For the past two months I have been diligently working towards obtaining a job in Chengdu, China. It has been a long process with more leg work than I put in to get to Korea. The easiest part for me has been the interviews as now that I have 4 years of experience, I interview a lot better than I did when I had none!
China requires an extra step in the document process that is a complete and utter headache when it comes to getting documents ready. If I only needed my Diploma and FBI Background check I would have already been in China at the end of the first week in September. But it is the extra steps that have really created a major headache for me.
The documents you are using to apply for a job over in China need to be Notarized and then Authenticated by either the Secretary of State or the Department of State depending on the document. After that, they need to be Authenticated again at the Chinese Embassy. Quite a few steps to prove that a document is authentic, isn’t it?
In the beginning, I didn’t mind much as I know how to do the paperwork and I checked timelines. Whether I should hand deliver the documents myself or use a courier service to help me through the process. My diploma I got notarized and hand delivered to the Secretary of State, which was mailed back to me a week later.
After receiving my Diploma back with its authentication I decided to use the courier service, My China Visa, for my Diploma. I sent it to their New York Branch and I received my document back about 7 business days later. (Roughly September 16th)
The document that has given me the most headaches so far has been my FBI Background Check. I looked into doing it myself which would take 10-12 days through the Department of State and then 10-12 days at the Chinese Embassy. To me that was too much time to waste so I thought it would be better to use a courier for this document as well. I chose US Legalization since their office was in Washington D.C. which was near the Department of State and the Chinese Embassy. The estimated delivery of the document was September 27th. I thought that was a pretty speedy turnaround time and maybe it would surprise me like the other document had by coming back to me sooner than anticipated.
This document has been the bane of my existence. On the 27th, I found out that I should call again on the 29th. I called on the 29th and found out that no documents would be leaving the Chinese Embassy until October 13th. So I waited anxiously for two weeks and called on the 13th only to find out that the pick up date had been moved back to the 16th. On the 16th my document was picked up and it had been rejected by the Chinese Embassy. I became a ball of anxiety on the phone with US Legalization trying to understand what had gone wrong on my documents that were sent in. Originally, he said they thought it was the signature. However, after hanging up he called me back and asked me to send my FBI Background Results to him and we’d print it on new paper as the deduction was mine was the only one rejected because it was on white paper and not blue paper. So I did that and was told they would start the process for the document over again, as well as, check why my document was rejected in the first place. Turns out the Department of State did not write the right thing on my authentication paper that was attached to the FBI Background Check. So my original paper was brought back and fixed the next day first thing in the morning at the Department of State and later returned to the Chinese Embassy. US Legalization has requested expedited service, but every day I call and there is still no estimate as to when my paper will be ready for pick up. I keep hoping that it will be done, but everyday turns into the next day and my anxiety and stress levels go up little by little everyday. I keep telling myself Monday you will have an answer. Let’s believe that you will get all of your paperwork in time to start working in Chengdu. I have got to keep the faith alive so that positive things come my way!
Update: US Legalization were fabulous with helping me through this frustrating process, and they were very patient with me when I called everyday checking which I am so thankful for. My document came back to me Monday, November 6th. It would have been the 4th, but the Fedex by my house doesn’t deliver on Saturdays. Luckily, I got the document at 9 AM and we drove straight to the airport for me to fly out the same day!