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Mr. Zheng

Degree Authentication required?

Question

Howdy.

Have been reading some chatter on some other boards that our college degrees need to be "authenticated", and would like to know if anyone, especially Americans have gotten this done and what might be required, especially for Americans. I plan on going back to the USA in January and would like to stay on top of things. One thing that is a concern is having to deal with the Chinese consulate, with the nearest ones near me is hundreds of miles away, and walking around the streets of Chicago (Chicago in Russian is "Siberia") in February looking for an address is not my idea of entertainment.

I guess I can swing by the Foreign Expert Bureau and ask them. However what frustrates me no end about Chinese is that they do not know anything, or give bad or incorrect information. Has anyone gone through this process if necessary? Thank you.

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4 hours ago, Mr. Zheng said:

Howdy.

Have been reading some chatter on some other boards that our college degrees need to be "authenticated", and would like to know if anyone, especially Americans have gotten this done and what might be required, especially for Americans. I plan on going back to the USA in January and would like to stay on top of things. One thing that is a concern is having to deal with the Chinese consulate, with the nearest ones near me is hundreds of miles away, and walking around the streets of Chicago (Chicago in Russian is "Siberia") in February looking for an address is not my idea of entertainment.

I guess I can swing by the Foreign Expert Bureau and ask them. However what frustrates me no end about Chinese is that they do not know anything, or give bad or incorrect information. Has anyone gone through this process if necessary? Thank you.

I haven’t authenticated my diplomas and I am not even American but I have authenticated other American–issued documents so I believe what I write below is accurate.

Let me briefly explain about apostilles and document authentication. There is an internationally agreed procedure of how a private person can obtain a legal document in one country and present it in another. It is called apostille, it is basically a certificate of validity issued by the Foreign Ministry, the Department of State in DC in case of the US. 

Let’s start from the end.

Say, you would like to submit an American–issued legal document to a Chinese institution. For it to be accepted in China it has to be authenticated by the Chinese embassy / consulate in the US.

For the Chinese embassy to touch it, it has to be apostilled by the Department of State in DC. State Department will only apostille legal documents issued by the federal government (e.g. something issued by the FBI) OR a legal document that has already been apostilled by the respective Department of State in the capital of that state.

Now comes the catch. Not everything is considered legal documents. Something authenticated by a notary public IS a legal document. But just any notary cannot “authenticate” your diploma because there is nothing for them to authenticate. Usually it is a University–provided authentication service where they employ a certified notary public, who when presented with the original of your diploma has the means to check that it is indeed authentic and will then make a certified copy. It will be a photocopy of your diploma on a legal size sheet of paper with an addendum below stating that it is indeed a notarized copy of the original diploma and the signature of the notary.

Of course, if you can find a notary that will just blindly do it for you the outcome will be the same, the thing is that most notaries won’t.  

So to reiterate:

Present the original diploma to your University -–> get the notarized copy –> get this copy apostilled in the state capital –>  get it apostilled in DC –> get it authenticated at the Chinese embassy –> Bingo!

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So I wasted my time to write this wall of text just for nothing? No discussion, no thank you. Geez, no wonder this forum sucks. 

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On 11/12/2016 at 2:25 PM, unclemax said:

So I wasted my time to write this wall of text just for nothing? No discussion, no thank you. Geez, no wonder this forum sucks. 

Thank you!  I read it.  I actually brought my original degree along with me this time, as things just keep changing.  But of course a notarized copy would be ideal.   I think like Mr. Zheng, I might try to do the same when I go home in January.  That said, it's a slow process.  

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Actually I have an update on that. Apparently there’s a government department that does foreign degree authentication. You can submit documents right here in Hangzhou, near Gudang. They only need the original diploma (no apostille required), passport(s) and some paperwork in Chinese. And you get to keep all the originals, they only need to see it once and take pictures / copies. 

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On 11/12/2016 at 2:25 PM, unclemax said:

So I wasted my time to write this wall of text just for nothing? No discussion, no thank you. Geez, no wonder this forum sucks. 

Actually, I read your description of the process last year, and in my opinion, it was excellent and needed no response because it was so well written.

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On 12/01/2017 at 3:22 PM, HZ_Time said:

Actually, I read your description of the process last year, and in my opinion, it was excellent and needed no response because it was so well written.

He was saying - no-one expressed any form of appreciation! Only 1 upvote, and the OP didn't even bother to come back to thank him for it!

 

I didn't comment or upvote, because it's American.... some of what's written is purely for Americans, and does not apply to other countries in the world (which do actually exist :p) It's well-written, but slightly inaccurate (although, sort of irrelevantly).

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On 10/01/2017 at 8:38 PM, unclemax said:

Actually I have an update on that. Apparently there’s a government department that does foreign degree authentication. You can submit documents right here in Hangzhou, near Gudang. They only need the original diploma (no apostille required), passport(s) and some paperwork in Chinese. And you get to keep all the originals, they only need to see it once and take pictures / copies. 

Yeah, I'd really trust that!!! :doubtful:

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On 1/12/2017 at 3:22 PM, HZ_Time said:

Actually, I read your description of the process last year, and in my opinion, it was excellent and needed no response because it was so well written.

It’s great that you found it useful! But please notice that all that I described apparently doesn’t apply to diplomas. I only recently found this out but there is a government agency that can authenticate your diploma, they only need to see the original, no prior authentication of any sort is required. 

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5 minutes ago, sainthood said:

He was saying - no-one expressed any form of appreciation! Only 1 upvote, and the OP didn't even bother to come back to thank him for it!

 

I didn't comment or upvote, because it's American.... some of what's written is purely for Americans, and does not apply to other countries in the world (which do actually exist :p) It's well-written, but slightly inaccurate (although, sort of irrelevantly).

With respect to diplomas it seems to be totally inaccurate! The advice was based on my experience authenticating the health check and no criminal record forms. However there’s a government office in China that can authenticate your diploma for you. 

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Just now, unclemax said:

With respect to diplomas it seems to be totally inaccurate! The advice was based on my experience authenticating the health check and no criminal record forms. However there’s a government office in China that can authenticate your diploma for you. 

You had to get your health check authenticated??? WTF?

Q: what do you mean by 'diploma'? In Australia, a 'diploma' is a very specific level of qualification - not a generic piece of paper. ie, we don't have a 'high school diploma'. It comes between the Certificate IV and the Advanced Diploma (after which is the Bachelor degree).

 

Also, the only real difference between your version and the Aus version is basically that it needs to go to the capital city for authentication by a gov department. Everything else was (or could be) basically the same.

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11 minutes ago, sainthood said:

You had to get your health check authenticated??? WTF?

Q: what do you mean by 'diploma'? In Australia, a 'diploma' is a very specific level of qualification - not a generic piece of paper. ie, we don't have a 'high school diploma'. It comes between the Certificate IV and the Advanced Diploma (after which is the Bachelor degree).

 

Also, the only real difference between your version and the Aus version is basically that it needs to go to the capital city for authentication by a gov department. Everything else was (or could be) basically the same.

Why, yes! As I mentioned, if the document originates from outside of China it has to be authenticated. At least that’s what I’ve been told. 

By diploma I literally mean just a piece of paper from an accredited University stating that you have earned BA, MA, MSci, MEng, PhD or what ever degree. 

They collect your information such as dates, student ID number, etc and apparently have the means to verify it. When I was submitting my application I saw someone with diplomas from University of Edinburgh, University of Melbourne…

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