Getting your documents legalised for China
You have just finished your TEFL training and have been offered your first teaching post in China! But then you realize you need a work visa, and suddenly you're confronted with a slew of unfamiliar phrases and processes.
Where can you even begin to make sense of all this information on legalization, apostille, FCDO, and ACRO?
Then then, how do you know you're doing it correctly the first time around?
For starters, what exactly does "legalization" entail?
Getting a document issued in one nation recognized in another one is called "legalization."
The process, which involves many government agencies verifying and stamping a document, is often called "attestation" or "authentication."
Documents must always be legalized in the nation where they were issued.
If you earned your degree from a school in the United Kingdom, for instance, you'll need to complete the legalization procedure in Great Britain.
The government is the only entity with the authority to confirm the legitimacy of the document.
Is there a standard procedure for legalization worldwide?
Not thankfully, no.
There is a lot of muddled thinking about this at the beginning of the certification process for potential educators.
The procedures you must go through in order to process your papers effectively are directly impacted by a number of elements, including:
Country of Origin Document Type
The Document's Authorizing Agency
Wherever the presentation is taking place geographically.
What paperwork do I need to bring?
The specific paperwork you'll need to provide the Chinese government to get a visa to teach English in China may vary per institution.
Obtaining the all-clear from the police (usually an ACRO certificate)
Completion of a TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA Course and/or Degree.
What if I took my TEFL training with an organization based in a foreign country?
It may be difficult to get your TEFL certificate recognized for your Z Visa if you studied with a firm whose headquarters are located outside of the UK.
You may still get the paperwork legalized, but you'll have to do it overseas.
If you attended an online school based in the United States, for instance, your paperwork would need to be processed via the appropriate US federal agencies.
This may cause unnecessary expenditures and mental anguish.
How can I get my UK papers authenticated in China?
So, you've been offered a part in a Chinese production. The next step in getting your work visa is to get your UK papers legalized.
To do this, you must follow certain procedures and avoid certain pitfalls.
You may put your trust in the fact that the Chinese government insists on strict adherence to procedure. How the paperwork is organized and filled out is just as important as the actual application itself.
Part III: Securing a Z Visa
Now that your papers have been legalized, you may provide them to your school so that they can apply for your work permit.
Your apostille and police clearance are only valid for a period of six months from the day they were issued, therefore timing is of the essence.
Your work permit will expire on the date printed on it after you obtain it from your school. Verify this information thoroughly, since the validity period for each offer varies, and you must submit your Z Visa application within this timeframe.
In order to submit an application for a Z Visa in the United Kingdom, you will need to show your permission.
Applying for a Z Visa will need a second visit to the Chinese Visa Centre, but this time you'll have to show up in person. Providing biometric data and a picture of yourself as part of your application is what makes this so.
Your legalized papers may be sent straight to your Chinese university without you having to bring them with you right now.
You may enter China as soon as your Z Visa has been stamped into your passport.
Finally, your institution will assist you in applying for a residence permit within 30 days of your arrival.