How to Apostille Your Birth Certificate
A quick guide about how US citizens can get an apostille stamp for their birth certificate, especially for the DAFT visa.
If you’ve never heard of the Dutch American Friendship Treaty visa and you’re curious about it, I discuss what it is and how you submit the application for it in my previous articles.
What is an Apostille stamp? It’s an official certificate from the Secretary of State verifying that your document (in this case birth certificate) is legit when you need to present it to a foreign country.
Since the DAFT visa is what I personally applied for, I’m going to be using it as the example through-out this guide, though there are other countries with visas that require an apostille stamp on your birth certificate/other documents. Always double check what the requirements are for the particular visa you’re going for and if there’s any additional steps needed.
As you read through the DAFT visa application form, you’ll find under the “Official means of evidence” section that an apostilled birth certificate is among the required documents listed. The Municipality will ask for it when you meet with them to acquire a BSN (basically a Dutch SSN).
But how do I Apostille a birth certificate?
Having your birth certificate apostilled is showing the Dutch government that it’s an officially issued document by authorities within your country. It needs to be from your Secretary of State. From my experience, requesting an apostille for my birth certificate wasn’t difficult, but it can depend on where you’re from.
Finding your SOS website and what you need:
To begin, you can look on Travel.State.Gov’s website for more information about apostilles for documents in general.
Next, you need to look for the website of the Secretary of State for your own state. This is a site that lists all SOS websites: State & Local SOS sites.
For example, I’m from Texas, so I found the authentication of documents section at Texas SOS Apostilles.
Hopefully all of the states are set up where you have the option to mail your document to them. They should also list instructions about the request form you need to send along with your document, a fee (if applicable), and anything else you must include.
So, for my situation, I just needed to include:
- The copy of my birth certificate (issued within the last 5 years)
- The completed form they have specifically listed for issuing apostille stamps
- A check/cash for their fee
- A large stamped return envelope prepared with my return address so my document wouldn’t have to be folded.
Your SOS might have some requirements about your birth certificate, such as they will only issue apostille for copies of your birth certificate. If they don’t mention this, it really is the best route so you don’t lose your original birth certificate. I can confirm copies are accepted for the DAFT visa.
Bear in mind the date of your copy may be another factor to consider. As an example, in Texas the copy of your birth certificate that you send to them for an apostille cannot be older than 5 years. I just used the copy I had from when I got my passport since it was only a year later.
Just to be on the safe side, you should allow several months time to complete this process before you travel to The Netherlands and apply for the DAFT visa. It only took a month for me to receive my apostilled birth certificate copy, but time can vary between states.
I hope your experience with having your birth certificate authenticated goes as well as mine did! If you’re wondering why you need to do this process for the DAFT visa, for example, it’s for when you need to register with a Dutch municipality (after you’ve submitted your application), which you'll be able to find on my Vocal page.
Thank you for reading. If you found any of this information interesting or helpful, please give it a like and share!
About the Creator
Aspiring Fantasy & Horror Writer. Chaotic Night Owl. Freelancer.
The genres I write in are Poetry, Mental Health, and Immigration via my experience immigrating from the US to The Netherlands.
Find me on FB & Twitter: KismetDragoness
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