How to authenticate your degree to get a work visa in China?


Nowadays, there are more and more foreigners coming to do tesol jobs in China. In the past, it’s not easy to find good tefl jobs in China because there are not so many jobs like today. Now, new opportunities come up every day, but another problem occurs. That’s is visa documents. The visa policy in China is getting more and more strict, the documents required are more than before. Many people finally lose the good job opportunities becasue they didn’t get the proper documents.


Recently, there is a new policy for visa. To get the working visa in China, most schools require the teachers to authenticate their degree. Then how to authenticate the degree? A lot of people haven’t heard about that before and don’t know what do do. Here are the steps to autnenticate the degree. Take American teachers for example.


Ø  Step 1 Have your document notarized by a local notary public unless it is an original certified copy/certification issued by a competent Federal/ State/local Office.


Ø  Step 2 The document needs further to be authenticated by the Secretary of the State where it is executed. Some states require that the document be certified by the County Clerk first. For Federally issued certifications, skip this step, go directly to Step 3.


Ø  Step 3 If one of the Chinese Consulate-Generals holds consular jurisdiction (click to check ourservice area map) over you state, you may submit your document to that Consulate-General for final legalization; if not, please get your document authenticated by the U. S. State Department before the Chinese Embassy can finally legalize it. (Please note that your legalization application may be rejected by the Embassy/Consulate General that does not hold consular jurisdiction over the state where your document is executed.)




  1. Please make sure you have followed the all the steps required for authentication before submitting your document to the Chinese Embassy/Consulate-General for final legalization.
  2. Your document must be authentic, intact and legitimate. The Embassy/Consulate-Generals will NOT authenticate a document that contains illegal contents under Chinese laws or may cause potential threats to China’s national or public interests.
  3. A document containing two or more pages must be bound properly and securely, with sealing wax or paging seal/embossed seal to ensure the integrity of the document. The Embassy / Consulate-Generals will NOT authenticate a document if it is found illegitimate, or in any way forged, counterfeited, fraudulent or altered.
  4. Single affidavits/certificates intended to be used for marriage registration in China and certain adoption documents regarding marital status, health status, or criminal records are only valid for six months from the date of issuance. The Embassy / Consulate-Generals will NOT authenticate a document if it becomes invalid.


Documents to be Submitted


  1. One duly completed and signed Authentication Application Form.
  2. The document to be authenticated, submit both the original and a complete set of photocopy.
  3. For individual documents, please provide one passport/driver license copy of the applicant; for corporate documents, please provide a cover letter and one passport/ driver license copy of the legal representative of the company.
  4. If your application is submitted by an agent, please complete Section 2 on the application form and include one copy of the agents’ passport/driver license.
  5. Other supporting documents a consular officer may request.


These steps are for American teachers who are now living in Amerca. Suppose, you are an American living in Thailand now. You studied your degree in America. You can go to the Chinese embassy in Thailand to authenticate the degree. You need to go to the Chinese embassy in America. However, you don’t need to do that in person. You can ask your families or an agency to do that for you. The good news is that for some schools, you can do the authentication in China, which makes it much easier for those foreigners who are not in their country at present. But you need to provide the official transcripts from your university. In the future, this policy will be more flexible.


There is another good thing about visa. Before, if you hold a tourist visa or business visa in China and you want to get a working visa, you need to go to Hong Kong, or even fly back to your home country to apply for it. It costs a lot of time, money and efforts. But now in cities like Beijing and Shanghai, you can transfer it to a working visa without going to Hong Kong, just in local.


The whole process of authenticating degree and collecting other documents takes a long time, around 1 month usually. So I do suggest those who want to find ESL jobs in China to start prepare the documents early.