Legalization of documents from China

China has not joined the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. Documents from China are only recognized abroad, if they have been legalized. This means that their authenticity needs to be confirmed separately.

By legalization the signature and the seal of foreign documents are authenticated. Responsible is the respective embassy of the country in which the document shall be used. A legalization is solely possible, if the document has been issued by a public notariat of the People's Republic of China for use abroad. The notary issues a notarial document on the basis of the original. It must contain a notarially certified copy of the original as well as a confirmation of authenticity.

The notarially certified documents must then be re-certified by the Office for Foreign Affairs responsible for the notary's official residence. Only then can the document be legalized by the German Consulate General.

Legalization of documents from China

The following documents can be legalized:

  • Extracts from the commercial register
  • Certificates of civil status (certificates of birth, death, marriage and divorce)
  • Education documents (school reports, certificates, diplomas)
  • Judicial decisions
  • Notarially certified copies of documents
  • Notarially certified translations
  • Further notarial documents (authorizations, last will, declarations)

Apostille for Hong Kong and Macao

Hong Kong and Macao have joined the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. In 1997, China has confirmed the validitiy of the convention for Hong Kong, in 1999 for Macao. Therefore no diplomatic authentication or legalization of documents from Hong Kong or Macao is required for the legal communication with another member state of the convention. The documents only need to be stamped with an "apostille" by the issuing state's authorities in order to be valid in the state of destination.

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Price for legalization of documents from China: by request

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In our video we are explaining what consular legalization is and where to apply for it.

Schmidt & Schmidt will assist you in all issues concerning the legalization.

Schmidt & Schmidt offers legalization in more than 80 countries all over the world.

In our video we are explaining what an apostille is and where to apply for it. Schmidt & Schmidt will assist you with all issues concerning the apostille.

Legalization of a document is a process, which allows to legitimate the document issued in one country for its usage in another.

It means, if you want to submit a document, issued in one country, to authorities in a target country, the document must primarily prove its authenticity. Legalization confirms the authority of the issuing official as well as an authenticity of his signature and seal.

Legalization is needed for official non-commercial documents.

There are following procedures of legalization of documents:

  • Consular legalization
  • Apostille (a simplified procedure of legalization)
  • Legalization of documents by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Consular legalization applies to countries, that have not signed the Hague Convention of 1961, which implemented a law about the procedure of apostille (a lot of European countries are member states of this convention).

Legalization of documents through the Chamber of Commerce is carried out in relation to commercial documents (contracts, invoices etc).

No, not always. In some cases, countries can make bi- or multilateral agreements that completely revoke legalization of documents for their recognition in the member countries.

For example, a CIEC convention from 1976 or bilateral treaties between Germany and Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, Luxemburg, Austria and Switzerland.

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