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

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 Irish public document, you have to follow the three steps outlined below:


Notarisation is a form of legal certification which certify that a document or a signature is authentic or a true copy. It is the first step in the process of legalisation.

You will need to have your document notarised by a Notary public or solicitor.

Your degree certificate, TEFL certificate and Criminal Record Report (Original copy)  must be certified by either:

  • a solicitor 
  • notary public in the UK

When the solicitor or notary public signs the document, they must:

  • have a valid practising certificate
  • sign the document in the Ireland
  • 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.


Note: If your document is not a Irish public document please contact an international notary public for notarisation. 

If the documents were issued by an Irish government department, you may have them legalised directly by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland. 

Send the notarised documents to The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

They will then authenticate your documents to verify its origin by confirming that a signature, seal or stamp appearing on a 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.

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