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 registered outside the Netherlands, you must also have the translation legalised.

Multilingual extracts from civil status records do not need to be translated. A multilingual extract is a standard form in 9 languages.

Where to get your documents

The most common documents are extracts from civil status records:

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

Contact the Swiss authorities to find out where you can get these documents. Documents like these are usually available from your municipality.

Certificate of unmarried status

An extract from the population register will state whether or not you are married. You can get this document from your municipality and use it as as certificate of unmarried status.

Other documents

Ask the Swiss authorities where you can get the documents you need.

Which documents do not need to be legalised?

The following documents do not need to be legalised for use in the Kingdom of the Netherlands:

  • all official copies and extracts of civil status records. This includes multilingual civil status record extracts
  • documents drawn up by diplomatic or consular agents
  • certificates proving that you are legally allowed to get married (capacity to marry)

Which documents require an apostille?

An apostille is a stamp or sticker on your document. The following documents require a Swiss apostille:

  • documents issued by judicial authorities (for example a public prosecutor, a court registrar or a court enforcement agent)
  • administrative documents, like certificates and diplomas
  • documents drawn up by a civil-law notary
  • official certificates which are placed on documents signed by persons in their private capacity (and not drawn up by a civil-law notary)

This is not a complete list. Contact the Swiss authorities if your document is not listed.

Where can you have your document legalised?

For an apostille

To get your document legalised with an apostille, contact the Swiss authorities. For details see the website of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH). This website is in English.

Once your document has been legalised with an apostille it can be used 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.

Verification of your document

The stamp or sticker on your document means only that the correct signature is on your document. Legalisation 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.