Legalisation of documents from Canada for use in the Netherlands

If you want to use a document from Canada in the Netherlands, you must first have it legalised by the Canadian authorities. Then you must have it legalised by a Dutch representative in Canada.

Due to the coronavirus, the possibilities to have foreign documents legalised at an embassy or consulate-general are limited. To see if it is possible to make an appointment, please check the online appointment system (unless otherwise indicated). 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 Canada can have them legalised (referred to on Canadian government websites as ‘authentication’) 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 an original and complete long-form document. If the document refers to other documents or annexes, these must be included.

Translation of your document

If your document is not in Dutch, English, French or German you may need to have it translated. The following requirements apply:

  • Your document must be translated by a sworn translator.
  • It must be translated into Dutch, English, French or German.
  • If the sworn translator is not registered in the Netherlands, you must also have the translation legalised.
  • If you use a translator based in Canada, they must be certified by the professional translators association of the province or territory concerned.

Which documents can be legalised?

You can have various documents legalised, such as diplomas and certificates. The most common documents relate to civil status records, such as:

  • original birth certificates
  • original marriage certificates
  • original death certificates

These documents are available from the provincial Vital Statistics office. This governmental website of Canada gives an overview of all the Provincial Vital Statistics Offices in Canada.

  • offical copies of divorce certificates

Official copies of divorce certificates can be requested from the court where the divorce was granted. To do so you must have a photocopy of the divorce order or judgement. If you don't have either of these, divorce records can be requested from the Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings in Ottawa.

Certificate of unmarried status

In Canada you can use the following document as proof of unmarried status:

  • a 'Search of marriage records', which can be requested from the provincial Vital Statistics office. A list of these offices is available on the website of Statistics Canada.

Requesting a certificate of unmarried status in the Netherlands

Canadian nationals in the Netherlands can request a certificate of unmarried status from the Canadian embassy in The Hague. The statement must then be legalised by the Consular Service Centre of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Official copy of a death certificate

Official copies of death certificates can be requested from the Vital Statistics office of the province in which the death occurred. An explanation of how to do this is available on the Canadian government's website.

Where and how can you have your documents legalised?

Start by having your document legalised by Global Affairs Canada (the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs), the government of the Northwest Territories or one of the five Canadian provinces that provide document legalisation services: Alberta (AB), British Columbia (BC), Manitoba (MB), Ontario (ON) and Prince Edward Island (PEI).

If you only need your document to apply for a Dutch passport in Canada, the Canadian legalisation is sufficient. For all other purposes, your document must also be legalised by the Netherlands embassy or a consulate-general in Canada:

Once it has been legalised by the Canadian and Dutch authorities, you can use your document in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

How much does legalisation cost?

The cost of  legalisation can be found in the overview of consular fees. Payments must be made in Canadian dollars.

If you collect your document in person, or have someone collect your document for you, the fee may be paid in cash, by certified cheque or money order from a Canadian bank or by credit card (Visa or Mastercard).

If you send us your document by post, you may enclose a certified cheque or money order (payable to ‘Netherlands Embassy’) or pay by credit card if you enclose the necessary authorisation details. Please also include your address, phone number and email address, in case we need to contact you.

Having your documents sent by post

If you wish, Global Affairs Canada can deliver your document to the Dutch embassy in Ottawa, or send it to one of the Dutch consulates. In this case, when you send your document to Global Affairs Canada you should enclose a separate, sealed envelope, containing your payment (see above) and your address, phone number and email address, in case they need to contact you. The envelope should be addressed to the Dutch embassy or consulate.

The embassy or consulate will aim to complete the legalisation procedure within 5 working days of receiving your complete application. We will return your document to you by regular post, free of charge (inside and outside of Canada). If you would prefer us to send your document by Xpresspost, please refer to the mailing instructions.

Once it has been legalised by the Canadian and the Dutch authorities, you can use your document in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Documents issued by the Canadian consulate in Willemstad (Curaçao)

Documents issued by the Canadian consulate in Willemstad must be legalised by the Foreign Relations Department (DBB) in Willemstad. After legalisation, you can use your document in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Assistance from the CDC in The Hague

The Consular Service Centre (CDC) can help Dutch nationals have documents legalised in Canada.

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.