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In the near future, I may need to apostille a Russian birth certificate for use in the Netherlands. Due to the war in Ukraine, it is not possible for me to visit Russia anytime soon. Is it still possible to get an apostille, and if so, where? (For what it's worth, I'm a US citizen.)

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  • Do you know anyone in Russia who can do it for you?
    – phoog
    Feb 26 at 6:33
  • Not really. Most of our family has been in the US for decades. Feb 26 at 6:36
  • Have you tried explaining that getting a birth certificate from Russia is pretty difficult for you? Have you read the relevant page on the Dutch government website? nederlandwereldwijd.nl/legaliseren/buitenlandse-documenten/… which links to the contact info here hcch.net/en/states/authorities/details3/?aid=341
    – user30378
    Feb 27 at 6:32
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    Just curious, what do you need the birth certificate for in the Netherlands?
    – Neith
    Feb 27 at 11:17
  • @Neith In Germany this is common place for naturalized citizens born abroad. The certified and translated copy is then stored in the local Standesamt (registrar's office). Any future need for a birth certificate inside Germany could then be supplied by that registrar's office. Feb 28 at 7:35

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The apostille is (in this case) a Russian government officer's certification of the validity of the Russian birth certificate, so if you could get it anywhere in the Netherlands, it would be at a Russian consulate. However, the consular section of the Russian embassy to the Netherlands has a page on document legalization, which says

Внимание ! Проставление апостиля производится компетентными органами государства-участника Гаагской конвенции только на документах, выданных в этом государстве, и только на территории этого государства.

Внимание ! Посольства и консульства России не уполномочены на проставление апостилей. Консульский отдел Посольства не проставляет апостили на российские и голландские документы.

Machine translation:

Attention ! An apostille is affixed by the competent authorities of a state party to the Hague Convention only on documents issued in this state, and only on the territory of this state .

Attention ! Russian embassies and consulates are not authorized to issue apostilles. The Consular Section of the Embassy does not issue apostilles on Russian and Dutch documents.

So, it is not possible to get the apostille in the Netherlands. As you have mentioned in a comment that you don't know anyone in Russia who could take care of it for you, your best bet is probably to see whether you can hire someone to do it.

I don't remember the details of my experiences obtaining apostilles in the US, but based on this experience I suspect that there's a good chance that you'll need to have a new certified copy of the birth certificate issued, which you would probably also need to have done in Russia.

I don't know anything about the Russian legal system, but based on my knowledge of other legal systems, at least some of the following services ought to be available. In order of assumed cost, they are:

  • an agency of the sort that handles passport and visa applications
  • a notary, paralegal, or some other legal representative who isn't a lawyer
  • a lawyer, solicitor, attorney, etc.

This could get expensive, but even if a trip to Russia were possible, hiring an agent to get the apostille for you would probably be cost effective. As it is, I suspect it's your only option.

The page linked above has further details about various kinds of documents that can be legitimated with an apostille and which offices issue them.

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  • [From a very uninformed reading of your translations] It sounds like the consulates just can't issue an apostille, what they could do though is - if they want to I guess - ask the relevant office in Russia proper for the apostille on your behalf and then hand it over to you (with some dealy). Just as a suggestion for OP to try
    – Hobbamok
    Feb 27 at 12:19
  • They would have to send the birth certificate to the relevant office, since the official issuing the apostille has to determine that the birth certificate is genuine and (if I recall correctly) physically attach the apostille to the birth certificate. If the consulate offered such a service they would surely mention it on that page.
    – phoog
    Feb 27 at 13:08
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As you mentioned that you don't have anyone in Russia to help with requesting BC again, then you might want to use some paid services.

Some of my colleagues successfully used this company, but of course you can search for alternatives if you want.

Very briefly scheme looks like this:

  • you give power of attorney (to request and apostile BC) to couple of representatives (employees of this company)
  • they go on your behalf to ЗАГС and request BC
  • request apostile
  • send everything to you

Approximate costs are about 200 EUR and total ETA is 1-1.5 month

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  • Yes, as mentioned here, the only solution is to hire a company. But there is a trick, the company should work in the region issued the birth certificate. Otherwise waiting time grow additionally to 3-5 months because ЗАГС sends the documents in the their own system to the right division. Feb 28 at 15:30
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in addition, once you have obtained the birth certificate, try to get it registered at the city of The Hague for future use.

https://www.denhaag.nl/nl/akten-en-verklaringen/buitenlandse-akte-inschrijven/#hoe-werkt-het

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Not enough reputation to comment so I'm giving this as a post.

Once you have a way to get the documents, it might be worth getting 2-3 apostilled copies so that you don't have to go through the process a second time.

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