Instructions for notarizing documents:
For the applicants that want to notarize documents without going through a middleman or a notarization service, the process takes several steps, but is not particularly difficult as long as the resources are readily available immediately by driving, public transportation or by mail. Note that all of these steps are performed in order and none of them may be skipped at any time during the process.
The documents to be notarized are:
(Required) B.A./B.S. or equivalent or higher degree document.
(Recommended) Criminal Background check dated to at least within the year.
Step 1: All documents will need to be notarized by a local notary. These documents will all need to include the date of the notarization and your signature.
If you are notarizing a copy of the document, you must include something similar to the following text in order to tell the official that the document is a copy rather than the original. (This is highly recommended for documents like diplomas which you want to retain in good condition).
I ____(name)____ hereby swear/affirm that the attached reproduction of my ___(document name)___ is a true and complete copy of the document in my possession.
Signature___________ (Do not use the X______________ format. Simply draw a line and sign on the top)
Note that the blurb may be different depending on where you are. Check with your local government or notary public for the wording and procedure in order to avoid any problems.
Step 2: Send the notarized documents along with a completed apostille form for your location. The cost per document will be different depending on your location. Mail them to the location stated on the form. The process will likely take 7-13 business days.
Step 3: Take these documents to your local Chinese embassy. If you are in the United States, the Chinese embassy will correspond to specific states. Check which embassy has jurisdiction over your state in the link below.
Fill out the notarization form and hand it in along with the form to the Chinese official that is responsible for handling the process. Expect the process to take 5 business day to complete although the process can be completed within the same week.
Note that if any of these steps are performed incorrectly, the document may potentially be rejected and you will need to go through the entire process again with a replacement document.