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  • China Work Visa First Steps: Getting your Birth Certificate Authenticated in the Chicago Jurisdiction

    In 2017, the process to obtain a Chinese work visa was changed, and became a little more complicated.  If you are in the process of obtaining a work visa, you have likely been told that the first step to get your work visa is to get certain documents authenticated, which can include your degree, background check, and possibly your birth certificate.  Documents originated in US must be legalized by the Chinese Consulate to be used in China. Swift can assist you with this process!  Below is a guide to help you prepare your degree to be authenticated at the Chinese Consulate through Swift.

    Step 1: Determine your jurisdiction

    Depending on the State in which your document was generated, this will determine which Consulate your documents will be sent to. For example, if you were born in MI, and you have a MI issued birth certificate, then you will need to find what jurisdiction the state of MI belongs to here. Each jurisdiction has slightly different requirements. Please follow this link to confirm your jurisdiction. Note that this blog is specifically addressing the procedures for the Chicago jurisdiction.

    Step 2:  Get the degree notarized in the State it originated

    For the Chinese Consular jurisdiction of Chicago, please follow these steps. The notary can either use the original birth certificate or will make a copy of the birth certificate, they will then notarize the copy and write and/or staple a testimony to the copy, or original, that will look similar to this- though the wording can be at their discretion:
    On this, the________day of __________, 20____, before me, a notary public, the undersigned officer, personally appeared________________, known to me (or satisfactorily proven) to be the person whose name is subscribed to the within instrument, and acknowledged that he executed the same for the purposes therein contained.

    In witness hereof, I hereunto set my hand and official seal. (notary then signs and dates)

    COST:  For the notary, your bank notary will likely do this for free, in most cases this process should cost $5 or less.

    Step 3:  For birth certificates within the Chinese Consulate of Chicago, obtain an official State Seal authenticated by the Secretary of State

    State authentication is sometimes referred to as a “stamp” or a “gold seal,” it is a sealed certificate that confirms the authority of a public official, such as a notary public to act in a capacity in connection with a document that he or she has signed. The notary’s stamp and testimony on the degree will verify that the named individual and their position are a matter of record in the Secretary of the State’s Office. The certificate will only be prepared if the official has in fact executed the document properly and can only be attached to a signed original or a sealed certified copy.

    Note that this process must occur at the Secretary of State where the document originated (just like the notary).  The Secretary of State directory will help you locate your secretary.

    Once you have completed these steps, visit Swift’s Birth Certificate Authentication Page.  This will guide you through next steps to get your Birth Certificate authenticated at the Chinese Consulate.

    Many of our clients agree that the authentication process is an exercise in patience.  Swift suggests getting the process started as soon as possible, as it can take a while.  Good luck and call Swift at 877.917.9438 with your questions!

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