The following is a simple guide to the authentication procedure for Z visa documents for US citizens.
It is important to note that although these are the most common documents needed for authentication, certain schools/ local visa offices may have different requirements. It is vital to double and triple check with your school’s HR department which documents need to be authenticated.
Attain a No Criminal Record Check from the relevant authority.
In the US, checks can be made on three levels; local level, state level or federal level. Check with your employer what their requirement is.
If a local or state level check is required you can travel to your local police station or contact the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) and request a form stating evidence of no criminal history.
If the Federal background check is required, you will need to apply for an FBI background check. Bare in mind this can take 8-10 weeks to complete.
Ensure this document is signed by the issuing authority.
Have your degree certificate and TEFL certificate (as well as any additionally required non-Government issued documents) notorized by a public notary, in the state it was issued.
All documents must be further authenticated to the Secretary of State in the candidates Home State, with an appropriate seal, signature, and easily recognised wording.
When you submit the document to secretary of your state, please indicate the document will be used in China, to ensure it is worded and laid out correctly.
You can find a list of State Authentication Offices here
Complete the Application Form of Notarization/Legalisation of the Embassy/Consulate of the People’s Republic of China- http://www.visarite.com/images/authentication/G1.pdf
This must be submitted to the nearest Chinese Embassy or Consulate in addition to all notorised and legalised documents, for the final authentication seal and signature to be added.
Once documents are returned from the Chinese Embassy or Consulate, send copies to your employer school via email. Their HR Team can then submit a work z visa application to the Provincial Visa Office. Typically, around 4 weeks later the Provincial Visa Office issue a Work Permit and Invitation Letter; this will be sent to you in your home country via courier.
Once the Invitation Letter and Work Permit are returned from China you must make a Z visa application at your nearest Embassy or Consulate. Complete the Z visa application form-http://www.china-embassy.org/chn/lszj/bgxz/P020130830121570742708.pdf
Bring the completed form, along with your Invitation Letter, Work Permit, Passport and any other specified documents to the Embassy or Consulate. The regular processing time is 4 business days with an express service, processing the documents in 2-3 business days.
Regular service cost- $140
Express service- $160
Visit he Chinese Embassy’s website for more information- http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/visas/hrsq/