Apostille & Legalization in Canada

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Thinking of working in China? Whether you’re looking to go there to teach or for other work, one of the documents the Chinese government requires is a criminal record check. China wants to verify that people who enter the country to reside or do work have clean records. This means any convictions you have in your home country will need to be declared to the government. This mandatory clearance is also necessary from any country where you’ve resided for more than five years. Whether you are a Canadian citizen or not, it is a good idea to figure out if you’ll need to secure an RCMP background check for China. Here are some steps to meeting this document requirement.

What is the purpose of your trip? 

The type of visa you require will be a good guide to whether you’ll need a background check. If you’re going to the country for the purpose of a short visit, the documents you’ll need to provide will be different. However, if you are looking for a residence or will be working in China, part of the visa process will require for you to submit a criminal record check. In some instances, owning and operating a business in China might also necessitate a background check.

How do you collect a criminal record check?

Your local police department or the RCMP headquarter in Ottawa will be able to provide you with a criminal record check. The process for obtaining one is relatively simple. You can go into the police department in person or apply for a record check online. You’ll need to fill out a form and provide proof of identification in the form of a government ID, such as a current passport, driver’s license, or citizenship card. In most cases, the document can be issued in as little as fifteen minutes to half an hour.

What do you do next?

Once you collect your RCMP record check, your official document will need to be attested. Global Affairs Canada (GAC), located in Ottawa, can authenticate the record. Authentication can take a while, so make sure you account for this time. A typical document authentication takes several weeks to a month to complete. In most cases, expediting the service can be a hassle, even if a request is granted. If you really need the service expedited, you’ll need to apply for a rush service stating the cause for the request. Your application will be reviewed and if granted, the service may be rendered in as little as one week.

Following authentication, your criminal record check will need to go to the Chinese High Commission in Ottawa for legalization. The embassy will review the authentication stamp placed by GAC to review its validity. Once satisfied, they will place a stamp of their own or a certificate indicating the completion of legalization.

And voila! There you have it – your attested criminal record check. The whole process takes about two months to complete, so remember to allocate that time for a smooth experience.

Still have questions? Call us! We’re happy to walk you through or provide services that can facilitate the process.

Image Credit: Punto Mice