Legalisation of documents from Portugal for use in the Netherlands

You can use certain documents from Portugal immediately in the Netherlands. Other documents need to be legalised first by the Portuguese authorities. This is done with an apostille.

Who can have documents legalised?

Anyone who has one or more documents from Portugal, the Azores or Madeira 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 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.

Multilingual extracts from civil status records do not need to be translated. A multilingual extract is a standard form in 9 languages.

Where to get your documents

The most common documents are extracts from civil status records:

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

If you are currently in Portugal?

Request the documents from any civil registry office (Conservatória do Registo Civil).

If you are currently in the Netherlands?

The Portuguese embassy in The Hague issues multilingual extracts.

Certificate of unmarried status

Portugal does not issue certificates of unmarried status. Your marital status is given on your identity document. If your marital status has changed since your identity document was issued, this information will not be up to date.

An official copy from the register of births, which says whether or not you are married, can also be used as a certificate of unmarried status. The official copy must not have been issued more than three months ago.

Other documents

Ask the authorities in Portugal where you can get the documents you need.

Which documents do not need to be legalised?

The following documents do not need to be legalised:

  • all official copies and extracts of civil status records. This includes multilingual civil status record extracts
  • documents drawn up by diplomatic or consular agents
  • certificates proving that you are legally allowed to get married (capacity to marry)

The following documents do not need to be legalised for use in the European part of the Netherlands and Aruba:

  • all documents concerning:
  1. legal capacity or legal family relationships
  2. nationality
  3. permanent or temporary place of residence
  • all documents required to get married
  • all documents required to draw up a civil status record

Use of documents within the EU

You may have one or more public documents from an EU member state that you want to use in another EU country. In most cases, documents issued by an EU government or EU judicial body do not need to be translated. You may, however, need to attach a multilingual standard form to your document. You can obtain this form from the authority that issued your document. See the overview of all public documents that can be used freely within the EU on the European Justice website.

Which documents require an apostille?

An apostille is a stamp or sticker on your document. The following documents require an apostille:

  • official certificates which are placed on documents signed by persons in their private capacity (and not drawn up by a civil-law notary);
  • diplomas, certificates and other declarations, e.g. disability declarations;
  • certified copies issued by an EU country of public documents issued by the authorities in a non-EU country.

This is not a complete list. Contact the authorities to find out if your document needs an apostille.

Where can you have your document legalised?

For an apostille

To get your document legalised with an apostille, contact the authorities in Portugal. For details see the website of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH).

Once your document has been legalised with an apostille it can be used in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Mediation by the Consular Service Centre (CDC) in The Hague

The Consular Service Centre (CDC) cannot help you apply for documents or have documents legalised for you in Portugal.

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.