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China Visa Process

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Wanderlust15, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. Wanderlust15

    Wanderlust15 New commenter

    Hi all,

    I am moving over to China soon so it's 'all go' when it comes to getting documents ready for the visa application. One of the things I've been asked to do is get my highest degree certificate legalised. I've already had the document notarised by a notary, and it has been sent to the FCO for legalisation. I'm now at the stage where it should be legalised by the Chinese Embassy, but I can't find much information about this. I phoned the embassy in London (as I couldn't get through to anyone in Manchester) and they didn't have any information about legalisation. All I have found out so far is that I need to 'submit the document to the embassy for legalisation'.

    Does this have to be done in person? I really don't want to have to drive for 4+ hours to then find out that I haven't got the correct documents/it could have easily been sent by post.

    Thanks in advance for any information you have!
  2. c_turner12

    c_turner12 New commenter

    Hi Wanderlust15,

    I believe you need to take your certificates in person to the Chinese embassy. I don't know if they legalise as much as you submit this for your application - does that make sense? The Chinese visa center is London is very efficient, so even though it is a faff from Manchester, it will hopefully be done quickly and efficiently.

    Also, your school/HR is the best person to ask about this. They will/should have a definitive answer.
  3. Stillstayingjohnson

    Stillstayingjohnson Occasional commenter

    You submit the copies that you have had verified by the FCO alongside your application in person, this will be what is described as 'Legalisation'.
  4. sparkleshine

    sparkleshine New commenter

    I'm in a similar situation, have the first 2 stages done as well, but struggling to find out how to get my documents legalised. I can't apply for the visa at the same time as the legalisation as my school needs to issue me with 2 letters which they can't provide until I submit the legalised documents to them. It all seems incredibly confusing! I've contacted the London embassy by email so hopefully I'll get a reply that might shed some light on this.
  5. CBrown

    CBrown New commenter

    I received this email this morning
    Thank you for your email.

    According to your description, you may need the Chinese Embassy to legalize your document to ensure it is valid in China.

    If you need the legalization service from us, we kindly suggest you to visit our official website for detailed information about legalization:


    Normally it will take four working days for legalization; for express service, it will take three working days.

    Chinese Embassy does not accept or provide postal service.

    You can come to our department without appointment. Our opening hour is Monday-Friday 9-12 am. Our address is: 31 Portland Place,London,W1B 1QD

    Here are the procedures of legalization:

    Sept One: If your documents were not issued by a British government authority, please send them to a local international notary public for notarisation.

    Step Two: Send the documents, notarised by notaries, to the Legalization office of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) or an authorised department by FCO for legalizations. If the documents were issued by a British government department, you may send them for legalizations to FCO or an authorised department by FCO.

    Step Three: After completing the initial stage of notarisation and legalization, submit the documents to the Chinese embassy or consulates for legalization.

    Please bring:

    1). A completed Application Form of Notarization/Legalization;

    2). The original copy of the notarial document legalized by FCO, and a photocopy of the document;

    3). Documents containing two or more than two pages must be tied together by silk ribbons and sealed properly by the notary office; The Embassy and Consulates will not legalize a document if it fails to meet the format standards or is found forged, counterfeited or altered.

    4). If there is any blank page in your documents (including covers), please mark this page with letters such as "This page has no contents.";

    5). Your valid passport and a photocopy of your passport;

    6). If you have entrusted someone else to apply for legalization on your behalf, the entrustee must provide his or her valid Passport and a photocopy of the passport, as well as a photocopy of your passport;In addition, if the entrustee is a company or an organization, the company or the organization is also required to provide a letter of authorization to the person who hands in the application at the consular office;

    7). Business license legalization requires a photocopy of the passport of the company's legal representative and a document which proves his or her legal status as the company's legal representative.

    The purpose of legalization is to enable notarial documents issued by one country to be accepted by the corresponding department of another country, in the light that the authenticity of the signature or the seal of the document could be questioned or the legal efficacy of such documents could well be affected. The Chinese embassy and consulates are only responsible for the authenticity of the signatures of the officials of FCO or the authorised departments. The issuing party should be responsible for the content of the documents.


