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China is Scheduled to Join the Apostille Convention

The Hague Convention of 1961 – often called the Apostille Convention – has accepted the documents to welcome China into the convention later this year. China is scheduled to join the Apostille Convention on November 7, 2023.   

For now, all documents intended for mainland China must still use embassy legalization to authenticate the papers.

Obtain Embassy Legalization for Documents to China

Having paperwork authenticated is a necessary part of the process for foreign documents used in China. An apostille and embassy legalization is how to authenticate the documents. This process verifies the seals and signatures of the paper to prove its trueness.

But China is in an interesting situation. Hong Kong and Macau were territories of other countries that were members of the Hague Convention of 1961 before their return to China. Therefore, documents intended for these regions require an apostille instead of embassy legalization.

How to Obtain Embassy Legalization

As with an apostille, you must first determine if your documents are state or federally issued.

Examples of state-issued documents are:

  • Driver’s license
  • Birth and death certificate
  • Marriage license
  • School records

Examples of Federally-issued documents are:

  • FBI background check
  • Passport
  • Social security information

For state-issued documents, you will send the paperwork to the Secretary of State for certification (be sure to make a note that your document is being legalized for China). The papers are then sent to the US Department of State in Washington, DC, for authentication. Then you will submit all paperwork to the Chinese Embassy for legalization.

For federally-issued documents, you must submit all paperwork directly to the US Department of State in Washington, DC, for authentication (again, be sure to make a note that your document is being legalized for China). Then you will submit all documents to the Chinese Embassy for legalization.

There are specifics that the Chinese Embassy will watch for. One example is that you MUST NOT remove any staples for the documents – this will invalidate the paperwork.

Let One Source Process Obtain the Apostille or Embassy Legalization for You

Although China is scheduled to join the apostille convention, your documents must still receive embassy legalization. And there are numerous rules and regulations to follow precisely. If not, your papers may be rejected, and then you will need to start the authentication process over. At One Source Process, we know how to obtain the apostille or embassy legalization needed for documents required in China.

Start by filling out the Order Form here and letting us know if the documents will be used in mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau. We will review all the paperwork for FREE and let you know if any information is missing or wrong.

Once everything is in place, we will send you a price invoice and timeline for completion. You will know exactly what to pay and when you should receive the apostille or embassy legalization.

Obtaining an apostille or embassy legalization for China can be tricky. Please Contact Us if you have any questions before getting started.

Apr 20, 2023

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