Getting Documents Authenticated for Your China Z Visa

China’s regulations have been tightening up in recent months to increase the quality of teachers and others that hold work visas in China. It is now required to authenticate your diploma and a criminal background check to receive your work visa.  One of the most complicated parts of the policy is that there is no easy standard to follow.  Each country has its own procedures to follow in order to authenticate the documents.  For those in the United States, each state will also have its own procedures. 

Overall, these new changes will be a positive for China, but one that can be difficult for new teachers to navigate.  The good news is that all of TDE’s partner schools will provide information on how to properly secure your visa, and we will be there to help you with any questions along the way.  

In short, authentication of your documents for China boils down to three simple steps:

1- Obtain and Notarize Highest Received Diploma and Criminal Record Check: 

The criminal record check depends on your country, but this will be a local or national document that states your criminal record, or lack of a criminal record. Depending on your country and the state that you live, you should verify with your school what level of Criminal Record Check will suffice. For instance, a US citizen may obtain a local or state check, or an FBI criminal record check.  An FBI check will only report federal offenses and your local city or state report will show local offenses.  It’s recommended that when you request this document you state this is to be used for a China visa and must be used for authentication.  

You must also obtain a notarized diploma from your university. You university should be able to provide you with a notarized copy providing a declaration that the the diploma is a true copy and an acknowledgement that the document was signed and affirmed in the presence of a notary and stamped with a seal. 

2- State Authentication:  

This second step is done at the local or state level, and adds a seal to certify your documents at the state level. You should check with your secretary of state to find the correct procedure to authenticate in your jurisdiction.

Authentication in the following states must be further authenticated by the US Department of State: Delaware, Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming and Washington DC.

Your documents should all be authenticated in the state in which the document was executed.  

3- Consulate Authentication: The documents should then be sent to the Chinese embassy or consulate with jurisdiction over the region or state in which the documents were executed and authenticated.  

For those in the US, check this link to the China Embassy for information on which consulate should receive your documents. 


For most, it will be more convenient to use agents and service providers than to drive all over the country authenticating documents. While we don't partner with or endorse the following sites, we have provided a list of service providers in each country that may assist you further:

United States- Visarite

Canada- International Documents Canada

UK- Chinese Visa Direct

Australia- Visa Link

New Zealand- China Visa

South Africa- Document Attestation

Please feel free to contact our team at TDE for more information regarding getting your visa to teach in China.  We have great schools that can help you through and agents that we work with to help you through the process.