Legalisation of documents from Bosnia and Herzegovina for use in the Netherlands
You can use certain documents from Bosnia and Herzegovina immediately in the Netherlands. Other documents need to be legalised first by the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is done with a special stamp called an apostille.
Due to the corona virus, you cannot have foreign documents legalised at most embassies or consulates-general until further notice. Please check the contact page of the embassy or consulate-general to see if and from when it is possible to have your document legalised. Don't see a start date on the contact page? Then it is not yet possible. Do you only need to have your documents legalised by the local authorities? Then check with the local authorities if that is possible.
Who can have documents legalised?
Anyone who has one or more documents from Bosnia and Herzegovina can have them legalised for use in any part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands:
- the European part of the Netherlands
- 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 (maticar):
- an official copy of a birth certificate (izvod iz maticne knjige rodenih)
- an official copy of a marriage certificate (izvod iz maticne knjige vjencanih)
- an official copy of a death certificate (izvod iz maticne knjige umrlih)
Ask the local authorities where you can get these documents. Documents like these are usually available from the municipality where the birth, marriage or death took place.
Certificate of unmarried status
You can get a certificate of unmarried status from the civil status records office in the place where you live. The records office issues this document in the Bosnian language only. If your records no longer exist, you will need to have the records office draw up a certificate in the presence of witnesses.
Official copy of a divorce certificate (sudska odluka o razvodu)
You can get an official copy of a divorce certificate from the court (sud) where the divorce was granted.
Ask the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina 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 European part of the Netherlands:
- multilingual extracts from civil status records
Which documents require an apostille?
An apostille is a stamp or sticker on your document. The following documents need to be legalised with an apostille:
- multilingual extracts that you want to use in a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands outside Europe
- all other documents
Where can you have your document legalised?
To get your document legalised with an apostille, contact the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. You can find the address on the site 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 in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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.