If you need to use documents from the United States in China, you must go through a process called document authentication. This is because Chinese authorities require all foreign documents to be legally verified before they can be used within the country. However, since China is not yet a member of the Hague Convention, the commonly used method of authentication known as Apostille is not accepted. Instead, a more extensive process must be followed to ensure that the documents are legally recognized. Typically the documents that require authentication for a work permit application are 1)background check 2)degree (bachelors minimum) and 3)TEFL/TESOL/CELTA (if less than 2 years teaching experience)
The process of document authentication for use in China typically involves three major steps. The first step is notarization, which is required for non-government documents such as affidavits, diplomas, passport copies, power of attorney, and bank letters. A notary public must first verify the document by attaching their seal and signature. However, for government documents like birth certificates and good standing certificates, a certified copy from the state is required instead of notarization.
The next step is State Authentication, where the State Authentication Office verifies the notary seal or certified copy by attaching a statement page with a state seal. Some states may require the county clerk to certify the notary seal first. Federal documents and those issued in the District of Columbia require further authentication from the US Department of State.
The final step is Consulate Authentication, where the Chinese Embassy or Consulate verifies 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.
It is also crucial to ensure that all documents are properly translated into Mandarin Chinese by a certified translator within China before submitting them to the FEB for approval. Failure to comply with the authentication process or improper translation may result in rejection of the documents by Chinese authorities.
In summary, document authentication is a necessary process for using United States documents in China, and it involves notarization, state authentication, and consulate authentication. Understanding the process and ensuring that all documents are properly authenticated and translated can help facilitate a smooth and successful process.
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.