Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Getting Documents Authenticated for your Chinese Visa in Thailand: DAY 2

So, I recently got a job offer for China and one of the new regulations for a Chinese Visa is to have your diplomas authenticated.  It's a similar process as when I went to authenticate my marriage certificate for our visa in Thailand - I'll talk about this in another post.

I decided to write about this process because I didn't really know what to expect and didn't find the information on the website and when I called, the girl didn't understand me and thought I was calling about the visa process.  I went to the Chinese Visa Office to get my degrees authenticated, and they said it cannot be done without doing these other things first (Hence why it's Day 2 rather than Day 1 of the post).  Just so you know, this is what I spent 7 hours of running around to do today (*this information is pertinent to the date it was published so be sure to call and double check that no one moved buildings since this date)

It's okay, you live and learn.  Let me just preface this with, this is what I experience and I am in no way responsible for anything that may vary or differ from your own experience of doing this same process.

In my situation, I'm here on my husband's work visa in Thailand but my degree was granted in the US and I need it to be authenticated for China.  There are three places you need to go to three different offices:
1. U.S. Embassy office - book a day in advanced because it does fill us fast
2. Ministry of Foreign Affairs BUT through The Department of Consular Affairs
     (02 572 8442) there are two offices so be sure to go to this office [ 123 chaengwattana road Lak Si Bangkok - by Don Mueang Airport]
3. Chinese Visa Office on the 5th floor of the building

You need to visit those offices in that order otherwise you'll just be running around like I did my first day (it took me three days to get it all right)


  1. Make an appointment at the U.S. Embassy to notarize/authenticate your document(s) or in my case my degree (you can make the appointment via the website or possibly calling)

DO Bring

  • Passport
  • 1800 Baht (that's how much it cost today, may change but I paid in cash not sure if you can with Credit Card)
  • Documents needed for Authentication 
  • Printed Appointment (might be able to get away with taking a picture of it but I'm not sure)
    • When in doubt, call them

I was also notarizing my husband's diploma so make sure you fill out the forms accordingly.  The workers at the U.S. Embassy have always been helpful and will remind you to fill in as much information as possible and if you're doing more than one document and not just for yourself, be sure to put their information as well.  They recommend this way better because

You get your forms in the Embassy so fill it out and DO NOT SIGN IT.  You will only be able to sign it when you are under oath and in front of an Embassy employee.

Made my appointment for 9:15 - one of the earliest - I was also hopeful I can get it done in one day -- NOOOOOPE~

Go in, get the form, fill it out and grab a number at counter 3.  They'll look over your documents, may as you about them but they'll tell you to pay (1800 Baht PER DOCUMENT notarized - hence why they recommend combining all documents on one form).  Go back, swear on it and then get it stamped!

Moving on!

     2.  Ministry of Foreign Affairs (make sure you have the right office)
 
Bring with you:

  • U.S. Embassy Affidavit/Notary form 
  • Original Documents
  • Passport
  • copy of 1st page of passport (the one with the info and picture of you)
  • 200 baht (express = 400 baht)
Go in the building and go up stairs (if you're lost there is an information booth)
Go upstairs again and stand in line for information by the Legalization area and grab a number.  You'll be given a form and you just fill it out and then give it back to the info desk.
Wait for your number to be called (it'll be in Thai so be sure to look up every so often)
When they call your number, you give them your documents, may need to show them your passport but you'll pay there an then so you can choose express services that take 3-4 hours (hence why I couldn't finish everything in one day) or come back at a later date.

I opted for Express at 11:00 am and went to lunch at Sizzlers and killed time there before heading back to the ministry.  When I went back, it was very fast, you can either go to information on the 3rd flood and they'll tell you what window you need to go to or just go to Windows 7 or 8.  There, you'll show them your receipt and they'll look for you document and you're done.

With that I was done for the day and I still have tomorrow.  Yay!

I will continue my journey tomorrow!

***

So it's the next day, and I get in line and though we got there at 10, the line was not bad for a Wednesday morning.  I gave them my documents, the workers at the front desk look it over and put everything together for me in the order they like, gave me a ticket number and then sent me to wait for my number on the left waiting room.

I only waited about 20-30 minutes until they called my number, but as soon as I got to the window, I was greeted by a nice English speaking Thai guy that took my documents, looked it over for a bit and just handed me a receipt that told me what date and time to pick it up and pay.

I was given a brochure with the pay rates depending on how fast you needed everything processed but seeing as I wasn't in quite that much of a rush, I went the regular route of a four day wait and will be picking it up the following Tuesday.

I'll just need to bring my receipt and passport and 1050 in Baht.

***

Note to self, don't leave your passport at the front desk.  I was in such a hurry to get out of there that I didn't realize that I left my passport with the receptionist when I was handing them my documents and though they didn't need to hold on to my passport, I forgot to ask for it back.

It was no incident to get it back but I'm glad it was left there and not lost on the street.  I called as soon as I got home, asked for my passport and gave them all my information and they said I could come back and pick it up the next day.

I went the next day and made a day trip of traveling around Bangkok since I was making yet another trip this week to that building - three days in one week - YEESH!  Went with my copies of my passport and other stuff proving who I was and I got my stuff back in no time.

Thank goodness that's all that was!

I'll update and let you all know how it went.  TTFN!

***



It all worked out!  I brought in my receipt (and passport, though I didn't need it), checked in at the counter and they redirected me to counter 16 on the left side to wait for my documents.  I gave the receptionist my receipt, paid my 1050 Baht (I did the regular service and waited 4 days rather than the rushed service for double the price) and got my stuff!

I will say, I was nervous that it wouldn't go through AND while I was waiting, I read the back of the receipt, I saw the disclaimer saying that whether or not your paperwork went through, you still had to pay (WTF?!).  Who knows?  I may have just been fortunate but I'm glad it all worked out.