In a significant development on November 7th, 2023, China officially became a member of The Hague Apostille Convention, marking a momentous shift in the document authentication process for individuals looking to travel to or from China. This momentous step will particularly impact educators planning to make the move to China. In this blog post, we will delve into the specifics of this change and how it will affect teachers bound for China in the coming years.

Understanding The Hague Apostille Convention

The Hague Apostille Convention, established through an international treaty on October 5th, 1961, aims to streamline the legalisation of public documents for international use. Traditionally, the legalisation process could be arduous, time-consuming, and costly. However, signatories of The Hague Apostille Convention can now authenticate documents with a single certificate, known as an Apostille, issued by the respective national authority. With China’s accession, this convention boasts a membership of 125 countries.

China’s membership in The Hague Convention will simplify the document legalisation process for Chinese citizens seeking to use their documents abroad, especially in other member countries. Moreover, it will facilitate the authentication of documents, such as educational certificates and criminal record checks, for citizens of member countries looking to use them in China.

Impact on Teachers

In recent years, obtaining a Chinese Z Visa has required the authentication of three key documents for teachers:

  1. Bachelor’s Degree Certificate
  2. TEFL Certificate
  3. Criminal Record Check

The authentication process for these documents typically involved three steps:

  1. Notarisation by a notary public
  2. Authentication with an Apostille
  3. Stamping and authentication at a Chinese embassy or consulate

With China’s accession to The Hague Apostille Convention, the third step in the document authentication process is no longer a requirement. That’s right – teachers will no longer need to have their documents stamped and authenticated at a Chinese embassy or consulate. This development is excellent news for prospective teachers planning to relocate to China. They will only need to complete the first two steps: getting their documents notarised and then authenticated with an Apostille. This streamlined process will significantly expedite, simplify, and reduce the costs associated with obtaining a Chinese Z Visa. Importantly, all other aspects of the Chinese Z Visa process will remain unchanged.

In conclusion, China’s inclusion in The Hague Apostille Convention is a game-changer for teachers and all individuals dealing with document authentication for international travel to and from China. The new process promises efficiency, affordability, and greater convenience for those embarking on their journeys to this remarkable country. Another reason why it is time to start your teaching journey in China!