Home Forums Before Leaving for China + Visa Process UK – Document Authentication

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    Application > Interview > Check References > Job Offer > Next Steps…

    For the full list of work permit documents needed please visit here.



    For UK Teachers:

    1. Document Authentication: Gather and Request Documents


    The end result is to have your DBS and your university diploma authenticated by the Chinese visa processing centre (these two main documents are needed when we apply for your work permit).

    Examples of the two documents needed:

    Diploma copy after processing:

    Example Page1 (Note: first you make a copy and they notarize a copy and do not stamp the original diploma):

    Example Page2:

    Example Page3 (since the stamp was covered the third page shows the stamp clearly):

    DBS (Police Check) after processing:

    Example Page1:

    Example Page2:

    Example Page3:


    Recently a number of UK teachers have recommended a service ($$) that does all three steps for you (after you have your DBS). If you are not too far from the offices, then you may prefer to do the process by yourself, but if you are farther away from the offices, then you will probably prefer to use a service.

    “We got ours done through I2visa https://www.i2visa.co.uk , they were really quick and quite a bit cheaper than other notaries we looked at. They did both the notarization and the legalization (the two steps before going to the Chinese Embassy for authentication). They are based in Edinburgh and you send everything via post within a few days, they have a few different payment options for how quickly you want it done.”

    -Hannah (Chongqing)


    This is not the only service and you should be able to find others, unfortunately none of them give a discount or anything to MEF at this time.  You will still need to fill in some paperwork even if you are going through a courier service. See further down the page for more information on filling in the paperwork for the authentication.


    If you prefer not to go through a service and do the steps yourself, here is the related information:

        1. Notarization of Documents
            1. Search for a local Public Notary (Qualified Lawyer/Solicitor) facultyoffice.org.uk/notary/find-a-notary/
            2. Make an appointment to present your Police Check and Degree Certificate; the Solicitor will “notarize” these confirming the validity of the document.
            3. Prices have been known to range between £60-£150+, make enquiries to find a good price.
            4. Documents will typically be bound by the Notary, in some cases the original police certificate will be bound – make a copy of all documents prior to the appointment for your own records.


        2. Legalization of Documents
          1. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) perform legalization, this process confirms that the signature, stamp or seal from your Notary is official.
          2. Select the best service: gov.uk/get-document-legalised
          3. The standard service costs £30 per document, plus fees. The processing time is between 2-7 days from receipt.
          4. Tip: Not sure if one of your notarized documents requires Legalization? You will be refunded for any documents that do not require review by the FCO. If bound and notarized together, the police certificate and degree may count as one, if unsure still select both items in the application.


        3. Document Authentication by Chinese Consulate
            1. At this stage you are not getting a visa. You first need a work permit from China before you can apply for your visa. You are Authenticating your documents needed for us to apply for your work permit for you. First visit visaforchina.org. These offices process the documents for the Chinese Consulate. You will be able to find the nearest office and set an appointment. You can also find their FAQ page here.
            2. Check that the following versions match (or use the newer one). Please use this partially filled in application or download the new application form. Note that handwritten forms will not be accepted.
            3. Notes for filling in the application for authentication:
              For “Employer”, here is the information is filled in for MEF:M.E.F. International Limited
              14/F,China Hong Kong Tower
              8 Hennessy Road, Wanchai,
              Hong Kong
              (if you prefer to put your current position/company information that is also okay)

              In case they do ask for the phone number for MEF, it is: (852)3008 8336 (Hong Kong) or (86)2180365438 (Mainland China)

              Area 2, Area 7 and Area 8: Leave blank unless you are going through a service to get the document authenticated.
              If you are going through a service that does the authentication process for you, they will tell you what to write and ask you to sign Area 8, but those areas are only for when a company/service is getting the authentication for you and not for when you are getting the documents authenticated yourself.

              For #4 “Destination of legalization”, it is fine to just put “Shanghai, China” or change to the city that you are expecting to go. The actually city can change and will not matter for the visa.

          1. Make photocopies of all documents in advance, including the notarized and legalization information and cover page.
          2. Now is a good time to have passport style photos taken, following the strict guidelines for size, appearance and quality.
          3. Manchester or Edinburgh have the fastest processing times; with London experiencing a longer turn around, avoid if possible. Pick-up your documents in person and pay for the authentication. Expected times vary by demand between 3-7 days typically, the cost of this is around £20.


        4. Work Permit
          1. Scan and e-mail your legalized, notarized and now authenticated documents and upload them on the MEF server (you should have received an email with the link if you are past the contract stages with MEF
          2. A work permit will be requested from the local office in China, as soon as you receive this look to book your visa appointment!


        5. Book and Attend Visa Processing Appointment.
          1. The same office that processed your authentication documents also does the visa. Here is the link to those offices again.
          2. This is not the same venue as the consulate, recent changes state this service in now appointment only. Select your appointment online ASAP, following registration in the Quick Access section – immediate openings may be limited, check for availability.
          3. Download and complete a selection of forms following the Step-by-Step Guide. Complete the Visa application, bringing your passport, recent passport style photographs, work permit and all other paper work as stated. Unsure? Just ask!
          4. Hand written application forms are not accepted. Complete the Online Visa application form. For the work permit, you will need to make sure the information on the application matches the information on the work permit documents that will be sent to you from MEF. Print it off and take to the embassy, can only book appointment once form is complete, bring your passport, recent passport style photographs, work permit. Need to bring copies of your documents that have been authenticated.
          5. This visa has an allowance of 30-days single entry to China, once in China you will be guided through the residence permit and additional visa processes.
          6. There are fast track options for this service for in-person collection only. To lower the cost of postal applications you can supply your own pre-paid special delivery envelope.
          7. This process can take between 3-10 days depending on your selected service; cost should be between £150-180.


        6. That’s it.
          1. Once your passport and visa are collected or returned you are safe to book a flight and coordinate with MEF for arrival
          2. Send a copy of your travel itinerary, so we can track your flight. We will meet you at the airport when you arrive in China!


    NB: The actual process could differ from the instructions above – each region or consulate operates slightly differently and visa or application policies or procedures may be updated without warning.

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