Legalisation of documents from South Africa for use in the Netherlands
If you want to use a document from South Africa in the Netherlands, you must first have it legalised by the South African authorities. This is done with a special stamp called an apostille.
Due to the corona virus, the possibilities to have foreign documents legalised at an embassy or consulate-general are limited. Please check the online appointment system to see if it is possible to make an appointment. If no times are available, 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 South Africa 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.
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
- a certificate of unmarried status
- an official copy of a marriage certificate
- an official copy of a death certificate
You can get these documents from the Department of Home Affairs.
Official copy of a divorce certificate
You can get an official copy of a divorce certificate from the court where the divorce was granted.
Where can you have your documents legalised?
You can get an apostille from the South African authorities. 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, it can be used in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Assistance from the CDC in The Hague
The Consular Service Centre (CDC) cannot help Dutch nationals apply for documents or have documents legalised. In most cases you can get assistance from the South African embassy in The Hague.
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.