Legalizing Documents for China

Legalization (authentication) is a essentially a stamp the Chinese consulate/embassy affixes to your documents to certify your Canadian documents for use in China.

Here are the steps to legalize your documents in 2020:

  1. Most documents, including university degrees and criminal background checks, must first be notarized by the local public notary. However, Canadian marriage certificates, birth certificates and death certificates don’t. A notary will stamp and notarize your document or make an official notarized copy of your document.
  2. Once your document is notarized, it needs to be authenticated/certified by the provincial authority responsible for authentication (listed below). They will affix an authentication certificate to your document.
  3. Once your document is authenticated by the provincial authorities, it is ready to be legalized by the Chinese consulate. Send the documents to the Chinese Visa Service Centre, which will then forward it to the consulate for legalization (which the Chinese consulates/embassy call authentication, though this is actually step 2).

These are the documents that the Chinese Visa Service Center in Toronto asked to be submitted for legalization (authentication) by the Chinese Consulate

  1. The authentication application form
  2. A photocopy of your passport information page
  3. A personal statement stating the nature of the emergency, dated with you signature
  4. An invitation letter from your employer that states the emergency
  5. The document to be authenticated

List of provincial authorities to authenticate your document once it is notarized (step 2)

Québec – Chambre des notaires de Québec

Ontario – Official Document Services

British Columbia – Order in Council Administrative Office

Alberta – Deputy Provincial Secretary’s Office

Saskatchewan – Ministry of Justice and Attorney General

Manitoba – Commissioner for Oaths/Notary Public

New Brunswick – Executive Council Office

Nova Scotia – Department of Justice

Prince Edward Island – Department of Justice and Public Safety

Newfoundland – Deputy Minister’s Office

Nunavut – Nunavut Court of Justice

Northwest Territories – Department of Justice

Yukon – The Commissioner of Yukon


Diana is from Montreal, but is currently living in Shenzhen. When she is not doing synthetic biology research in the lab at SIAT, she enjoys performing very amateur stand up comedy in the bars of Shenzhen and sailing in Dapeng or Hong Kong.

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