    Consular Department,
    Teachallover and sparkleshine like this.
  6. CBrown

    CBrown New commenter

    I am waiting to get my documents back from the FCO and have printed the form from the embassy website
    I think all I have left to do is take the form and my documents to the embassy for legalisation (I hope)
  7. CBrown

    CBrown New commenter

    I sent you a conversation earlier this week.
  8. sparkleshine

    sparkleshine New commenter

    Ah sorry, I'm not great at checking for them! And thanks for posting that email, it's helpful. I remember reading all that info from the embassy website but I didn't know whether you could just walk in for the legalisation or not, so that's really useful.
  9. Wanderlust15

    Wanderlust15 New commenter

    Hi everyone.

    Quick update: I went to the Chinese consulate in Manchester to give in the documents - they've given me a ticket to confirm they have them and they'll be ready in 4 working days for me to collect, so that's another trip to Manchester for me! This will then be sent to the school as they are completing the visa process on their end.

    One thing to note is that they needed two lots of copies of all the documents rather than just one, which I wasn't aware of until I got there.

    Thanks so much for your replies! I'm looking forward to having everything sorted :)
    Teachallover likes this.
  10. jbbelfast

    jbbelfast New commenter

    Hi everyone,

    I've got a question about the notarization/ legalization process at the Chinese Embassy. Unfortunately the Edinburgh Embassy were unable to offer any advice and I have been unable to contact the London or Manchester Embassy by telephone. They are not answering the phone, or I have simply got the office hours wrong! I have emailed them but thought I would see if there is anyone in the same boat that would have an answer.

    Basically, is it possible to have my UK based qualifications legalised by the UK Legalisation Office but notarised by the Chinese Embassy in Dublin?

    TIA for any advice.
  11. expat2001

    expat2001 New commenter

    I am based in Spain and used a company called Chinese Visa Direct (there are others out there) to get my UK degree certificate legalized. All the paperwork I got back looked in order and my new school seem happy with everything. I am crossing my fingers at every stage of the process.
    jbbelfast likes this.
  12. angeldew1

    angeldew1 New commenter

    Did not think you were allowed to advertise on here
  13. spanboy

    spanboy Occasional commenter

    Have sent you a pm/conversation
  14. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    @jbbelfast - no you can't - they have to be legalised by the embassy in the country where they were issued, so the UK docs need to be done in the UK.

    I've just had (via my parents) a whole load of docs done by the consulate in Edinburgh. Anyone can take along your documents as long as the form shows them as being your agent, and they can pick them up too. The office in Edinburgh though only does this on Tuesdays and Thursdays!
    Stillstayingjohnson likes this.
  15. Iamstillstanding

    Iamstillstanding New commenter

    Hi .. I'm at the beginning of the visa process and feeling a little overwhelmed by it all. I've been asked to send digital passport photos of myself and my son (sorted), a copy of our passports ( easy), a copy of my qualifications, an employment form, my cv (they already have this) and a medical form signed by my doctor.
    Oh and they want my original dbs sending to them!
    Questions I have;
    Qualifications- will I get away with sending a copy of my teaching degree only / only completing details of degree on employment form? (. I really don't want to have to get loads of documents.notarized later on)
    Dbs - before sending my original off I think I need to get it notarized at Chinese embassy. Do they notarize the actual original or a copy? Do I just take it to the embassy or do you need to make an appointment?

    Thank you in advance of any help
  16. englishjohn1

    englishjohn1 New commenter

    They aren't allowed to see a copy or original DBS if they can not get a new one done in the UK with an affiliated school. This is the only way an overseas school can view a DBS certificate if they have an affiliated school based in the UK who can do DBS checks. You can just get a basic check done for them. The DBS you have is your copy and the school you are working at would have an original copy too.
  17. Stillstayingjohnson

    Stillstayingjohnson Occasional commenter

    Notarized, FCO and then Chinese consulate for legalization for educational certs. You can skip the notarized bit if you attended a uni that has public records (Oxbridge).

    My notary did my PGCE, BA, QTS and other certificates for a flat rate.

    DBS from DBS Scotland - for basic disclosue.

  18. paularbon

    paularbon New commenter

  19. paularbon

    paularbon New commenter

  20. Stillstayingjohnson

    Stillstayingjohnson Occasional commenter

    My notary advised me to send it to the FCO, then take it to the consulate. It does not go to the embassy, they will tell you to go to the consulate.

    As mentioned, if your degree is not recorded publicly, it will need to be notarized before going to the FCO. @paularbon

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