Document Authentication for use in China
Documents originated in US must be legalized by the Chinese Embassy or Chinese consulate in order to be used in China. This process is called document authentication. China is not a member of Hague Convention, therefore Apostille is not acceptable. The documents must first be authenticated by the State Authentication Office, then further authenticated by the Chinese Embassy or Chinese Consulate accordingly.
State authentication is sometimes referred to as a "stamp" or a "gold seal," it is actually a sealed certificate that confirms the authority of a public official, such as a notary public, town clerk, state official or Judge, to act in a particular capacity in connection with a document that he or she has signed. The authentication certificate will verify that the named individual and their position are a matter of record in the Secretary of the State's Office. The certificate will only be prepared if the official has in fact executed the document properly and can only be attached to a signed original or a sealed certified copy from a public record keeper, such as a Town Clerk.
Here is the outline of three major steps for document authentication for China
1) Notary: For non-government documents such as affidavit, power of attorney, bank letter, etc., a notary public must notarize the document first; For government documents such as birth certificates, good standing certificates, etc., you will need to obtain a certified copy from the state; notary is not required.
2) State Authentication: The State Authentication Office must certify the notary seal or the certified copy by adding a statement page with big state seal. Some states require county clerk to certify the notary seal first. Some states may require further Federal level authentication. Click here for state authentication sample.
3) Consulate Authentication: The Chinese Embassy or Consulate will verify signature and seal from the Secretary of State Office. Once verified, the Chinese Embassy or Consulate official will add the authentication seal and signature to the document and it will be authorized for use in China.
Type of documents can be authenticated include, but are not limited to:
VisaRite is specialized in assisting you to obtain document authentication from the Chinese Consulate and Embassy easily and quickly. In order for us to help you, you will need to have the documents authenticated by the relevant State Authentication Office (or US Department of State) first. US Department of State authentication is mandatory if document was originated in some states (see step 2 for details). Please follow the instruction below closely and complete all the steps listed before your mail your application over to us.
1 - Notarized by Local Notary Public
How to obtain a notarize copy of your document such as passport ?
Non-government issued document should first be
notarized by a Notary Public. The document should be signed in presence of the notary. The notary should add an acknowledge statement such as "Signed and sworn (or affirm) to before me this__________day of_______________, 20___." and complete with notary seal and signature.
- State issued document such as vital record, certificate
of corporation, etc doesn't need to be notarized. You should obtain
a certified copy and skip step 1.
2 - Authenticated by the Secretary of State
- Every document should be further authenticated separately by the Secretary
of State by adding a cover statement with a designated big seal, signature and wording recognized by Chinese Consulate.
- Once authenticated, the staple(s)
must not be removed, or it will invalidate the document.
- When you submit the document to secretary of your state, please indicate
the document will be used in China. The document should be authenticated.
Apostille is not recognized in China. It should be Authentication
instead of Apostille.
- Documents issued in some states must be further authenticated by the US Department of State (Federal level) after certification by your state's secretary office (state level). These states include Delaware, Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming and Washington DC.
- Click here for state level certification sample
- Click here for state authentication office
STEP 3 - Authentication Application Form
Download and fill out "Authentication Application Form"
4 - Photocopy of Applicant's ID
Photocopy of applicant's passport. In case of business authentication, photocopy of the business legal person's passport is required.
5 - Business Formation Document
If the document to be authenticated is for business
purpose, a photocopy of the business filling or business evidence
document is also required. Acceptable documents include: Articles
of Incorporation, Certificate
of Incorporation, Articles of Organization, Certificate
of Organization, Certificate
of Formation, Certificate of Good Standing, etc. California commercial document authentication need to provide Statement of Information as business evidence. Skip it, in case of personal document.
6 - Select a Service The authentication
fees vary depending on type of the documents and level of service
(Documents regarding business, commerce, trade, etc. such as: Business license,
Certificate of Good Standing, labor agreement, etc.):
- Regular 7-15 days processing: US$144.00/per document
Consular Fee: $50.00 + Service Fee: $65.00 + Return shipping fee:
(Service fee is reduced to $50 for each additional document, total for each additional document is $100, if the documents can be processed in the same jurisdiction.)
- Express 5-6 days processing: US$184.00/per document (Not available for Chinese Embassy Jurisdiction)
Consular Fee: $70.00 + Service Fee: $85.00 + Return shipping fee:
(Service fee is reduced to $70 for each additional document, total for each additional document is $140, if the documents can be processed in the same jurisdiction.)
(Such as: Adoption, Birth/Death/Marriage Certificate, Affidavit of Single Status, Personal Declaration, Personal Real Estate Transaction, Inheritance, Foster Care, Name Change Order, etc. )
- Regular 7-15 business days processing: US$119.00/per document
Consular Fee: $25.00 + Service Fee: $65.00 + Return shipping fee:
(Service fee is reduced to $50 for each additional document, total for each additional document is $75, if the documents can be processed in the same jurisdiction.)
- Express 5-6 business days processing: US$159.00/per document (Not available for Chinese Embassy Jurisdiction)
Consular Fee: $45.00 + Service Fee: $85.00 + Return shipping fee:
(Service fee is reduced to $70 for each additional document, total for each additional document is $115, if the documents can be processed in the same jurisdiction.)
- Processing time means the time Chinese Consulate needs to process your application. First day of receiving is not processing day. Weekend and holiday doesn't count.
- Additional shipping fee applies, if shipping to Alaska and anywhere other than continental USA
- Express Service is suspended for Chinese Embassy in DC, which covers Washington DC, Delaware, Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming.
Forms of Payment:
- Payment needs to be in forms of money order, cashiers check, bank check,
certified check, company check or cash. Company check may need a few extra days to clear. Please make check or money order
payable to VisaRite Service. Personal check or credit card payment
is not accepted.
- Fee reduction are valid for additional documents issued in the same state.
STEP 7 - Complete Service Request Form
Click here for Service
- Please specify your service level and return address by submitting the service request form online.
- Please provide email address and phone so that confirmation and status update can be sent to you during the process.
- Please include one copy of service request confirmation with the documents you ship to us and keep one copy for your record.
STEP 8 - Send the Application Package to VisaRite Service
Put all following items together in one package
- The original notarized and authenticated document, and a photo copy of each single page. You may fold page when making copies. Do not unstaple, or it will invalidate the document.
- One clearly and completely filled "Application Form for Authentication ".
- Copy of the passport or photo ID of the applicant.
- In cases of commercial authentication, a copy of the company's license or proof of good standing of the company are required.
- Check or money order payable to VisaRite Service Inc to cover the total cost.
Please send your application with all required
items listed above by FedEx
register mail or other traceable courier service to:
VisaRite Service Center
460 Van Emburgh Ave
Ridgewood, NJ 07450
Tel: (201) 445-7088
The processing time is Consulate processing time and doesn't include the
return shipping time. First day of receiving is not processing day.