Authentication of Consular Report of Birth Abroad for use in China
A consular authenticated birth certificate is often required when applying for resident permit in China for a minor as a dependent of their parents. However, when children were born outside of US, they were not issued the regular birth certificates, but the Consular Report of Birth Abroad. The authentication of Consular Report of Birth Abroad is different from that of a regular birth certificate and will be explained on this page.
I. Authentication of Consular Report of Birth Abroad: basic procedures
Consular report of birth abroad used to be authenticated by the US Department of State, followed by authentication by the Chinese Embassy.
From October 2013, the US Department of State stopped issuing authentication certificate on Consular Report of Birth Abroad, but continue issuing Apostille on it. Since China is not part of the Hague convention, the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC could not authenticate the Apostille. That put many of our clients as well as our agency in a very difficult situation. After several months, they finally fomulated a new procedure.
1. Get a new Consular Report of Birth Abroad from US Department of State.
- YES, you may need to get a new one, even if you already have one.
- The Chinese consulate will only authenticate the Consular Report of Birth Abroad signed by the current officer in the vital statistics section of the Department of State.
- If your Consular Report of Birth Abroad was obtained outside of US, you definitely need to get a new one.
- If your Consular Report of Birth Abroad was obtained from the Department of State but is old, you may need to get a new one.
2. Certified by the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC.
- The new procedure is simpler: only one step is needed.
II. Steps to apply for authentication of diploma and transcripts through YWPW
- Please fill out the online order form of our agency.
In the "Consulate Document Authentication" section, please select "DC" in the "State" column.
- Print the confirmation page.
You order ID, our mailing address, payment information (including credit card payment) and other
instructions are shown on the confirmation page.
- Mail us the documents listed in the "Documents" section below.
- Tell us the time and method
you mailed your documents, including tracking number, so that we can track the movement of your mail.
- Upon receiving your documents, we will check your application, and contact you if there is any issue. We then submit your application to the consulate, pick it up, and mail it back to you.
- We update your order status by email and online when we:
a). receive your documents; b). submit your application to the consulate;
c). pickup and mail back your documents.
We usually send emails and update status in the evening hours, but if there is anything goes wrong, we may contact you during the day.
III. Processing time and fees
- The consular authentication step takes about 1 week, and the consular fee is $25 per document.
- Our service fee is $39.96 per document.
IV. Documents needed to apply for authentication of consular report of birth abroad
- One Authentication Application Form. One of the parent can serve as the applicant if this is for a minor. The form must be completed and signed by the applicant.
- Photocopy of the applicant's passport (page with name and photo).
- If the applicant is not a US citizen, please also provide copy of your current immigration document (e.g. green card, I-20, H1B).
- The original Consular Report of Birth Abroad obtained from the US Department of State.
- A photocopy of the Consular Report of Birth Abroad.
V. History on authentication of Consular Report of Birth Abroad
From October 2013, US Department of State Authentication Office stopped authenticating the Consular Report of Birth Abroad, and pointed us to do Apostille instead.
The new Apostille procedure effective Oct. 15 asked clients to fill out a special application form and then notarize it. Even when clients get the Apostille, they still face issues at the Chinese Embassy: since China is not part of the Hague convention, the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC could not authenticate the Apostille.
The argument from US DOS was that the document is already from Dept of State, so the Chinese Embassy should accept it without authentication
by the DOS authentication office.
We thought the argument was not adequate for two reasons.
First, the consular report of birth abroad is already a US DOS document,
but this is for domestic purposes. For international use, it should either do
Apostille (for Hayue countries) or authentication (for non-Hayue
countries). If you can do apostille (for use in some countries),
then you must be able to do authentiction (for use in other
Secondly, per agreement and convention, Chinese Embassy should only authenticates document signed (in ink) by selected few people from Authentication office (whose signatures are on file with the Chinese Embassy), not all documents from Department of State.
During this time, our clients were caugth in the middle.
Our clients had to plea to both the DOS authentication office and the Chinese Embassy.
The Chinese Embassy issued authentication on Apostilles to help several of our clients with urgent needs, but then stopped completely.
In Feburary 2014, the Department of State and Chinese Embassy finally worked out the new procedure, that is, get a new consular report of birth abroad from the vital statistics section of the Department of State directly and the Chinese Embassy would authenticate it.
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