Netherlands Worldwide

Legalisation of documents from South Africa for use in the Netherlands

If you want to use a document from South Africa in the Netherlands, you must first have it legalised by the South African 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 South Africa, see Legalisation of Dutch documents for use abroad.

Good to know

  • In South Africa official documents are often issued in English. Documents in English do not have to be translated for use in the Netherlands.
  • Documents in other languages 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 South African authorities. 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.

Attention: Documents issued by the South African consulate do not get an apostille but are legalised in a different way. Find out below how to arrange that.

Don’t have the document you need?

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

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.

Contact

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