When you apply for a China visa, residence permit or police certificate, you may be asked to provide some documents issued by authorities in the country of your nationality, such as passports, marriage certificates, diplomas, etc. Furthermore, you may be required to get these documents authenticated by a China Consulate. China consular authentication is placing a China Consulate’s official stamp (see a sample on the left) on a document so that the document can be accepted as authentic by local authorities in China.
China Consular Authentication Procedures
The procedures for getting China consular authentication vary from one country to another and moreover, from one state/province to another within the same country. Nonetheless, China consular authentication is generally either a 4-STEP, 3-STEP or 2-STEP process as shown in the below table.
|4-STEP Procedures||3-STEP Procedures||2-STEP Procedures|
|STEP 1||Notary public notarizes the document that is to be authenticated by a China consulate.||Same as the 4-STEP procedures.||National authority attests to the authenticity of the document.|
|STEP 2||Provincial/state authority in your country (not China) attests to the authenticity of the notary public mentioned in STEP 1.||Provincial/state attests to the authenticity of the notary public who notarized the document in STEP 1.||China consulate authenticates the signature and seal of the national authority in STEP 1.|
|STEP 3||National authority in your country (not China), such as a department of foreign affairs, attests to the authenticity of the authority in STEP 2.||China consulate authenticates the signature and seal of the national authority in STEP 2.||N/A|
|STEP 4||China consulate authenticates the signature and seal of the national authority in STEP 3.||N/A||N/A|
Find Instructions About the Procedures in Your Country
It’s always easy to find a notary public (STEP 1) and locate a China consulate/Embassy. What difficulty is figuring out the appropriate authorities in STEP 2&3, as they are different from one country to another and from one state/province to another.
The first place where you can look for the authentication instructions in your area is the Chinese Visa Application Service Center (CVASC) at https://www.visaforchina.org/. CVASC has branch offices in major cities around the world. Go to their website and choose your location. You will find instructions about China consular authentication. If you have any questions or concerns about their instructions, just call their customer representative. Please note that China consulates outsource their authentication service to CVASC in some countries, meaning that CVASC is in charge of accepting authentication applications on behalf of the China consulates.
Another place to look for instructions is the official website of the China consulate where you will apply for consular authentication. If you could not find any instruction on their website, consider contacting the consulate on the telephone or visiting in person.
In addition, there are some third-party agencies that provide services for getting authentication. A quick google search will lead you to find their contact information. Some agencies require no in-person filing. The documents required can be as simple as copies of your passports.
Sample Authenticated Documents
Each sample has multiple pages bounded together. Each page is NOT a separate document.
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