This post will provide step-by-step and guidelines on how to Authenticate Documents in China.
Procedure for Applying to the Department of Consular Affairs for Document Authentication
- When applying for consular authentication of notarial certificates for civil purposes, the original notarial certificate, one valid copy of a personal passport (or the original note issued to a foreign citizen by the embassy of his/her country in China), and any other documents requested by the concerned embassy in China must be submitted.
- When applying for consular authentication of documents for business purposes, the original notarial certificate (or business certificates or bills), one valid copy of personal passport, one original recommendation letter issued by the enterprise concerned, and other papers required by the concerned embassy in China must be submitted. Furthermore, the enterprise in question must appoint personnel to handle the consular authentication procedures.
- One original note issued to the adopter by the embassy of his/her country in China, one valid copy of the adopter’s personal passport, and one copy of the adoption certificate must be submitted when applying for consular authentication of a notarial certificate for child adoption.
- If the applicant, enterprise, or individual is unable to come to the Department of Consular Affairs in person to go through the consular authentication procedures, they can delegate the work to local foreign affairs offices or other authorised agencies.
Consular Authentication Timeline and Fees
- The number of days required and the standard fee for document authentication by the Department of Consular Affairs
- The number of days required and the standard fee for document authentication by the Department of Consular Affairs and foreign embassies in China.
- The urgent fee listed in the preceding form is collected when the applicant applies at the Department of Consular Affairs for urgent authentication of documents. If any applicant applies for urgent authentication of documents by foreign embassies in China, please specify this before submitting the application and pay the urgent fee to be collected by foreign embassies in advance.
- The Department of Consular Affairs can return authenticated documents via mail, but it does not accept mailed authentication applications. If an applicant requires mail-back service, please complete a mail-back EMS note and submit it to Department of Consular Affairs personnel along with the necessary documents.
- Applicants must pay all fees for document authentication in cash in advance, and they will be refunded any overpayments or pay any shortfalls when they come to pick up the authenticated documents. All applicants must keep the original invoices in a safe place.
Consular Authentication of Foreign-Issued Documents to Be Used in China
Documents issued by foreign agencies and intended for use in China must first be notarized and authenticated by the country from which they were issued and then authenticated by the Chinese embassy or consulate in the foreign country.
Documents issued by member countries of the Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents and intended for use in Hong Kong and Macao must be handled in accordance with the Convention.
Local Foreign Affairs Office Websites
You can find the contact info of the different Foreign Affairs Offices across China here.