Sunday, August 2, 2020

What is Document Authentication?

When teaching abroad in China, you will need to get a few documents authenticated. This is verification that the documents are official. When traveling with a family, there are a few extra documents you will need to have authenticated. Your school or other place of employment may ask for a specific list. Here is a list of documents I am having authenticated before moving abroad:
  1. My highest degree: I have a Bachelor's Degree and a Master's Degree, but I am only having the Master's Degree authenticated. 
  2. My 120 Hour TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Certification: I obtained this online from International Open Academy. I was able to order a certified copy of my certificate to have authenticated. The cost was around $27. 
  3. My marriage licence: Since my husband is traveling with us, this is required. 
  4. My children's birth certificates: My two youngest children are under the age of 18, so they will need to have their birth certificates authenticated and sent to the school. 
  5. Background checks for everyone in my family over 18 years old. These can be obtained by your county police headquarters. Ours costs $9 each and we were able to have them locally notarized at the police headquarters. 
Now you know what documents to round up. Next is the authentication process. How does this work? It involves sending your documents to a lot of people to have them notarized. 

Step 1: Have a local notary in your city notarize all documents. 
Step 2. Send your documents to the Secretary of State to have all documents notarized by the state. 
Step 3: Have all documents notarized by your state's closest Chinese Consulate

If any document needs to be authenticated by the Chinese Consulate, it will first need to be notarized at the local and state level first. If you are using a visa service company, you can most likely include these documents with your visa applications. 

I will update this post with prices as we get this done. Right now we are in the process of gathering all documents. I'm searching the house for my diploma (I don't know how someone loses a diploma, but I'm the person this happens to. *insert eye roll*). I'm also waiting on my certified TESOL to arrive. 

I hope this was helpful! Thank you for following our adventure! -Michelle 

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