Please find information below on how to Authenticate a document for China.
Step One: Determine Your Processing Jurisdiction
First, determine which Chinese Consulate to use. This is determined by the origin state of your document.
Step Two: Determine What Type of Document You Have
These are documents presented on behalf of individuals, for individual use. Examples- marriage certificates, pension arrangements, death certificates, etc.
These are documents presented on behalf of a company or organization, for corporate purposes. Examples: article of good standing, trade agreement, company legal docs, etc.
Step Three: Determine The Fees
Consulate fee for Civil documents:
3 day processing: $45
5 day processing: $25
Consulate fee for Business documents:
3 day processing: $70
5 day processing: $50
Swift fee for documents:
$175 for the first document, and $75 for each thereafter.
There is a $10 processing fee per item as well.
If you require a high degree of guidance to complete these steps, we also have a consultation fee of $75. Please don’t hesitate to utilize this offer, most people require quite a bit of phone support to get through the process.
Step Four: Get The Document(s) Notarized
Get the documents notarized by a public notary.
The purpose of notarization is to confirm that the signature on the document is real. You must take your document to be notarized without a signature and in front of the Notary Republic sign and date the document. The Notary will then stamp it thus concluding the process.
Notaries are generally located in banks, lawyers offices etc.
Please note, documents that are originals issued from the State, County, City or Court do not need to be authenticated such as certified copies of marriage certificates, birth/death certificates, good standing etc.
A. Notary Cetification
Some states require that the notarized documents are also validated by the County Clerk in the notary’s county. This is to ensure that the Notary is a legitimate, registered Notary in that county. Call your Secretary of State’s office and ask if this is necessary, if so, simply take the documents with the Notary’s stamp to a county courthouse in the same county as the Notary. They will issue a different stamp verifying that the Notary is registered.
The notarized documents must then be authenticated separately by the Secretary of State in the state of which the notary republic is registered.
For instance if your documents are notarized in IL you must get them authenticated by the Secretary of State in IL.
B. Notary Testimony
A notary testimony is sometimes needed on documents to verify that the notary did indeed do their job on the specific date as reflected on the issuance of the document. For example, a document written on 7/12/2015, would need have a notary testimony also on that same date.
Here is an example of what a testimony can look like:
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)
Such instances where a document would need a testimony could be a company letter, giving authority to a lawyer or representative to submit on behalf of the company. Generally speaking, an original birth certificate would not need such a statement.
Step Five: Get A Secretary of State Seal
The notarized documents must then be authenticated/sealed separately by the Secretary of State in the state of where the document was issued. For example, if your marriage certificate was issued in IL, you would need to get it sealed by the IL secretary of State. Each State has different forms and requirements for this process. You can find this information on the Secretary of State website for that State.
Step Six: (Only If Your Document Originated in the D.C. Jurisdiction)
In addition, clients whose documents fall within the DC jurisdiction need to have an additional seal added to their already sealed papers. The documents need to have a US Department of State seal issued to them.
The seal fee is $8/document and Swift’s service fee is $99. This steps takes 2-3 weeks!
Step Seven: Gather Your Paperwork
Requirements for Authentication:
Chinese Application Form (attached)
Photocopy of the complete set of documents to be authenticated
*If it is held together by a staple, DO NOT remove the staple when you photocopy — this will invalidate the document!
Photocopy of the applicant’s passport or driver’s license
Additional Requirements for Business Authentications:
Photocopy of the passport or driver’s license of the company’s legal representative as named on the application form
An original company document that states that the company’s legal representative is lawfully able to represent and have the paperwork submitted on his/her behalf
Other Business Authentications:
- Photocopy of the company’s business license or good standing
- Photocopy of the company’s legal representative’s passport or driver’s license
*As always, the Consulate is entitled to make additional requests for further documentation and hold onto papers for processing as long as they see fit.
Once you have all of these items gathered, you can send them to Swift. Please either call and place your order by phone, or put your contact information in the package, so we can call you and take your order upon receipt of your package.