Learn Chinese in China
tooironic

urgent visa help - authentication of diploma for work permit in China

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I am currently gathering the documents needed to apply for a teaching position at a university in Beijing. I have run into a significant problem, and was wondering if anyone here could advise me.

 

To be a foreign teacher at a university in China you need to supply about a dozen different documents. One of them is the "copy of diploma" which "should be authenticated by a Chinese embassy" (最高学位证书(中外文)需要由中国驻本国大使馆认证).

 

My situation: I am on the last semester of my second Master's at Xiamen University. I haven't got my diploma as I haven't graduated yet. I have the diploma for my first Master's and Bachelor's - both from Australian universities. However, the Australian consulate in Guangzhou has informed me that I would need to go back to Australia to get these authenticated - and the notary offices I visited in Xiamen said they couldn't help me either.

 

My question is: if I submit an official letter from Xiamen University - or an academic transcript, something with the school's official seal on it - would that meet the requirements to apply for the work permit? My American friend who went through a similar thing last year was able to do that - however the secretary at the university I am applying to work at said the policy has changed and that may not be possible this time. She has enquired with the relevant department twice already, but when I pressed her for a definite answer, she was unable to confirm whether a Xiamen Uni document would suffice. She said she would ask again this week, but I am starting to worry that, even if I do make the application, it will be denied.

 

It is not possible for me to return to Australia at the moment, as I am busy with my graduate thesis. I will fly back in July, however the uni told me it would be too late by then to apply for the work permit.

 

Any advice you could provide would be much appreciated. Thanks.

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2 hours ago, tooironic said:

However, the Australian consulate in Guangzhou has informed me that I would need to go back to Australia to get these authenticated

Is is possible to post them back to Australia and get a friend or family member to take them in to be authenticated?

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I just received official confirmation from the university in Beijing - a certificate from Xiamen University in lieu of a diploma upon graduation will not suffice. So it seems the rules for the work permit are indeed getting stricter. I will have to get my diploma authenticated. The question now is whether the embassy in Melbourne will accept an Award Verification (electronic printout), or an original diploma only. I will give the consulate a call tomorrow morning (closed now). If they only accept the original diploma I will have to post it back to Australia per imron's suggestion. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks.

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If you just have your plain old diploma, the Chinese embassy isn't going to authenticate it alone: they don't recognise your university's seal and signatures. You need a chain of authentications leading to an official government seal and signature the embassy recognises.

 

I don't know about Australia, but in most countries there are document service companies which know the ropes and get this rigamarole done for you.

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Thanks for the heads up 889. I will ask the Chinese consulate about this tomorrow.

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Update: I have confirmed at the Chinese consulate in Melbourne what I need to do. They said because I have my original university diploma I don't need to go to a notary public - I just need to get it authenticated at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and then authenticated again at the Chinese consulate. All up, that'll cost me over $100 AUD in fees, plus I need to send it all back to China by express. Thankfully, I have a friend in Melbourne who can help me do all this on my behalf. The Chinese consulate also required that I send over my passport. It's a risk obviously, but I don't have any choice, since I can't be in Melbourne in person. Thanks guys for your help. I'll let you know how it goes, in case anyone else finds themselves in a similar situation and are as confused how I was. 889 was right - it really is all about needing "a chain of authentications leading to an official government seal and signature the embassy recognises".

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Hope it works out.

 

If you can find the time, I'd be interested in a post detailing your experience studying a masters in China and how it did or didn't live up to expectations. 

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Yep, I'm planning on writing something up after I finish my graduate thesis. I can also do a post on living in Xiamen and studying at XiaDa in general.

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Just in case someone else happens upon this thread, I had to get my Master's degree notarized and authenticated back in the US for a new job I'm starting in Shanghai. I have my original diploma, but I would have had to go back to the US as well. American universities do re-issue diplomas and most registrar's office also have notaries. I contacted my alma mater to have them re-issue and notarize it. 

Then in the state I attended my MA degree, I had to have the Secretary of State (Ohio in my case) verify it and then it has to go to a Chinese consulate to be checked out. Since I'm living in China now and don't have family in the state where it needs to get done I'm working with mychinavisa.com. This is going to run me a fair bit, but it gets things done so I can get my new work permit and residency visa before I head back to the US for the summer. It's a hassle, but the new job is better and I'm excited about returning to Shanghai.

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