Marriage Certificate Authentication for use in 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.
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.
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)
4 - Photocopy of Applicant's ID
Photocopy of both spouses' passports are required.
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:
(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: $25.00 + Service Fee: $129.00 + Return shipping fee:
(Service fee is reduced to $99 for each additional document, total for each additional document is $124, if the documents can be processed in the same jurisdiction.)
- Express Plus 3-4 business days processing: US$258.00/per document*
Consular Fee: $50.00 + Service Fee: $179.00 + Return shipping fee:
(Service fee is reduced to $159 for each additional document, total for each additional document is $209, if the documents can be processed in the same jurisdiction.)
(*Express Plus is only available in New York, Houston and Los Angeles jurisdiction and is not currently available in Chicago, DC and San Francisco jurisdiction.)
- Processing time means the time Chinese Consulate needs to process your application and is based on business days. First day of receiving is not processing day. Weekend and holiday doesn't count.
Forms of Payment:
- Payment needs to be in forms of money order, cashiers 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 is not accepted.
- You may also pay by credit card. Credit card payment is subject to 3% surcharge.
- If you have paid online, please include a copy of payment confirmation with your application. Do not send in the credit card payment authorization form if you have paid online.
- Return shipping fee listed is for return addresses within the continental U.S. If your return address is in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico or Canada, please include an extra extended delivery area fee of $10.00 per order. If you need to ship back to other international address, additional fee and time is needed, please call for detail.
STEP 6 - Complete Service Request Form
Click here for Service
- Please specify your service level and return address by submitting the service request form online.
- Please provide email address and phone so that confirmation and status update can be sent to you during the process.
- Please include one copy of service request confirmation with the documents you ship to us and keep one copy for your record.
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
register mail or other traceable courier service to:
VisaRite Service Center
460 Van Emburgh Ave
Ridgewood, NJ 07450
Tel: (201) 445-7088
The processing time is Consulate processing time and doesn't include the
return shipping time. First day of receiving is not processing day.