Legalisation of documents from Cuba for use in the Netherlands
To use a document from Cuba in the Netherlands, you must first have it legalised by the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Then you must have it legalised by the Netherlands embassy in Havana.
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 Cuba 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 not registered in the Netherlands, you must also have the translation legalised.
Civil status records in Spanish
You can use official copies and extracts of civil status records in Spanish at Dutch embassies and consulates in Spanish-speaking countries.
If you want to use your document in the Netherlands, it will need to be translated. This must be done by a sworn translator.
Which documents can be legalised?
You can have various documents legalised, such as diplomas and certificates. The most common documents are certificates from the civil status records office (registro civil):
- a birth certificate (certificación de nacimiento)
- an official copy of a marriage certificate (certificación de matrimonio)
- an official copy of a divorce certificate (certificación de divorcio)
- an official copy of a death certificate (certificación de defuncion)
There are 4 authorities where you can request these documents:
- the civil status records office in the municipality where the birth, marriage, divorce or death took place
- the civil status records office in Havana
- the Consultoría Jurídica Internacional (information in Spanish)
- the Bufete de Servicios Especializados (information in Spanish)
Cuba only issues original birth certificates. When requesting a document, explain that you need to use it abroad.
Requesting a Cuban birth certificate in the Netherlands
You can request an original birth certificate:
- via the Cuban consulate in Rotterdam
- via a friend or family member in Cuba
- from the Consultoría Jurídica Internacional (information in Spanish) directly
- from the Bufete de Servicios Especializados (information in Spanish) directly
Certificate of unmarried status (Fe de soltería)
You can get this document from the civil status records office. The certificate is valid for no more than 180 days from the date of issue.
Where can you have your document legalised?
The Netherlands embassy in Havana legalises Spanish Cuban civil status documents however, to use your document in the Netherlands you must have it translated by a sworn translator.
If the sworn translator is not registered in the Netherlands, you must also have the translation legalised.
After these legalisation procedures, you can use your document in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
How long will it take?
It usually takes 5 business days to legalise your document. You can collect your document without an appointment on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday between 8.30 and 9.00 am.
How much will it cost?
Please check the overview of the consular fees for the costs and payment method.
Assistance from the CDC in The Hague
The Consular Service Centre (CDC) can help Dutch nationals apply for documents or have documents legalised in Cuba. This applies to all documents, except marriage and divorce certificates.
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.