To the Netherlands! (Or: Immigration forms and apostilles)

So I have made progress since posting the previous blog post about forms and apostilles, specifically for birth certificates and “certificate of single status” (i.e. I am not currently married).

Here is what the “Application Residence Permit without MVV or change of purpose or stay” has to say:

Any official foreign documents about persons that are required for the
application must have been legalised or provided with an Apostille
stamp by the competent authorities of the issuing country. This may
relate to documents such as birth certificates, certificates of unmarried
status (not older than 6 months), marriage certificates, and court decisions regarding adoption and guardianship.

[Note: Some countries require the MVV first, but it is not required of United States citizens.]

Here is what I learned for my situation (for birth certificates and the certificate of single status, both documents with apostilles):

I was born in Illinois, so here were the steps for securing a birth certificate with an apostille from that state:


Request a birth certificate from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) for $15. If mailing it, use this form. Include a form of photo ID (see the link).


Get the apostille. Luckily, IDPH will forward this to the appropriate agency for you if you also include a check for $2 and fill out this form from the Illinois Secretary of State’s website. So you  have two forms, two checks, and copy of a photo ID all sent to the IDPH.

Certificate of Single Status / Record of No Impediment for Marriage

My current state of residence is New Yorkbut this was a bit tricker to find than the birth certificate instructions. If you are a resident of New York City, here is the information for getting a certificate of non-impediment (NYC only).

I will say that the NYC results tend to dominate Google. Another thing that tends to dominate is the pay services where a third party does the work for you. I ended up telling Google to only look at .gov domains, and to ignore .com, etc by using the following:

site:gov certificate of non impediment “new york”

(The quote marks tell Google to search for what you want as an exact phrase.)

The closest thing I could find for this was the New York Department of Vital Records for Marriage Licenses (here) BUT – this is not the right link for what you need.

I finally bit the bullet and emailed the Vital Records department at (as mentioned at the top of this page). I must say – I got a reply within 30 minutes with the form to use, and complete instructions. As an added bonus, they also give you instructions on what to do if you want the Vital Records department to forward the certificate to the New York Department of State ($10) to give the document an apostille.

Things of note:

1. The “form” was in the body of the email – I was told I could just print the email and use that as a form. It does not exist online – so you will need to email As it might change at any moment, I will not copy it here.

2. Clarifying in the email that you are not from NYC might help, since the instructions for that are very different.

All in all – a very good day for getting one step closer to the Netherlands!

Categories: Forms, etc. | Tags: , | 14 Comments

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14 thoughts on “To the Netherlands! (Or: Immigration forms and apostilles)

  1. We had to do the same thing, and isn’t it nuts how complicated and expensive the process is?? We paid hundreds of dollars for apostillized documents and are still awaiting immigration papers! There should be a process map with all the details spelled out about how to make an international move a little easier!

    • Well the biggest issue is that the United States doesn’t officially have any document that says you’re single — it’s the other countries that want it. That was probably why the form isn’t on the NY Vital Records website anywhere.

      I saw the third party links (they are all over Google!) for apostilled documents… but since I had a bit of time I just kept searching. But if I hadn’t given up and emailed the Vital Records department, I never would have found the information I wanted. Crazy!

  2. mary

    Do you know this site, ?

    • Thanks for the comment. I found it a while ago (and forgot), but I never followed it. I just followed it, however. 🙂

  3. I didn’t do any of this before I applied for my visa. All I did was make an appoint at the US Consulate in Amsterdam where they notarized a form that I was single that I was able to print of their website. I then had to go to Den Haag and get an apostille stamp from there. Maybe things have changed in a year? But it might be worth calling IND and seeing exactly what they want you to do. Actually, call them twice because everyone you talk to will give you a different answer. I don’t recall showing my birth certificate to anyone.

    • I get the impression that things are a lot more simple if you are already in the country. 🙂 But if I go to the Dutch consulate in NY, they will require more. I just want to get as much as possible because I am sure someone is going to ask for it sooner or later!

  4. Mark

    Niki – Just found this. Awesome and thanks for taking the time to help others out!

    • You’re welcome. Are you from the US? The funny thing is I ended up having to get an MVV anyway, due to some screwy rules that the Dutch government passed for about 6 months about being unmarried… but it was since repealed. 🙂

  5. Mark

    Thanks again, Niki. Yes, I am from the US and my partner is Dutch. What is an MVV?

    • Cool. Were you able to find information for the required single status / certificate of non-impediment / etc from your state?

      MVVs are something I hope you never have to worry about! Americans are not required to do them – some countries are exempt. It’s basically the first step to getting to the Netherlands, as you have to get permission before you come if you’re from certain countries.

      Long story short, in July of last year they changed the rules (briefly) stating that you had to be married before you come over if you are coming over for a relationship and not work or similar. That effected me as we wanted to get married in the Netherlands — which we did a few weeks ago!

      Anyway, the only way for me to get into the system before the October 1st deadline (when the rule officially went into effect for a few short months) so I could marry here was to apply for an MVV so they knew I existed. I couldn’t come until December 2012 due to work commitments. Lots of hilarity ensued as no one in the NYC Dutch consulate could understand why an American would want an MVV. (It does have some use – if you’re not sure if you will be accepted into the country due to medical reasons or similar, it’s better to find out before you come). The other blessing was that it was very easy to get through passport control when I moved here, but I can’t imagine it being that annoying without one. Just make sure you contact the IND (immigration services) within a few days after arriving to set up an appointment.

      Thankfully that law is no longer in effect.

  6. Breanna

    I’m a US citizen currently in Amsterdam and filling out all the paperwork for my residence permit to stay here with my Dutchie. I read online (on the site that the Single Status Affidavit CAN be obtained here in Amsterdam by the US embassy………..or was that wrong information? I’m from Washington State and couldn’t find anything online for that. So I was going to make an appt with the US embassy here to have that signed/notarized. Is that enough or does it also need to be apostilled?

    • I did some digging and the US consulate in Amsterdam does provide the steps:

      Looks like it’s enough to just get it through the US consulate in Amsterdam, if you’re already in the Netherlands. 🙂

      • Breanna

        Thanks so much for that! Unfortunately I just learned that because my guy works freelance, he doesn’t meet the time requirement of working here for 18months, so he can’t even be my sponsor :/

        Do you have any suggestions on how to stay in the country legally/what permits might be worth going after?

        • Unfortunately no. :/ I only know what worked for me, but I haven’t researched the other permit types really. Good luck though!

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