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USCIS Requirements for Translated Documents

Estimated reading time: 3 mins

Foreign universities, legal, government and immigration officials will ask you for a certified translation of any papers that are not in that country’s local language. So if you want to work or study abroad, or immigrate to a new country, you need to get USCIS certified translations with certification for a variety of documents including passports, death certificates, marriage certificates, birth certificates, academic records and diplomas, adoption papers, driver’s licenses, divorce certificates, medical records.

The USCIS defines certified translations as: “All documents submitted in aid of an application or request must include a complete translation into English. Also, there must be a certificate of translation from the translator showing that the translation is perfect and true and attesting to his or her ability as a translator.”

In the US any translator could give a certified translation for USCIS; though, this doesn’t mean the translated document will be accepted. There are particular requirements for the translation as well as the certification which are required by USCIS, and if your translation doesn’t support them, your documents might be denied. Hence, instead of going with a freelancer, it is fit to get in touch with a translation agency which has the means and the experience needed to offer you certified USCIS translation. One may believe it would be reasonable to go with a freelancer, and sometimes it is, though, if the translation is not performed according to the rules, you will have to have someone else to re-do it, and it will also hold your case until you can produce the right format to the USCIS translation.

An explanation of the basic USCIS requirements to become a certified translation document:

  • Accuracy

Accuracy is essential when dealing with official state documents. It is critical to ensure that the translations that you present are as authentic as possible.

  • Format

Documents must be translated entirely including signatures, addresses, marks, seals, etc. If something isn’t fair, then the translation needs to declare “not legible.” The translation must match the format of the document; for instance, seals should be in the same spots.

  • Notarization

If the document is being presented to USCIS, the certified translation does not have to be notarized. Though, if the document is being presented outside of the U.S., for instance, to a different Consulate or Embassy, then it must be notarized.

  • Extracts

Sometimes the whole document is extremely long and filled with irrelevant information. In such states, an official extract can be used instead. These are adequate only if the extract comprises all the necessary data needed to determine a matter. For instance, an official extract of a birth certificate which completely recognizes the child’s parents may be used in the help of a visa request, while one that only records the child’s name, date, and place of birth may not. Also, only extracts made by an authorized official are acceptable. Just a simple version of a document prepared by a translator will not be accepted.

There are particular requirements set down by the USCIS for some documents like a birth certificate as the agency needs, in this case, the long-form story. Most national authorities have a record of a long-form and a short-form version of a person’s birth certificate. The USCIS requires that the birth certificate has as much information as possible on it such as:

  • Your First Name
  • Last Name
  • The full names of your parent
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • A seal from the issuing agency showing it is an official birth record

Who Can Translate for The USCIS?

You can pick anyone else apart from yourself as long as your preferred translator can write out a declaration and sign declaring that the translation is a real and precise translation of the main document. When it is time to present your request to the USCIS, you will need to give just a photocopy of the document like your birth certificate and the certified translation that must be in English. The translator should consider him or herself as an expert who can show fluency in both English and the targeted language and who can translate certificates for the USCIS without making any mistakes. Your preferred translator will need to give his or her name, a signature, an address, company seal and stamp and the certification date as this is what the USCIS requires.

 

About the author /


Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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