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Legalisation of documents

Updated: Jun 12, 2017 Print

Consular Legalisation of Documents to China

Documents issued in foreign countries and to be used in China mainland shall first be notarized and legalised by the competent authorities in that country, and then be legalised by Chinese Embassies or Consulates in that country. Specific requirements and information for document legalisation, please refer to the website of the Embassy or Consulate of China.

For documents issued by member countries of the Apostille Convention*, after getting Apostilles from the competent authorities, they can be used in Hong Kong SAR and Macao SAR of China directly.

*:Refer to the Convention of Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents

Legalisation of Documents in China

1. Introduction to Legalisation of Documents in China

In line with international practice and Chinese regulation, documents issued by Chinese agencies to be used in foreign countries, in general, shall first be legalised by the Department of Consular Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China (hereafter referred to as "the Department") or authorized Foreign Affairs Offices of local governments (FAO), and then be legalised by the embassies or consulates of the countries in which the documents are to be used. The Department and its authorized FAOs are the competent authorities handling legalisation affairs in China.

After finishing its legalisation, the Department and FAOs could help the applicants to transfer the documents to embassies or consulates to apply for their legalisation.

Generally, documents required for legalisation are as follows: birth, death, marriage, no criminal record, kinship, academic qualification, professional qualification, declaration, entrustment paper, power of attorney, contract, articles of association, certification of inspection and quarantine of animals or plants, certificate of origin, invoice, and other notarial certificates, certifications or notes for civil or business purposes. These documents are issued by Chinese notary public offices, entry-exit inspection and quarantine bureaus, and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT).

2. Instructions for Applying Documents Legalisation to the Department of Consular Affairs

(1) When applying for legalisation of notarial certificates for civil affairs purposes, the original notarial certificates, one copy of valid passport (or the original Note issued to a foreign citizen by the embassy of his/her country in China), and other papers required by the concerned embassy must be submitted.

(2) When applying for legalisation of documents for business purposes, the original notarial certificate (or CCPIT certificates or commercial bills),one original authorization letter issued by the enterprise concerned, one copy of valid passport of the authorized person, and other materials required by the concerned embassy must be submitted. The enterprise shall authorize its own personnel to file the application for legalisation.

(3) When applying for legalisation of notarial certificate for child adoption, one original diplomatic Note to the Department by the embassy of his/her country in China, one copy of the adopter's valid passport, and one copy of adoption certificate must be submitted.

(4) For documents needed to be leglised by the Department and the foreign embassies in Beijing,applicants can come to the service hall of the Department in person to apply for consular legalisation, or some FAOs or other authorized agencies can help applicants transfer the above said material to the Department* .

(5) For documents needed to be legalised in foreign consulates in cities other than Beijing,provincial and some municipal FAOs in the jurisdiction region of the consulates are authorized by the Department to legalised the documents*.

Note*: please visit and contact the authorized FAOs or agencies for more information.

3. Time and Fees for legalisation

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(i) The express fee is collected only when the applicant request the express service. Beside, some foreign embassies also provide extra charged express services of their own, in case it needed,requests should be made upon submitting applications.

(ii) The Department provides mail back service, but dose not accept incoming mail applications. For mail-back applications ,together with other required materials,applicants should fill out EMS envelops at counters and submit to the staff.

(iii) All the fees stated above need to be paid in cash while submitting applications. Pick-up forms and invoices will be given to the applicants after the payment. Applicants should keep these two documents carefully,for forms are the proofs for picking up documents, and invoices are essential for refunding the overpayment and supplement the deficiency due to the frequent changes of the embassy fee.

(4)Office Hours, Contact Phone Number, Address and Email of the Department of Consular Affairs

Office Hours: 8:30-11:00AM, Monday to Friday (except for Chinese Public Holidays).

Telephone for inquiry: 010-65889761

Fax: 010-65889905

Email address:

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