The majority of provinces in China now require a teacher to authenticate their Degree Certificate and ‘No Criminal Record’ background check (and in some circumstances their TEFL/ TESOL/ CELTA certificate) in order to issue the work ‘z’ visa support paperwork.
Authentication Services (To be used to complete the process on your behalf)
Notarisation – this is the attestation by a Notary Public that the signature appearing on the document is true and genuine. This is usually completed in the country where the document originates. This may also be in the form of a certification which is made by a solicitor as to the signatures made on a document.
Apostille – a Government Official in the country of origin has to declare the signature of the Notary Public or the Solicitor as true and genuine. Authentication declares that the Apostille is genuine prior to Legalisation. These are undertaken by a Home Office, e.g the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, or Department of State.
Legalisation – the Chinese Embassy can now declare and accept the signature, seal or stamp appearing on the document as genuine.
Only once you have authenticated your documents and sent these by scanned copy to your employer school can their HR Team begin to submit your work ‘z’ visa application to the Provincial Visa Office.
Ensure you allow around 3 weeks to complete the process; teachers graduating in 2017 need to begin this process immediately after receiving a degree certificate.
Many schools will contribute towards the costs of the authentication process; if your employer details this in your employment, ensure you keep all receipts or invoices.
Process for Authentication of Documents for UK Citizens
The following is a simple guide to the authentication procedure for Z visa documents for UK citizens.
It is important to note that although these are the most common documents needed for authentication, certain schools/ local visa offices may have different requirements. It is vital to double and triple check with your school’s HR department which documents need to be authenticated and if there is any specific wording needed or special requirements from the school for authentication.
Edward Young, Notary Public London
Edward Young offer a comprehensive package, processing every step of the Authentication process. The service has a turnaround time of 7-10 days. Find out more via the link below.
Edward Young (incorporating Kober-Smith & Associates)
9 Carlos Place
London, W1K 3AT.
Telephone: 020 7499 2605
Please find example images below of Degree Certificate and DBS documents at each stage of their notarization.
Degree certificate notorized
Apostille and Embassy Stamp
Process for Authentication of Documents for US Citizens
The following is a simple guide to the authentication procedure for Z visa documents for US citizens.
It is important to note that although these are the most common documents needed for authentication, certain schools/ local visa offices may have different requirements. It is vital to double and triple check with your school’s HR department which documents need to be authenticated.
Process for Australian Citizens
Documents should be notarized by a public notary.
The notarized documents should then be authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, or its Office in States or Territories.
Note that if you send your documents via post, your application should be mailed to the DFAT’s offices in Melbourne or Sydney.
Apply for the documents authentication from the Chinese Embassy or relevant Consulate General where the documents were notarized (not authenticated), in accordance with consular regions. This must be done in person or via a service.
See the following page for an overview: http://au.china-embassy.org/eng/ls/Authentication/
Process for Canadian Citizens
The document is to be notarized by a local notary public, lawyer or Commissioner of Oaths of Canada
The document, notarized where the Chinese Embassy holds consular jurisdiction, to be authenticated by the authentication office of the Canadian Foreign Affairs Department.
The document, notarized where the Chinese Consulate General holds consular jurisdiction, is to be authenticated by the authentication office of the relevant province (territory).
The document is to be authenticated by the Chinese Embassy or Consulate General in accordance with the location where it is notarized. Note – this must be done in person or via a service.
See the following link for an overview: http://ca.china-embassy.org/eng/lsyw/gzrz/rz/
Process for Irish Citizens
Have your documents notarized by a local notary public
Post the documents to the Legalization Office of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, or visit the Cork or Dublin office in person. See more: https://www.dfa.ie/travel/our-services/authenticating-documents/
See the following link for an overview, and to download the application form: http://ie.china-embassy.org/eng/qzs/legalization/
In most cases it will be easier (and in many cases more cost effective) to use a service that offers to complete all of the authentication steps on your behalf. It is important to ensure any notaries or solicitors you work with have a strong level of knowledge regarding the authentication process.
Opportunity China do not specifically recommend any of the services below, but have knowledge that these organisations have provided successful support to candidates in the past.
VP Notaries (UK)
Edward Young, Notary Public London (UK)