Legalisation of documents from Puerto Rico for use in the Netherlands

To use a document from Puerto Rico in the Netherlands, you must first have it legalised by the local American authorities. This is done with an apostille. This is a simplified form of legalisation which allows you to use your documents in the Netherlands.

Attention: If you want to use a Dutch document in Puerto Rico, see Legalisation of Dutch documents for use abroad.

Good to know

  • In Puerto Rico documents are issued in English. Documents in English do not have to be translated for use in the Netherlands.
  • Documents in Spanish must be translated into Dutch, English, French or German by a sworn translator. 
  • Your document must be original and complete. If it refers to other documents or annexes, these must be included.

Where can you have your document legalised?

You can get an apostille from the American authorities in San Juan. See the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) website for contact details.

Once your document has been legalised it is fit for use in the Netherlands.

It is then also fit for use in Aruba, Curaçao, St Maarten, Bonaire, Saba and St Eustatius.

Don’t have the document you need?

Find out below where to obtain a document that you need but do not yet have.

You can get civil status records from the Puerto Rico Department of Health via the VitalChek website.

You can request official copies of:

  • birth certificates
  • marriage certificates
  • divorce certificates
  • death certificates

Find out from the authorities in Puerto Rico where you can get a certificate of unmarried status.

If you need another type of document, ask the local authorities where you can get this document.

After legalisation

Verification of your document in the Netherlands

Legalisation does not prove the authenticity of a document or the truthfulness of its content. A municipality in the Netherlands, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) or another authority may decide to verify these things. Legalisation of your document simply means that your document bears the correct signature.

How recently must your document have been issued or legalised

Organisations have different requirements for how recently your document must have been issued and legalised. For more information, contact the organisation in the Netherlands requesting the document.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.