Using Dutch diplomas and certificates abroad
If you want to use your diploma or certificate abroad, you need to have it legalised. This is done with a stamp or sticker. Where you have this done depends on the type of qualification. After legalisation, you can use your diploma or certificate abroad.
What is legalisation?
Legalisation makes documents suitable for use in another country. It shows that a document has been issued by a competent authority.
How it works
If you have a Dutch educational document that you want to use abroad, for example:
- a diploma
- a list of grades
- a certificate
- proof of enrolment in a course
your document will need to be legalised by at least 2 Dutch authorities. Which authorities legalise your document depends on:
- the type of qualification
- the agreements between the Netherlands and the country where you want to use the document
Step 1 - What type of document do you have?
Ask your educational institution where you can take your document to be legalised.
In most cases, this will be the Education Executive Agency (DUO).
For medical qualifications you should contact the Central Information Unit on Health Care Professions (CIBG).
If DUO or CIBG cannot help, photocopy your document and have the photocopy certified by a notary.
>> Go to Step 2
Step 2 - What are the agreements with the foreign country?
Sometimes, your document will also require an apostille. This depends on whether the country where you want to use your document is a member of the Apostille Convention.
You can find a list of the countries that are members of the Apostille Convention on the website of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH).
The country is a member of the Apostille Convention
- Take your document to the district court for the final step. Check this list of courts in the Netherlands (this site is in Dutch) to find the nearest one.
- Ask the foreign country’s embassy or consulate whether you also need to provide a translation of your document.
>> Your document has now been legalised and can be used abroad.
The country is not a member of the Apostille Convention
You must have your document legalised by the Consular Service Centre at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague.
>> Go to Step 3
Step 3 – Legalisation by the foreign country’s embassy or consulate
Have your document legalised by the country you want to use it in. The foreign country’s embassy or consulate can tell you how this works.