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Marriage Certificate Authentication for use in China

Document Authentication for China

US marriage certificate must be legalized by the Chinese Embassy or Chinese consulate in order to be used in China. This process is called authentication. China is not a member of Hague Convention, therefore Apostille is not acceptable. The marriage certificate should be first be authenticated by the secretary of state office, then further authenticated by the Chinese Embassy or Chinese Consulate accordingly.

STEP 1 - Obtain a Certified Marriage Certificate
  • Contact with your state vital record office to obtain a certified marriage certificate. The certified marriage certificate should look and feel like the original.
STEP 2 - Authenticated by the secretary of state
  • Contact with your secretary of state authentication office for authentication.
  • The secretary of state will add a cover statement with a designated big seal, signature and wording recognized by Chinese Consulate.
  • Once authenticated, the staple(s) must not be removed or it will invalidate the document.
  • When you submit the marriage certificate to the secretary of your state, please indicate the document will be used in China. The marriage certificate should be authenticated. Apostille is not recognized in China.
  • Marriage certificate issued in DC jurisdiction must be further authenticated by the US Department of State (Federal level) after authentication by your state's secretary office (state level). States under DC jurisdiction include Delaware, Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming and Washington DC.
  • It's possible to combine step 1 and step 2 together, please check with your secretary of state office for detail.
  • Click here for secretary of state authentication sample
  • Click here for secretary of state authentication office
  • Original Consular Report of Birth Abroad can be authenticated by the Chinese Embassy directly, please follow step 3.
STEP 3 - Authentication Application Form (G1)

Fill out and print "Authentication Application Form (G1)"

FAQs:

Q: Who should be the applicant on the application form?
A: Either of the spouses can be the applicant and sign the application form.
Q: What should I fill in "Appendix and Copies of Notarization/ Legalization" section?
A: It simply means how many set of documents you need for authentication. If you only have 1 document, simply type in "1". You will need to pay for each document that needs authentication.
How to fill out G1 form Click here to find out how to fill out the Authentication Application Form correctly.

STEP 4 - Photocopy of Applicant's ID

Photocopy of both spouses' passports are required.

STEP 5 - Select a Service The authentication fees vary depending on type of the documents and level of service
  • Regular 7-15 business days processing: US$143.00/per document
    Consular Fee: $25.00 + Service Fee: $89.00 + Return shipping fee: $29.00
    (Service fee is reduced to $59 for each additional document, total for each additional document is $84, if the documents can be processed in the same jurisdiction.)
  • Express 5-6 business days processing: US$183.00/per document *
    Consular Fee: $45.00 + Service Fee: $109.00 + Return shipping fee: $29.00
    (Service fee is reduced to $79 for each additional document, total for each additional document is $124, if the documents can be processed in the same jurisdiction.)
    (* Express is temporarily suspended in DC Jurisdiction until further notice.)

Remarks:

  • Processing time means the time Chinese Consulate needs to process your application. First day of receiving is not processing day. Weekend and holiday doesn't count.
  • Additional shipping fee applies, if shipping to Alaska and anywhere other than continental USA.
  • DC Jurisdiction includes: Washington DC, Delaware, Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming.

Forms of Payment:

  • Payment needs to be in forms of money order, cashiers check, bank check, certified check, company check or cash. Company check may need a few extra days to clear. Please make check or money order payable to VisaRite Service. Personal check or credit card payment is not accepted.
  • Fee reduction are valid for additional documents issued in the same state.
STEP 6 - Complete Service Request Form

Click here for Service Request Form

STEP 7 - Send the Application Package to VisaRite Service
Put all following items together in one package
  • The original notarized and authenticated document, and a photo copy of each single page. You may fold page when making copies. Do not unstaple, or it will invalidate the document.
  • One clearly and completely filled "Application Form for Authentication ".
  • Copy of the passport or photo ID of the applicant.
  • In cases of commercial authentication, a copy of the company's license or proof of good standing of the company are required.
  • Check or money order payable to VisaRite Service to cover the total cost.
Please send your application with all required items listed above by FedEx, DHL, Express Mail, register mail or other traceable courier service to:

VisaRite Service Center
460 Van Emburgh Ave
Ridgewood, NJ 07450
Tel: (201) 445-7088

Remarks
  The processing time is Consulate processing time and doesn't include the return shipping time. First day of receiving is not processing day.