Legalising a Dutch diploma or certificate
If you want to work or study abroad, your future employer or educational institution may ask you for a legalised diploma. Legalisation shows that your Dutch diploma is genuine and recognised. How you have the document legalised depends on where you want to use the qualification.
What is legalisation?
If you want to use your diploma or certificate abroad, you need to have it legalised. This is done with a stamp or sticker. You can then use the certificate in another country. You can also legalise other educational documents, for example a list of grades, a certificate or a proof of enrolment.
For a diploma to be legalised:
- it must be original and complete
- it must be signed by a representative of the school or university
- it must be printed on the original paper of the educational institution
- the educational institution and the study programme must be recognised and accredited by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science
Your diploma must also be recorded in the DUO diploma register (Mijn diploma's), which contains data on diplomas awarded by most study programmes in the Netherlands. Check via Mijn DUO to find out whether your diploma is in the DUO diploma register. You will need the DigiD app, DigiD with SMS verification or an EU-approved login key.
If your diploma is not in the DUO register or you cannot log in
If your diploma is not in Mijn diploma's or you cannot log in to Mijn DUO, contact DUO via email@example.com or call +31 50 599 77 78. The helpdesk is open from Monday to Friday between 09:00 and 12:00 hours.
How do I get my diploma legalised?
- Ask your Dutch educational institution where to have your diploma legalised. In most cases, DUO is the starting point for legalisation. You can do this at a DUO desk in Groningen and Rotterdam or by registered post. You will have to pay a fee. Go to the DUO website to find out more about legalisation of documents by DUO and to make an appointment at a DUO desk.
- Next you need to finalise the legalisation. How you do this depends on whether the country where you want to use your diploma is a member of the Apostille Convention.
- If you want to use your diploma in a country that is a member of the Apostille Convention, you can apply for a stamp or sticker called an ‘apostille’. You can apply for an apostille from any district court in the Netherlands. You will have to pay a fee. Ask the foreign country’s embassy or consulate in the Netherlands whether you also need to provide a translation of your diploma.
- If you want to use your diploma in a country that is not a member of the Apostille Convention, you must have it legalised at the Consular Service Centre (CDC) in The Hague. You will have to pay a fee. After this, have your document legalised by the country you want to use it in. The foreign country’s embassy or consulate in the Netherlands can tell you how this works.
Translation of your diploma
Do you need a translation of your diploma for legalisation? Then you need to get it translated by a sworn translator. The Register of Sworn Interpreters and Translators (information in Dutch) has a list of all the sworn translators in the Netherlands.
How long is my legalisation valid?
There is no fixed period of validity for the stamp or sticker that legalises your diploma. This is determined by the employer or educational institution abroad asking for the legalised diploma. Ask the institution abroad that wishes to receive your legalised diploma about the period of validity.
Lost or damaged educational documents
If your qualification meets the requirements but your diploma or certificate is damaged or lost, it may still be possible to get a duplicate and have it legalised.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
If your personal situation changes
Check what else you need to arrange in the following situations: