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

Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
  • Author
  • admin
    Post count: 76

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

    For the full list of Work Permit documents needed please visit here.



    Authenticating Documents For US Teachers:

    The end result is to have a police check and your university diploma authenticated by the Chinese Embassy (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:

    Example Page2:

    Example Page3:

    Police Check after processing:

    Example Page1:

    Example Page2:

    Example Page3:

    Process for getting the Police / Background Check:

    Visit your local police / records department / county sheriff’s office for a background check. One teacher mentioned that it took her 5 minutes and cost her $1. The price and timing may vary between states and counties within the state. Another teacher mentioned that it was $10 and took at least one business day.

    Note: In some states they cannot do a background check at the police station and will simply tell you to go somewhere else. You must ask for something called an “Arrest Record.” Basically what this is, is a document that shows you have a clean criminal history. A background check may have more information that is not necessary (such as speeding tickets, parking violations, credit check and can also cause visa rejections if you have a list of minor offences). This extensive information is not needed, all that is needed is an official document that states you have not committed any crimes. China immigration wants to see something that clearly says that you have no criminal record. This doesn’t need to be for all of the US or for a whole state. The most important part is that it says clearly that no criminal record can be found

    Note 2: You may also go to your state police department and get a more thorough criminal record check. This requires finger-printing, takes about a week to receive back, and costs about $30. This extensive check is not necessary for purposes of working in China; but is another option if you want something more in-depth.

    Note 3: Make sure you have this signed by the official (their name should be on the document somewhere). If there is no specific person who is listed on the document, then simply go back to the station and request that someone sign and print their name on it. If it is a PDF document with a copy of a signature that will not be good enough for the secretary of state to authenticate. They need an ink-on-paper signature, and not a copy of a signature. You will also need the document notarized, with a statement of authentication from the notary, dated and signed by the notary before you can have the document authenticated by the secretary of state. Some agencies automatically notarize the background check as their standard procedure.


    Recently a number of US teachers have recommended a service ($$) that does all three steps for you (after you have your police check). 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.


    I used company “CVSC Passport & Visa”. They were great, very responsive and their prices are reasonable-1st document $99 and every document following was $25. I was able to contact them with any questions or guidance and I received multiple emails keeping me posted to the status. I would use them again if I had the option. “



    “it was called Inter American Group (IAG). They were pretty expensive I must say, but cheaper than others I found.”

    Tim also recommended IAG but said they processed the visa card in a very old fashion (by faxing the credit card information), but besides that, they were very professional.

    These are not the only services 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.

    Diploma Certification/Authentication

    Please note: for the Chinese Authentication, you will need to either show up in person or use a “visa service courier” to apply on your behalf. The Chinese Embassy does not allow mail in applications.

    Nearly all the steps listed below are shared by both the “background Check” and “Diploma” Certifications/ Authentication.

    Make sure you have a valid passport before doing this step, you will need to send your courier a copy of it or have it to show the attendant at the embassy.

    These steps can be taken together if you attended college in the same state as your residence. If you did NOT get your degree in the same state you live in, then you will have to send the documents to the corresponding Secretary of the State in which your diploma was attained in (meaning you will have your two documents authenticated at separate locations). You may instead send all documents to the Washington DC. Secretary of the State for full authentication. The Chinese Embassy website has a list of which states they service at which location. However the one in Washington DC should be able to process documents from all/any states.

    1. Contact your office of the Secretary of the State where you attended college and ask to have your Diploma state-certified/ authorized for use in China. Each state will handle their processing differently. Fees and processing times will vary. Some states have the option of walk-in or mail-in, the processing time may very drastically. Call ahead and ask about the time of processing so you don’t end up waiting a month because you mailed it in instead of doing same-day walk-in.
      1. At the offices, you will need to have your original diploma photocopied to shrink down the size to standard 8.5”x11”.
      2. You will certify the photocopy with a second document which states more-or-less “this is a true and unaltered copy of the original” *both you and the notary at the office must sign the certified copy letter
      3. In the case of NY State and perhaps others, you need to get all your documents certified by the county clerk in which the documents were notarized in before they can be authenticated. This cost about $10/document.
      4. The authentication will be completed by sealing the photocopy, the certified copy letter, and the official letterhead of the state together with some form of staple and the state’s official stamp *do not remove the binding

    Note: In most states the secretary of state should be able to authenticate both documents. If they do not, then you may have to go to a state office called- “The Office of the Great Seal.” You can google to find-out where this is. Call your secretary of state first before making the trip out there to make sure you go to the appropriate location. You should also be able to mail your documents to them with a return envelope and a note specifying what you need done. Look on the secretary of state website for your state to see if this is possible so that it saves you a trip.

    1. For graduates from Delaware, Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Washington DC: you will need to take your state-certified/ authorized diploma to the Office of Authentications in Washington DC for Federal certification/ authentication.
      1. You can mail in your order to:

    Office of Authentications
    US Department of the State
    44132 Mercure Cir, P.O. Box 1206
    Sterling, VA 20166-1206

      1. Otherwise you or your courier must go to the offices between 8-9 am for both drop-off and pick-up at:

    Office of Authentications
    US Department of the State
    600 19th Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20006

      1. You will need the following
        1. Completed DS-4194 form *be sure to denote “For use in China” in section 4
        2. All necessary documents (in this case your state certified/ authorized Diploma)
        3. Payment fee of $8 per document
        4. Self-Addressed prepaid envelope *FedEx is not accepted *for mail-in orders only
        5. Processing takes 3-5 business days
      1. Document Authentication by Chinese Consulate
        You or your courier must take their documents to Chinese Embassy Visa Section in Washington DC or to the consulate-general that has jurisdiction over the college you attended. These consulate-generals are in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Houston. NOTE: in the case of Washington DC the “Chinese Embassy Visa Section” is a separate building from the “Chinese Embassy”.

        1. The holder must provide a completed G1 “Chinese Authentication Form”. 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.
        2. Notes for filling in the application for authentication:
          For “Employer”, here is the information 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 the 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.

        3. Make photocopies of all documents in advance, including the notarized and legalization information and cover page.
        4. Now is a good time to have passport style photos taken, following the strict guidelines for size, appearance and quality.
        5. Expected times vary by demand between 3-7 days typically but up to 2 weeks, bring your passport/ID and the cost of authentication is approximately $20 per document.


        Work Permit

        1. Scan and e-mail your legalized, notarized and now authenticated documents to MEF. You should have received a link to login to the MEF System. Follow the link to register, if you have not already, and upload your documents
        2. A work permit will be requested from the local office in China. When this is ready you will get a notification for the digital download. As soon as you receive this and the details from MEF, it will be time then to go and apply for your z-visa.


    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.

    Here is more information from the Chinese Embassy on authentication:



Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Reply To: US – Document Authentication