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.
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.
The notarisation and legalisation process differs from country to country – see below a breakdown of document authentication for each country.