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Mar 17th, 2023 by David O Connor

China Visa Document Authentication for Canadian Citizens

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Obtaining a work visa for China can be a complicated process requiring extensive paperwork. In addition to correctly filling out the application and securing supporting documents and personal identification, applicants must authenticate documents for use in the Chinese visa process.

This article will explain the authentication process for Canadian documents for your China work visa application.

What is authentication?

Authentication is verifying that official documents are genuine and accurately reflect the facts. In the context of immigration, documents are typically authenticated so that foreign officials or embassies can use them.

For your China work visa applications, these are the Canadian documents you’ll need to have authenticated:

  • Copy of your passport
  • Your Bachelor’s Degree (or a higher award)
  • Your TEFL Certificate
  • Your Criminal Background Check

NB: If you are NOT Canadian but have gained any of the above three IN Canada, you must also get them authenticated in Canada.

In Canada, document authentication is a two-step process.

Step 1 – Notarization

Get your documents notarized by locating the nearest public notary, solicitor, or Commissioner of Oaths of Canada. A notary public is a court officer who’s authorized to acknowledge and attest documents legally. The notary public must verify your identity and witnesses the signing. The notary public signs the document and stamps it with the official seal, confirming its authenticity.

Make sure to make an appointment, and bring along both the original document and its photocopy.

Step 2 – Authentication

The Global Affairs Canada Authentication Office can authenticate your documents. You can’t do this in person and must do everything by mail. Visit their Offical Website to learn more about the process.

How much does document authentication cost in Canada?

Public notaries typically charge between $12 and $15 per document. The Global Affairs office authenticates documents free of charge.

Keep in mind that it takes up to one month to authenticate documents at the time of writing. That’s why starting this process as soon as possible is crucial.

Passport with stamps

Authenticating Canadian documents from overseas

If you are not in Canada, you can use Legalisation Services – an official representative – to legalize your documents for a China work visa application.

To get the ball rolling, you will need to send them the following:

  1. Your filled-in visa application form
  2. A filled-in LSC (document authentication) form
  3. A photocopy of the details page of your passport
  4. All the documents you need to have authenticated for your China work visa
  5. Any other documents deemed necessary – they will tell you!

This is their Page with more detailed instructions on how to do this. They estimate a turnaround time of around two weeks.

What now?

Once you have authenticated your Canadian documents, the last step is presenting them to the Chinese authorities for their authentication.

For quite a few years, the Chinese government has outsourced its visa process – and document authentication – to so-called Chinese Visa Application Service Centers. This means your nearest embassy or consulate will not be helpful to you.

Here is a list of relevant authentication offices in Canada. Contact your closest office and ask for guidance. You’ll have to download and fill in a form and make an appointment to hand in your documents. Mail-in services are not accepted, and neither are walk-ins.

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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.

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