One of our most commonly requested services is legalizing Canadian documents for use in the Netherlands. The Netherlands is becoming a hot destination for work or travel, and many Canadians are flocking overseas to see the beautiful country for themselves. Before you go, there are a few things you need to do to make sure that your documents are legal and ready for use. Here’s an outline of the process and how we can help.
Authenticating Through Global Affairs Canada
The Netherlands is the originator of The Hague Apostille Convention; however, Canada was not one of the initial signees. This means that any document intended to be used in the Netherlands must follow the legalization processes in its country of origin. In Canada, this is known as the authentication and legalization process which contains a few distinct steps.
To start, your documents will need to be authenticated at Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa and then by the Dutch Embassy in Canada. When going directly through Global Affairs Canada, the process can take a few weeks or longer during busier times of the year. If you go through a legalization service provider such as us, we can significantly reduce your wait time to only a few days.
Working with the Dutch Embassy in Canada
After the initial stage, you will then need to have your documents legalized by the Dutch Embassy in Canada. There are Netherlands Consulate Generals in a few major cities throughout Canada; however, the Dutch embassy in Canada (Ottawa) can process any document which will save you time and money, depending on your location.
Once we meet with the consular section, they will legalize your documents, and the papers will be ready for presentation in the Netherlands as an equivalent to an Apostille certificate. Physically moving your documents to the Netherlands can be tricky, especially for large, delicate documents. We recommend you use a secure shipping service to ensure they get there in one piece. If you need help with this we will be happy to assist.
As in any case, no matter the country that will be legalizing your documents, they must be original and in long form, and they must have been issued relatively recently. Additionally, if your documents contain references to other documents, you must also include those in the legalization process as well. In some special cases, your documents might be in a different language other than English, German, French or Dutch.
If this is the case, you’ll need to have them translated by a sworn translator. This creates another step in the process as you must have the translation legalized if the translator is based outside of the Netherlands. If you are unsure, we’ll be happy to help you out with that step also.
What a Verification Stamp Means
When you have your document legalized by the Dutch Embassy in Canada you will receive a stamp or sticker on the document. This simply means that the correct signature is on your document but doesn’t prove that the content or certifications of the document are correct. Once you present your documents to an authority in the Netherlands such as the Immigration and Naturalization Service, they may decide to verify the legitimacy of the document.
We’re Here to Help
If you need an assistance with the legalization process or just have general questions, contact the Legalization Service Centre, and we’ll be happy to help and answer any of your questions. W have been working with the Dutch Embassy in Canada for many years and know every aspect of their requirements.