Documents intended to be used in China have to be authenticated, through a process called document legalization. The authentication process is different from country to another which is based on if the country is a Hague Convention participant or not, as China is a non-Hague there are some specific legal steps need to be followed which instructed by the China embassy in order to use your documents inside the country, same legal steps applied whether the records for personal or corporate use. Observe that, Macao and Hong Kong entered the Hague convention in 1996 and 1997, respectively. Thus, China authentication process is different from what we have mentioned above, as your documents will only need the apostille seal in order to be able to use your documents inside the two mentioned countries. For more information about the Hague participants countries please check the link below Hage convention countries
• What should I do to be able to use my documents in China?
• Are the authentication instructions different from state to another?
• Could my document be legalized by China Embassy?
• Is there a method to have my document legalized faster?
1.If your document is not original governmental document that was issued from Federal/State/ Local office then you will have to notarize it by a state notary public.
2.Having your document authenticated from the Secretary of State it must be done from the same state your document was issued from.
Bear in mind, that before doing the above-mentioned steps some states may require certifying the document from County Clerk first.
Such as Kentucky, Hawaii, Georgia, New York and Tennessee.
3. Authentication of US Department of State is required in some states. Such as Virginia, Utah, Tennessee, South Dakota, South Carolina, Montana, Maryland, Kentucky, Idaho, Washington DC, Delaware, West Virginia, Wyoming, Nebraska, North Dakota and North Carolina.
Also, all FBI reports must be authenticated by the US Department of State. 4. The final step is having your document authenticated by the Chinese Embassy or Consulate. Authentication is required by the Chinese Embassy/Consulate that holds consular jurisdiction over the state where the document is certified. Corporate documents submit a cover letter and one passport/driver license copy of the legal representative of the company, but for individuals provide one passport/driver`s license copy of the applicant.
Are the authentication instructions different from state to another?
Yes, as we discussed above the requirements slightly differs according to the state. Mainly the difference is in two steps:
• Some states require a signature from the counter clerk such as Hawaii, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and New York.
• Other states require authentication from the US Department of State such as Virginia, Utah, Tennessee, South Dakota, South Carolina, Montana, Maryland, Kentucky, Idaho, Washington DC, Delaware, West Virginia, Wyoming, Nebraska, North Dakota and North Carolina.
Could my document be legalized by China Embassy?
Presented below the list of documents which could be legalized by China Embassy:
• Notary certified translations
• Certificates of civil status (certificates of birth, death, marriage, and divorce)
• Court decisions
• Extracts from the commercial register
• Further notarial documents (authorizations, last will, declarations)
• Notary certified copies of documents
• Education documents (school reports, certificates, diplomas)