A Beginner’s Guide to Teaching in China: How to get your documents legalised (UK)

Document Legalisation

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.

Option 1.

Notarisation is a form of legal certification which certify that a document or a signature is authentic or a true copy. 

Option 2.

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. 

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.

After completing step one and two, please submit your documents to the Embassy or Consulate of the People’s Republic of China for legalisation.


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. 

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