Requested translations and legalizations

A translation or legalization or apostille is required for a single permit or work permit procedure, for family reunion procedures, residence permit registration and the mandatory health insurance affiliation after arrival in Belgium.

Translation of documents

To optimize the communication about documents, a translation is requested on all documents provided to Ghent University or the Belgian authorities. A translation is only required if the document is not created in one of the following languages: Dutch; French; German or English.

If it concerns official documents issued by a NON-EEA or EEA authority, the translation must be done by a recognized translator. This is for example the case for diploma’s, proof of good conduct, marriage certificate and birth certificates. Documents such as employment certificates, contracts with other employment in case of secondment, insurance policies, A1 certificate issued by a European government, .. do not have to be translated by an official translator.

It is important that birth names and specific writings are exactly translated and copied to avoid difficulties when applying for the residence documents.

Legalization of documents is NOT required

Official documents that are issued by public authorities from EEA member states (including Belgium) do not need to be legalized to be used for the Single Permit application. Examples might be marriage certificates, birth certificates, proof of cohabitation; … This is regulated by the European coordination law of 6 July 2016 nr. 2016/1191.

Legalization or an apostille is required

For all documents not created within an EEA country, a legalization or apostille and translation might be requested, depending on the type of document and the origin. More information on the requirements can be found for each specific situation.

Legalization is required when your foreign documents are certified as authentic by the appropriate authority in your home country. An Apostille seal is possible if the issuing country has signed up to the Hague Convention.

  • A literal copy, also called complete copy, certified copy or full copy, gives the entire contents of the certificate. The certified copy of a certificate/judgment often takes the form of a true certified photocopy of this certificate.
  • Legalization: the attestation of the validity of the signature on a document.
  • Apostille: is a form of legalization as described in the Hague Convention of 05/10/1961. The apostille is affixed by the competent authority of the country where the document was drawn up. Belgian career consulates do not therefore affix apostilles on either Belgian or foreign documents.

In some countries, the Belgian embassy might also be able to inform you further on the local procedures for legalization.