does anyone have any recent experience with getting British education and police background check documents legalised? I'm finding a lot of conflicting information online and the agency prices are very high (over 10k rmb).
I don't know about the situation from the UK side, but as a Dutch citizen I needed to get all my documents (diploma, criminal background check and passport) legalized in the Netherlands. If you have nice friends back home they can do some of the work for you; some documents you can send straight to the embassy, without the need for an (expensive) agency. Good luck!
thanks Vera. I've found a cheaper agency in the UK but the process seems too complcated to ask someone to do it for me. For anyone going through this work visa application process in future:
1. The documents first need to be checked and authenticated by a solicitor.
2. Then they have to go to the British Foreign Comonwealth Office. 3.Finally, they can be taken to the Chinese embassy.
Did you try 5Star visa agents in London? I have used them in the past and they were reasonably priced then.
@tigertiger Thanks for the suggestion. I'm using Hague Apostille (A.K.A The Apostille Service) because I won't be applying for the visa in the UK. So, these guys get the documents ready for me to apply for a 'work invitation letter' in China and then I go to apply for the Z visa in Thailand. The whole China work (Z) visa process for UK citizens has become a bit of a nightmare. Applying for the visa in the UK is not easy.
I could be wrong, but I think the whole authentication process only needs to be done once. After that the documents are on record in Beijing. Subsequent applications, I am told, will be much easier.
I am a UK bod, and to be honest, all the F'in around is why I took early retirement.
I hope you're right about the doing it once bit... these rules make it very difficult for brits to start working here legally.
I couldn't figure it for NZ and ended up flying back to hand things in at the embassy myself. For my Australian documents I managed to find a lawyer who offered legalisation as a service. Both options were expensive, slow and problematic, but I think sending things down to a local lawyer will be my choice in the future if I don't have a friend to do it for me.
@debased: "I'm using Hague Apostille (A.K.A The Apostille Service)"
Be careful with that though - "Hague Apostille" generally refers to an international convention (Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents), which aims to reduce bureaucracy related to accepting documents in other countries.
In practise, if your document is certified with such "apostille" in the country of its origins, it would be accepted in all countries that have signed into this concention.
But China is not signed to this. Apostille stamp is not sufficient for documents to be used in China - they need to be specifically legalized by Chinese consulate abroad, and Chinese consulate first requires them to be legalized by the foreign ministry of the country.
In your case, the service provider may of course do the full consulate legalization rather than just apostille.
@tigertiger: "I could be wrong, but I think the whole authentication process only needs to be done once."
For the purpose of work permit application, the no-criminal certificate is only valid for 6 months or so, so if you apply for another work permit later, you need to get a new original certificate and repeat the whole legalization process for it. Even if only the printout date changes.
Education certificates do not have similar validity period. I guess they assume degrees can never be taken away from someone (which is of course not true, but quite rare).
The process does not seem any different or more difficult for UK nationals than it is for others (save perhaps citizens of greater China outside the mainland jurisdiction).