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, Washington DC, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Island. We can help with US Department of State authentication service for a fee, please email us for details if needed.
- 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)
Please fill out "Authentication
Application Form (G1)" on your computer, print a hard copy and sign in section 8 and below.
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 "Supporting documents and Copies of 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 ORIGINAL AND 1 PHOTOCOPY". You will need to pay for each document that needs authentication.
Click here to find out how to fill out the Authentication Application Form correctly.
4 - Photocopy of Applicant's ID
- Photocopy of applicant's passport. Please make a clear photocopy of your passport. Do not shrink or enlarge the size. Use only letter size paper. Do not cut to smaller size.
- Non-US passport holder needs to provide copy of legal US status such as US Permanent Residence Card copy or US student or residence visa copy.
- Photocopy of both spouses' passports are required.
5 - Select a Service
- Regular Processing (3-4 weeks) : US$230.00/per document
- Express Processing (1-2 weeks) : US$299.00/per document
- 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:
- Personal check is not acceptable. You may pay by money order or credit card. Credit card payment is subject to 3.6% surcharge.
- 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 $20.00 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.
- Check or money order payable to VisaRite Service to cover the total cost or online payment confirmation.
To prevent delay caused by any errors or omissions, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org a scanned copy or images of the complete application paperwork for a pre-check. We will email you the detailed shipping instruction once the pre-check is completed.
The processing time is Consulate processing time and doesn't include the
return shipping time. First day of receiving is not processing day.