Authenticating Documents for Use in China - Process Service Company, Washington DC Process Server
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Authenticating Documents for Use in China

Perhaps you need a visa while visiting, would like to buy real estate in China, or even adopt a child from this mystical country. You will often need your documents authenticated for them to be accepted by China. Whatever your reason, having your papers authenticated is a necessary step.

Authenticating Documents

Authenticating and Apostilling is a certification process that confirms the document is a legitimate copy. It does not verify the contents of the record, but rather that the seals and signatures are true.

Countries that have joined the Hague Convention of 1961 agree to use an Apostille as a common form of authenticating a document. Not all countries have adopted this standard, and therefore, official papers must be Legalized or Authenticated by the destination country to prove the authenticity of the document.

Because China is not a member of the Hague Convention of 1961, your documents cannot be Apostilled; instead, they must go through a multi-step process to be fully Legalized for use in China.

For state documents (such as a birth certificate) or notarized documents:
  • The document must first be submitted to the Secretary of State for certification
    • Be sure to make a note that your document is being legalized for China
    • DO NOT remove the staples – it will invalidate the document
  • The papers are then sent to the U.S. Department of State located in Washington D.C. for authentication
  • Now you can submit all paperwork to the Chinese Embassy for Legalization
For federal documents (such as an FBI report):
  • The documents are submitted to the U.S. Department of State located in Washington D.C. for authentication
    • Be sure to make a note that your documents are being legalized for China
    • DO NOT remove the staples – it will invalidate the document
  • If you are authenticating papers for business (such as Certification of Incorporation), you will need a copy of the business person’s passport
  • Now you can submit all paperwork to the Chinese Embassy for Legalization

Especially with China, there are numerous rules and regulations to precisely follow. If not, your papers may be rejected, and then you will need to start the authentication process over.

The Exceptions: Hong Kong and Macau

Hong Kong and Macau are autonomous regions in China. Hong Kong was under British Colony rule until 1997, when it was turned back over to China. Macau was a Portuguese territory until 1999. Both of these regions have an independent legal system, immigration control, and monetary system – and both regions joined the Hague Convention before returning to China.

The uniqueness of this situation means that documents intended for China must be Authenticated, except for those that will be primarily used in Hong Kong and Macau, those must be Apostilled.

You can see how this can be a difficult situation to navigate.

One Source Process

We know all of this can be confusing to understand, but we are here to help. At One Source Process, we have Apostilled and Authenticated documents for almost every country and territory, and we can take this burden off your hands.

Simply tell us your destination country and territory, upload the certified copies of your paperwork, and leave the rest to us. We will successfully Apostille/Authenticate your documents. Plus… if needed, we can have the papers translated into the language of the destination country.

You may Contact Us at any time with any questions. When you are ready; fill out the Order Form to begin the apostille/authentication process. Do not let the tedious task of authenticating documents delay your travel to China; let us quickly get this done.

Apr 12, 2019

Comments

  1. Meryam
    January 3, 2020 at 3:40 am

    I have the flight tomorrow, im going to china for work but i have the business visa, they said that once there, they will provide work visa. I have all of my documents notarized but i didnt know that i have to certify them at the embassy, and i dont have time. Can I certify them there in china ?

    1. Alex
      January 3, 2020 at 11:22 am

      Hi Meryam,

      If these are US documents that you intend to present to China, they would need to be Legalized here in the US, as only the issuing country is able to authenticate documents for use abroad. It’s usually a 3 step process that involves: State Certification, Federal Authentication, and Embassy Legalization. The process can take a few weeks, although we are able to expedite it to as quick as 7-14 business days.

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