To use documents from the US in China, they must go through a process called document authentication. However, because China is not a member of Hague Convention, Apostille is usually not accepted. Instead, the documents must first be authenticated by the State Authentication Office, except for documents from CA, CO, WA, MN, and OR, which can be Apostilled. Then, they need to be further authenticated by the Chinese Embassy or Consulate. This process involves three major steps:

  1. Notary: For non-government documents like affidavits, diplomas, passport copies, power of attorney, and bank letters, a notary public must notarize the document first. For government documents like birth certificates and good standing certificates, you will need to obtain a certified copy from the state, and notary is not required.

  2. State Authentication: The State Authentication Office certifies the notary seal or the certified copy by adding a statement page with a big state seal. Some states require the county clerk to certify the notary seal first. Federal documents and those issued in DC jurisdiction require further authentication from the US Department of State.

  3. Consulate Authentication: The Chinese Embassy or Consulate will verify the signature and seal from the Secretary of State Office. Once verified, the Chinese Embassy or Consulate official adds the authentication seal and signature to the document, authorizing it for use in China.

Hive Digital offers assistance with document authentication for China, no matter where our clients are in the world. We can process documents on their behalf to ensure that they meet all the requirements for use in China, including notary, state authentication, and consulate authentication.


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