Legalisation of documents from Hong Kong for use in the Netherlands

If you want to use a document from Hong Kong in the Netherlands, you must first have it legalised by the Hong Kong High Court Registry. This is done with a special stamp called an apostille.

If you want to use documents from China or documents from Macau in the Netherlands, a different procedure applies.

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 Hong Kong 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 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 registered outside 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:

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

You can apply for these documents on the Hong Kong Immigration Department website: http://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/. This website is in English and Chinese.

Certificate of unmarried status

You can get a certificate of unmarried status from the Marriage Registration and Records Office in Hong Kong.

Official copy of a divorce certificate

You can get a divorce certificate (decree absolute) from the Family Court Registry. It must be stamped by your local District Court.

Where can you have your document legalised?

You can get an apostille from the Hong Kong High Court Registry. For details see the website of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH). This website is in English.

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) can help Dutch nationals apply for documents or have documents legalised.

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.