Legalisation of documents from Saudi Arabia for use in the Netherlands

To use a document from Saudi Arabia in the Netherlands, you must first have it legalised by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Then you must have it legalised by the Netherlands embassy in Riyadh.

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 with one or more documents from Saudi Arabia 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.

Which documents can be legalised?

You can have various documents legalised, such as diplomas and certificates. The most common documents are extracts from civil status records. You can get these from the Civil Affairs Registrar’s Office, which is part of the Saudi Ministry of Interior.

Official copy of a birth certificate

You can get an official copy of a birth certificate from the Civil Affairs Registrar’s Office.

Certificate of unmarried status

You can declare that you are unmarried in 2 ways:

With a Tabiya (family record)
You can use your Tabiya to show that you are not married.

Without a Tabiya
You can appear before a judge at a local subdistrict court and declare that you are not married. You will need 2 witnesses.

Certificate of unmarried status for Dutch nationals

If you are a Dutch national you can get a declaration of marital status from the Dutch embassy. The declaration is valid for the period in which you live or lived in Saudi Arabia.

Official copy of a marriage or divorce certificate

First make a photocopy of the original certificate. Then have the photocopy certified by the local court that issued the original certificate. The court will certify that the contents of the photocopy are the same as in the original.

Certificates from other institutions (for example a mosque) are not valid and cannot be certified.

Official copy of a death certificate

The deceased person is a Saudi national
You can get an official copy of the death certificate from the Civil Affairs Registrar’s Office.

The deceased person is a Dutch national
The original certificate is drawn up by the Civil Affairs Registrar’s Office. You can get an official copy of the certificate from the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This can take up to 9 months.

Where can you have your documents legalised?

First have your document legalised by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Then have your document (and any accompanying documents) legalised by the Netherlands embassy in Riyadh.

After these 2 legalisation procedures, you can use your document in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

How can you make an appointment?

Make an appointment via the online appointment system of the embassy.

You can also send the documents by courier to the embassy. In that case, contact the embassy via email before sending any documents. Make sure the courier will also pick up the documents after the legalisation has been finalised.

How long will it take?

The processing time of a legalisation is normally 1 working day (submit today, pick up the next working day). If you live far away from the embassy, you can ask someone else (e.g. a friend, a courier) to pick up the document for you.

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) cannot help you apply for Saudi documents or have Saudi documents legalised for you.

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.