Legalisation of documents from Bulgaria for use in the Netherlands
You can use certain documents from Bulgaria immediately in the Netherlands. Other documents need to be legalised first by the Bulgarian authorities. This is done with a special stamp called an apostille.
Who can have documents legalised?
Anyone who has one or more documents from Bulgaria 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:
- an official copy of a birth certificate (akt za razhdane)
- an official copy of a death certificate (prepis-izlvlechenie ot akt za smurt)
These documents are available from the civil status records office in the municipality where the birth or death was registered.
- a certificate of unmarried status (udostoverenie za semeino polozhenie)
- an official copy of a marriage certificate (akt za grazhdanski brak)
These documents are available from the civil status records office in the municipality where you live.
Official copy of a divorce certificate
(Reshenie za razvod)
You can get an official copy of a divorce certificate from a regional court.
You are in the Netherlands
You can request extracts from civil status records at the Bulgarian embassy in The Hague.
Ask the Bulgarian 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 European part of the Netherlands:
all multilingual extracts of:
- birth certificates
- marriage certificates
- death certificates
Which documents require an apostille?
An apostille is a stamp or sticker on your document. The following documents require a Bulgarian apostille:
- documents issued by judicial authorities (for example a public prosecutor, a court registrar or a court enforcement officer)
- administrative documents, such as diplomas and certificates
- 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 Bulgarian authorities if your document is not mentioned here.
As of 16 February 2019 use of certain documents simplified within EU
You may have one or more public documents from a European Union (EU) member state that you want to use in another EU country. You will often require an apostille for these documents. As of 16 February 2019 you will be able to make use of a simplified procedure.
More information will follow shortly. If you would like further information now, see the article about the simpler procedure for use of public documents from an EU country on the European e-justice portal.
Which documents require a different legalisation procedure?
Documents from Bulgaria relating to commercial transactions or customs formalities require a different form of legalisation. Contact the Bulgarian authorities to find out whether this applies to your document
Where can you have your document legalised?
For an apostille
To get your document legalised with an apostille, contact the Bulgarian authorities. For details see the website of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH).
Mediation by the Consular Service Centre (CDC) in The Hague
As of 1 June 2018 the Consular Service Centre (CDC) will no longer mediate for people wanting to request documents from Bulgaria and/or have documents from that country legalised.
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.