The UK Legalisation Process for China Is Changing – New Costs Issued

As of the 8th of November 2019, the process for legalising UK documents for China has changed. There have also been increases in the costs levied by the Chinese authorities as well as where the documents are handled. We have updated our full guide on these procedures which you can read here, but the following posts details the changes and how these could affect you.

In this article

What are the changes in process for Chinese legalisation?

Previously, all legalisation of documents was dealt with at the Chinese Embassy in London. These could be presented in person at the Embassy during submission times and collected again when completed.

The submissions for legalisation have now been relocated to the Chinese Visa Processing Centre. All applications must be done via appointment only, which must be booked online. You will be unable to submit any documents without a pre-arranged appointment.

Appointments are given in blocks, so you will need to arrive in plenty of time to ensure you do not miss your booked slot. You will then queue to receive a ticket with a number, before queuing again to submit the documents and pay for the legalisation service. The waiting times can be anywhere between 15 minutes to over 90 minutes, in our experience of submitting here most days of the week.

You will be required to complete an application form to support your documentation, which must be filled in digitally and signed with a wet signature once printed. If you reach the desk and there is an error in your application form, you will be sent away to complete a new form. There are computer stations in the centre where you can complete a new form, but must join the queue again to submit them.

Once you have paid, a pick up form will be issued with your collection date. This will allow you to return on the stated date for your documents. The services offered for in-person drop off and collection are either 3 days for the Express Service, or 4 days for the Standard Service.

What are the changes in fees for legalisation?

The fees for the consular stamp have also increased for both speeds of service offered. If you submit your documents and wish to collect them either 3 or 4 days later, dependent on the service you opt for, you can do so. If you have travelled to London to submit them and would like to have them returned to you via post, the Chinese Embassy charges £ 71 for this service. The postal return service also takes 5 to 10 working days to process.

You are unable to submit documents for legalisation via post. You are, however, able to give authorisation to an agent to submit them on your behalf.

How will this affect procedures going forward?

For those wishing to submit their documents for legalisation, the processing times remain largely unchanged, however the consular stamp fees as well as the postal charges levied by the Chinese authorities have increased. For anyone needing their documents processing, it would either require additional travelling for collection or an extended stay in London, or else paying a large fee to have them returned via post by the Embassy itself.

Although queuing times were an issue previously at the Embassy, there was no appointment system in process and therefore you were able to submit documents quicker. Whilst generally appointments can be available relatively quickly, in peak periods the waiting times will be much longer.

Can you help me with these processes?

As we submit documents at the Chinese Visa Processing Centre on most days of the week, we are able to turn around documents quicker without the need for you to travel and submit or collect the documents yourself. Simply complete an authorisation form, which we will provide to you, and we can handle the whole procedure. You will also save money on the return postage fee, as collection and return costs are included in all of our pricing. You will also be sure that your application has been checked over by a legalisation specialist prior to submission to avoid any delays and lost fees.

For assistance, simply visit our site and request a personalised quotation based on your requirements. You can also give us a call directly on +44 (0) 330 088 1142, send us a message via WhatsApp, use our live chat system, or e-mail us at Our friendly team of specialists are on hand to answer all of your queries.

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Ashraf Vachhiat
Ashraf Vachhiat

Ashraf is the Marketing Technologist at Vital Consular, which means he handles all the technicalities involved in bringing this blog to life! He also enjoys creating in-depth articles around current affairs which impact the travel and relocation industry. In his free time, Ashraf relishes travelling as much as possible, and is always looking for quirky spots to take some great photos.

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