The People’s Republic of China has not signed The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (1961) official documents are therefore required to be notarised by a notary public, Authenticated/ legalised by the FCO Legalisation Office and the Chinese Consulate or Embassy. Basically, to be able to use your documents in China you will need to legalise them before you apply for your Z Visa.
Note: documents must be legalised in the country of issue.
To legalise a UK public document, you have to follow the three steps outlined below:
You have two options, you can either contact a notary public and ask them to notorise your documents or you can contact a solicitor and ask them to certify your documents.
Notarisation is a form of legal certification which certify that a document or a signature is authentic or a true copy.
You can certify a document as a true document/ copy of the original by getting it signed and dated by a solicitor. This is the cheaper option and certified documents has been approved by the FCO in the past.
Your degree certificate (copy), TEFL certificate (copy) and DBS report (original) must be certified by either:
- a solicitor or notary public in the UK
- an official of the British Council (only original certificates)
When the solicitor or notary public signs the document, they must:
- have a valid practising certificate
- sign the document in the UK
- state the action they have taken e.g. witnessed, certified a copy, confirmed as original
- use their personal signature, not a company signature
- include the date of certification
- include their name and company address
- The solicitor or notary public’s signature must be an original, hand-written signature. The Chinese Embassy does not accept a photocopy or scan of a signature.
Price (certifying a document): approx. £5-10 per copy.
Note: If your document is not a UK public document please contact an international notary public for notarisation.
Step 2: Get your notarised UK document legalised by the FCO.
You can get a UK public document ‘legalised’ by asking the UK government to confirm that a UK public official’s signature, seal or stamp on the document is genuine.
The Legalisation Office will check the document, including whether the signature, stamp or seal is genuine. They’ll legalise the document by attaching a stamped official certificate to it.
You cannot get documents issued outside the UK legalised using this service – get them legalised in the country they were issued.
What you’ll need to use the service you’ll need:
- the documents you want to legalise
- a credit or debit card for payment
- the address you want your documents returned to
- access to a printer
You may not find “TEFL certificate” when you use the tool provided on FCO website, you can just simply press “skip this check
After completing step one and two, please submit your documents to the Embassy or Consulate of the People’s Republic of China for legalisation.
- a completed application form
- original copies and photocopies of your documents legalised by the FCO
- passport and a photocopy of your passport
- No appointment is needed for legalisation service
- Postal application cannot be processed, the legalised documents cannot be returned by post either.
The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China:
“In order to provide better consular legalization application services, as of 8th November 2019, the consular legalization applications of British citizens as well as third-country citizens should be submitted to the Chinese Visa Application Service Center (CVASC).”
If you submit your documents for legalisation on or after the 8th of November please use the instructions below.
Application submission : 9am to 3pm, Monday to Friday exc. holidays
Collection: 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday exc. holidays
From the 8th of November the Chinese Embassy and Consulates require all legalization application forms be filled in on the computer. Handwritten forms will no longer be accepted.
An appointment must be booked before you come to the Visa Centre to submit your application. The Centre can’t accept any application without an appointment.
How to make an appointment? – click here!