Submit CV
Nov 12th, 2020 by David O Connor

China Visa Application – Authenticating Documents in Ireland

Authenticate documents in Ireland for China Visa

Authenticating of documents in Ireland is something you’ll have to do just before applying for a China Z Visa. The Z visa is the only visa that allows you to teach and live in China legally. The authentication is done by the Irish Government and, when that’s done, you’ll also need to give them to the Chinese Government so they can be approved to be used in China.

How do you do all that? By reading on!

Documents you need authenticated in Ireland for your China Visa application?

First up, you’ll want to gather the main documents you’ll need for your application.

They are:

  1. Online Visa Application Form – You need to do this online and print it out.
  2. Valid Passport – Valid for at least 6 months
  3. TEFL Certificate
  4. Criminal Background Check
  5. Bachelor Degree
  6. Job Invitation Letter – Provided by your school
  7. Work Permit Notice – provided by your school
The following you don’t need for your visa application, but you will need them if you want to board a flight to China. 
  1.  Health Declaration Form – You will need to get this form notarised by the Chinese Embassy
  2. COVID Nucleic Acid Test (NAT) and COVID-19 IgG antibody test **

**More details on the latest COVID -19 pre-travel requirements, at the end of the page

Once you have your docs ready, it’s time to find a Public Notary.

STEP 1 – Get your documents notarized

For many this is a step that can be skipped. Notarisation of documents is only required for non state bodies documents or copies of existing original documents. Originals of documents issued by state bodies such as educational institutions and the Gardai (Irish police) do not need to be notarised. For those who need the services of a notary, read on….

A Public Notary is an authorized representative of the government and their job is to make copies of your original and verify to them being ‘true copies’ by signing and stamping them. Here is a full list of authorized Public Notaries in Ireland. Simply select your area from the drop-down menu on the top and find one close to you. Alternatively you can just pop down to your local solicitor and ask if they provide notary services. 

If you are abroad, you’ll need to contact your nearest Irish Embassy/Consulate, where an authorized Public Notary will be working. It is important to note that the Public Notary needs to be from the country where the document is from. For example, an Australian Public Notary can’t notarize your Irish document, even if you happen to be in Australia.

Irish Document = Irish Public Notary

Public Notaries usually charge about €15 per document although the fee may be higher if you need to do it at an embassy abroad.

STEP 2 – Get your documents authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The Dep’t of Foreign Affairs has a Legalization Office that deals with the issue of authenticating documents.

Documents must be mailed, although you should contact them first through their online query form.

Before the COVID-pandemic took hold, you could visit the Cork or Dublin offices of the department. Unfortunately at the time of writing, only mailed applications are accepted.

Every document stamp costs €40, which can be paid by credit card or postal order. Expect the process to take about one week. If your teaching salary package includes visa application fee reimbursement, make sure to keep all your receipts.

If you happen to be living abroad and need to have your documents authenticated in Ireland, you can also use the services of a legalization agency. These agencies can act on your behalf and gather all the stamps and signatures that you need. Yes, it will cost you a little more, but it’s a convenient and it will save you time. is one of several, well-rated agencies.

When authenticating your documents in Ireland, it’s important to always clearly explain what they will be used for. For the purposes of teaching, it’s for the China Working Visa. The department know about what the Chinese Government requires so they’ll be sure to use the correct wording/stamps/signatures. You will probably be asked why you need the docs authenticated but, if not, don’t forget to mention it.

Authenticating documents in Ireland

STEP 3 – Legalise your Documents by the Chinese Embassy

Technically speaking, you will need to go to the consular section of the Chinese Embassy in Dublin. It’s separate from the embassy. Both are situated on Merrion Road in Dublin. We will refer to the consular section as the ‘Chinese Embassy’ as this is what it is widely known as. 

Although China is in the process of moving all its international visa processes to Visa Centres (separate from embassies/consulates). The Chinese Embassy in Dublin is still handling document legalization, for now. This means they take your authenticated documents and verify them so they will be accepted by the Chinese Government.

Website: Chinese Embassy in Dublin – Consular and legalisation Section

Before sending your documents, simply fill in your email address here and the embassy will send you a legalization form to fill in, along with all the relevant steps to take. The embassy charges €20 per document to non-Chinese citizens and the whole process should only take 4-5 working days.

Once you have this final requirement done and dusted, you can go ahead and send all the info to your employer. Your employer should have previously experience with Z visa and thus promptly begin your China teaching visa application.


This information is accurate as of November 15th 2020.

Most recently Chinese authorities introduced the requirement to have pass a COVID Nucleic Acid Test (NAT) and a COVID-19 IgG antibody testing within 48 hours (2 days) prior to traveling to China.  You will need to get the results back and then send to the embassy to have them stamped and authenticated. Having to travel within 48hours of doing your COVID tests throws up a lot of logistical problems, so you will need to plan carefully. Being from Ireland, you may have to travel to China through a third country. If so, you will also need to pass the required COVID tests in this third country too. The test results need to be stamped by the Chinese Embassy in said country. 

When planning for the tests, ask at the embassy for approved medical facilities that are approved by the Chinese Embassy and whether they can get the results in enough time to allow you to get them stamped and board the plane to your next destination. 

In Ireland, testing can be carried out by any medical facility recognised by the Irish Government. Tropical Medical Bureau is proving popular with many travellers.

Unfortunately COVID tests by the Irish health Service, HSE, will not be accepted by the Chinese Embassy as HSE tests results are provided by text message. The Chinese authorities require details results in physical paper form.  

Previously the test was to be be carried out up to 72 hours (3 days) before departure. However due to the increase in imported COVID cases into China via airports, the restrictions have tightened to 48 hours. Get a commitment from your medical provider as to when they will have your results.  

Getting your Health Declaration Authenticated

Once you receive your test result, and provided it is NEGATIVE, you’ll have to forward the certificate to the Chinese Embassy in Dublin, along with a Health Declaration Form

This is the official Chinese Embassy in Dublin website and, at the bottom, you’ll see a link to download the Health Declaration Form doc

The health declaration form looks like this:

Health Declaration Form - Chinese Visa

It’s important that you contact the embassy for all updated details on approved testing facilities in Ireland.

You can email your documents directly to [email protected]The consulate will then send you a scanned copy of the approved Health Declaration Form, complete with authentication stamp. With some luck, you will receive it back within hours of sending it. 

WHEN YOU TRAVEL: You will have to carry and show both your authenticated  health deflation from.  You will also need to carry the  test results  of your COVID Nucleic Acid Test (NAT) / COVID-19 IgG antibody test throughout your flight and upon entry into China. You must show your documents whenever you’re asked, both by airline and/or airport staff so keep it handy.

For more in-depth details on the returning process, please refer to the Planning or Returning to China in 2021

At China by Teaching, we’re in the business of hooking up great ESL teachers with amazing schools in China. We will help you find the destination and teaching job that’s best for YOU and get your overseas teaching stint off to a flying start.

Contact us for more personalised advice.

Browse Jobs Browse Jobs
David O Connor

David O Connor

David is China by Teaching’s chief contributor. When not offering sage advice about teaching in China, David is a headmaster of a Bilingual kindergarten in Beijing. David is a lover of craft beers, book clubs and super long road trips.

Teach English in China

Looking to teach in China?

Submit your CV and we will be in touch with the latest job offers.