Foreign documents

Sometimes you need to provide us with a foreign document (birth certificate, marriage certificate, court ruling, extract of criminal record, ...). This can also be a self-written document (e.g. parental consent).

 

We only accept documents drawn up in or translated into Dutch, French, German or English. Some foreign documents also require legalisation. If you submit the document correctly, you prevent us from having to reject it, thereby delaying your application.

 

Below you can read the rules for translation and legalisation.

Exceptions

Official documents from an EU country

  • Legalisation
    Most documents from the EU do not require legalisation.
  • Translation
    Has the document not been drawn up in Dutch, French, German or English?
    • Translation aid
      In that case, you can request the local authority of the EU country for a translation aid. A translation in one of the required languages will then be added to the document.
    • Sworn translator
      You can also have the document translated by a sworn translator. In that case, the translation will not require any legalisation either.
      Note: has the document been translated in Belgium? Then these rules apply:
      • The translator provided you with the translation digitally
        Then you submit the translation electronically (via email or an online application).
      • The translator provided you with the translation on paper
        Then you submit the translation on paper. Note: the document must contain an original (non-digital) signature of the translator.

Exception: civil status records from a member state of the International Commission on Civil Status (ICCS)

  • Legalisation
    A number of EU countries can issue you with extracts of birth, marriage and death certificates which do not require legalisation.
    Consult the list of member states of ICCS convention 16 and ICCS convention 34.
  • Translation
    These certificates are multilingual and include the required languages.

Documents from a non-EU country

  • Legalisation
    Legalisation or an apostille is usually required.
    Check whether legalisation or an apostille is required.
  • Translation
    Has the document been drawn up in a language other than Dutch, French, German or English? Then also add a translation from a sworn translator.
    • The document has been translated abroad
      Does the original document require legalisation or an apostille? If so, this also applies to the translation.
    • The document has been translated in Belgium
      Has the document been translated by a sworn translator in Belgium? Then these rules apply:
      • The translator provided you with the translation digitally
        Then you submit the translation electronically (via email or an online application).
      • The translator provided you with the translation on paper
        Then you submit the translation on paper. Note: the document must contain an original (non-digital) signature of the translator.

Exception: civil status records from a member state of the International Commission on Civil Status (ICCS)

  • Legalisation
    A number of non-EU countries (primarily European ones) can issue you with extracts of birth, marriage and death certificates which do not require legalisation.
    Consult the list of member states of ICCS convention 16 and ICCS convention 34
  • Translation
    These certificates are multilingual and include the required languages.

Documents you have drawn up yourself

For some applications you have to draw up a document yourself. E.g. consent that your child may move to Belgium.

  • If you draw up this document in a language other than Dutch, French, German or English, you must add a translation. Follow the rules mentioned above.
  • You sign the document with your original signature (not digitally). This is the same signature which appears on your national identity card or passport.
  • So as to verify that you have signed this document yourself, you must add a colour copy of your national identity card or passport. The copy contains your personal details and your signature, so that we can identify you and compare your signature.

You best have your signature on the document authenticated by the competent authority, but this is not mandatory.

Do you have a question?

Contact us. We are happy to help you.

Call us

016 27 21 94

Mail us

nietbelgen@leuven.be
We'll get back to you as soon as possible.
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