Legalisation of documents from Sri Lanka for use in the Netherlands

To use a document from Sri Lanka in the Netherlands, you must first have it legalised by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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

Good to know

  • Documents in Sinhalese or Tamil must be translated for use in the Netherlands. Documents in English do not have to be translated.
  • Your document must be original and complete. If it refers to other documents or annexes, these must be included.

Step 1: Having your document translated

If your document is in Sinhalese or Tamil, you must have it translated into Dutch, English, French or German by a sworn translator.

  1. Have the document translated by a sworn translator.
  2. Have the original and the translation legalised.

Go to step 2.

  1. Have the original document legalised in Sri Lanka.
  2. Have the legalised document translated by a sworn translator in the Netherlands. You do not need to have the translation legalised. You can find a sworn translator on the Legal Aid Council website.

Go to step 2.

Step 2: Legalisation of your document

Have your document and, if applicable, the translation legalised by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is done digitally.

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 an official copy of a birth certificate from the Central Record Room in Colombo or the Divisional Secretariat in the place of birth.

You can get an official copy of a marriage certificate from the register in which the marriage was recorded. This applies to Muslim, Kandyan and civil marriages.

You can get a certificate of unmarried status by having an affidavit drawn up by one of the following authorities:

  • a notary public
  • a court (justice of the peace)
  • a Divisional Secretariat
  • a village officer (Grama Niladhari)

Ask the authority which documents you need to bring with you.

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

Help with obtaining documents and having them legalised

The Consular Service Centre can assist Dutch nationals with obtaining documents and having them legalised in Sri Lanka.

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.