Headed to China? Know the Apostille Rules

The Chinese Consulate General in the US can authenticate notarial deeds and other documents issued by United States’ authorities for use in China. The deeds or documents must first be certified by the Authentication Office of the Secretary of the State.

Documents issued in the US that are intended for use in China must be:

1. The document needs to be certified by a local notary public, or a certified copy should be issued by the competent authorities before Chinese authentication can take place.

2. The document needs to be certified by the Secretary of the State of a US state government in which the document is executed. (Some states require that the document be certified by the County Clerk first).

3. Applicants must apply for authentication at the Chinese Consulate General of the consular district where the document is certified. Only documents certified by the Secretaries of State Office.

The types of documents that can receive an apostille include: birth/death certificates, power of attorney, marriage certificates, diplomas, adoption application papers, business license, and divorce-related documents.

Consular authentication by the Chinese Embassy or Consulate General in the US is not required for relevant documents to be used in Hong Kong or Macao. As long as these documents are notarized by a local notary public of the US and are authenticated by the Secretary of the State a related Authentication office, then they can be used in those two Special Administrative Regions.

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