A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
I suppose all of you probably have done with your Masters thesis, submitted successfully, and now waiting for the Graduation day. Also I suppose you already have booked your return ticket or about to book. But wait, still something waiting to be done! That is- you have to legalize your Dutch Diploma Certificate fro the Dutch Education Ministry!
It is because, if you are going to work or study outside the Netherlands, you will usually need a legalized educational document (diploma, list of marks, etc.). This legalization is necessary because only after this legalization, they Dutch Education System will enlist your Diploma Certificate in their server. Also, it will be legally valid then. And, many countries of the world ask for legalized document (also many countries don’t bother at all). However, it is better to get your Dutch Diploma legalized before you leave. Now the question is how ill you do that? Here are the detailed
1. You have to legalize your Dutch Diploma Certificate through Dutch Education Ministry (short name is DUO). Go to the following link, they have all the necessary information-
2. In order to legalize your documents, DUO has to receive your original educational documents. DUO only legalizes original and signed educational documents on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Education. It is not possible to legalize (certified) photocopies or scans.
3. There are two options for you to get your documents legalized at DUO-
The first option is for you to visit their office in Groningen. This is for you probably the quickest way. If you choose this option, please bring along the original documents. The costs are € 6,00 per document. You can pay either by pin (preference) or cash. Their address is Kempkensberg 12, 9722 TB in Groningen. Their visiting hours are from Monday to Friday from 10 am to 4 pm. You do not have to make an appointment. When you arrive at their office, please contact the reception. Don’t forget to bring your valid ID card.
It is also possible to apply for legalization by regular, registered, mail. If you apply via mail, the costs are € 6,00 per document plus € 10,00 administrative costs. Please check their website for the procedure and the application form:
4. The next step for legalization depends on the country for which you need the legalization. If your country of destination appears on the list of apostille countries and it has signed the Apostile Convention, you will have to continue the process of legalization at a district court in the Netherlands. If your destination country does not appear on the list of apostille countries, you will have to continue the legalization process via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Bezuidenhoutseweg 67, 2594 AC The Hague). After the process at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, you will have to go to the embassy of the country that you intend to go to. For the list of apostille countries and more information, please visit:
5. If you have checked the list and have come to the conclusion that you country is a member country of Apostile Convention and you do need an apostille, you can go to any courthouse in the Netherlands. Should you choose to visit our office in Groningen first, you have the option of going to the courthouse in Groningen at Guyotplein 1 after having visited the DUO. The costs for an apostille are € 20,00 per document. The visiting hours at the courthouse in Groningen are also from 10 am to 4 pm. If you want to visit at DUO and the courthouse in Groningen at the same day I advise you to be at DUO office before 2 pm.
6. Last but not least, there is a trick to make the process faster:
One of my friends did a one year Masters course from one of the Dutch Universities in 2015. What their program coordinator did- they sent emails to Dutch Education Ministry and Foreign Ministry, and also issued a letter mentioning their students’ names that urged Dutch ministries to assist their students for legalizing the Diplomas within shortest period. So the next day of graduation ceremony, all of my friends’ classmates went to Dutch Education Ministry at Groningen and Foreign Ministry at Hague, and finally got their Diplomas legalized on the same day. So, can you also ask your program coordinator to do the same (it might help!).