Required Documents and Authentications for a China Work Permit

Page updated as of April 2018.

As of July 2017, a criminal background check and authenticated documents must be provided to apply for a work permit in the Peoples Republic of China. 

Here is a guide regarding how to get a background check and how to get your documents authenticated so that you can get your work permit and visa!

Step 1: Get a criminal background check.

Get Your Background Check for China

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Step 2: Get your documents authenticated. 

This usually means 3 documents:

  1. University degree
  2. Your background check
  3. A document that qualifies you to be a teacher; this will vary so you should supply what your employer is asking for. Usually it's either a teaching license, TEFL Certificate (120 HOURS+) or a reference letter for 2+ years classroom teaching experience.

Getting your documents authenticated is a multi-step process, so read carefully:

Document Authentication for China

  • United States >

    In the U.S., there are 3 or 4 steps depending on which state you're in, here's the process:

    1. Have your document notarized by a local notary. They don't need to notarize the original, it's perfectably acceptable to get a notarized copy of the document. However you will need to show the original to the notary.

    2A. Get your documents certified by the Secretary of State's office All documents must be certified by the Secretary of State’s office in the state where the document was issued. They will verify the notarization recieved in step 1 and put a seal on the notarized document.

    2B (possibly). Get your documents authenticated by US Department of State: Documents issued in certain states must be authenticated by the US Department of State after certification by local secretary of state’s office. These states include Washington DC, Delaware, Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

    3. Get your documents authenticated by Chinese Embassy/Consulates After certification by the Secretary of State’s office and/or the US Department of State, your documents can be authenticated by the Chinese Embassy/Consulate that holds consular jurisdiction over the state where the document is certified.

    If you do not live live near a Chinese consulate, it will likely be more cost effective to use an agent to complete this process for you. Teaching Nomad can complete the entire authentication process on your behalf. Click the order button for more information or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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  • United Kingdom >

    The process for getting documents in authenticated (legalized) in the U.K. are quite similar to the U.S. in that it follows a 3-step process:

    1. Relevant documents (diploma, certificates, teaching license, etc.) will need to be notarized by a solicitor or public notary in the U.K.

    2. After the documents have been notarized, you must take them to get authenticated by the Foreign Commonwealth Office. Once the FCO assesses that the documents are genuine, they will attach an Apostille to your documents.

    3. Once apostilled by the FCO, take your documents to the Chinese Embassy to receive the Chinese consulate legalization.

    A great agency that provides the full legalization of documents for U.K. citizens is

    Contact Andrew at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Let him know that Teaching Nomad referred you, and he’ll make sure you’re taken care of! 


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  • Canada >

    Step 1. 

    The document shall be notarized by a local notary public, lawyer or Commissioner of Oaths of Canada. 

    Step 2. 
    The notarized document shall be authenticated by the Authentication and Service of Documents Section of Global Affairs Canada, if the applicant would like to bring the document to this Embassy for authentication. 
    The notarized document shall be authenticated by the authentication office of the corresponding province (territory).

    Step 3. 
    The document shall be authenticated by the Chinese Embassy if it has been authenticated by the authentication office of Global Affairs Canada.
    Th document shall be authenticated by one of the Chinese Consulates General in Canada in accordance with its consular jurisdiction where it has been authenticated by a local authentication office. 

    You can read more about on the Chinese Embassy of Canada website.

    If you do not live near a consulate, we suggest using to complete the third step for you. Use code "NOMAD2017" to recieve USD discount on your order.

    If you're overseas and/or unable to complete this process yourself, Teaching Nomad's Denver office can complete this entire process on your behalf for a fee. See order form for details.

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  • South Africa >

    1. The first step in authenticating any documents, will be to get them notarized by a public notary/registrar at the high provincial courts in South Africa.

    2. Documents will then need to be taken to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa (DIRCO) to get legalized

    3. Take the authenticated documents to the Embassy or Consulates of China to get the Chinese authentication on your documents.

    Previous Teaching Nomad's have successfully used this document authentication organization.

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  • Australia >

    1. Your documents must be notarized by any Australian notary public.

    2. Once notarized, all documents are to be authenticated (not apostilled) by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or an office of theirs in a state or territory. This can be arranged to be done either in person or by post, but the mailing service can only be used for Sydney or Melbourne.

    3. Lastly, take your notarized and authenticated documents to the relevant Chinese Embassy or Consulate General. You must take your documents to the Embassy or Consulate in the Jurisdiction where they were ‘notarized’, not ‘authenticated’. 

    For more information and contact info, click here.

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  • New Zealand >

    1. Individuals needing to get their documents authenticated for China will need to send their documents to the New Zealand Authentication Unit. Before sending your documents to them, make sure they meet the Authentication Unit guidelines or else they cannot be legalized.

    a. For school records (excluding University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology), medical records, employment documents and any other personal documents, please make sure they are first notarized by a NZ public notary.

    b. If you attended the University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology, your records must be emailed to the Authentication unit via My eQuals. Contact your university if you need assistance with this. 

    2. Once you have ensured that all of your documents meet the Authentication Unit requirements, fill out the document authentication application form and send it to the Authentication unit. The notarized documents plus payment must be attached with this application.

    3. Documents will then be authenticated by the Department of Internal Affairs Authentication Unit then sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) for verification.

    Here is a website that provides detailed information on the steps needed to properly get documents authenticated. It includes a link to the application form, fees and addresses of where to send your documents to:

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  • Ireland >

    1. Get your documents notarized by a local notary public.

    2. Send the documents to the Legalization Office of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, or visit the Cork or Dublin office in person.

    3. Submit the documents to the Chinese Embassy or Consulate General for authentication. Note – this must be done in person or via a courier service.  

    Find more information about the requirements and the application form here.

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Step 3: Now that your documents are authenticated, send scans of these documents to your employer. They will apply for your work permit which will likely take 5-20 business days. It's important to tell them which Chinese consulate you will use to apply for your work visa, YOU CANNOT CHANGE THIS LATER so if you plan to use an agent, you may want to consult them at this point.

Step 4: Once approved, your employer will email your work permit approval which you can take to the consulate or to the visa agent assisting you.

If you're having difficulties with this process, be sure to contact your Teaching Nomad placement consultant, we're here to help!

Teaching Nomad is your connection to teaching in Asia & The Middle East! We are a western owned and operated teacher placement agency with offices in Denver & Shanghai. We take a lot of pride in connecting teachers with great teaching opportunities.


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