USCIS Certified Translation: Explained
When submitting any non-English document with your US immigration petition or application to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you are required by law to also submit a USCIS certified translation of it in English. A USCIS certified translation is a statement that affirms the translator’s ability to accurately translate the document into English.
Why Does USCIS Have Certified Translation Requirements?
USCIS requires certified translations due to Code of Federal Regulations 8 CFR 103.2(b)(3). The code states:
“Any document containing foreign language submitted to USCIS shall be accompanied by a full English language translation which the translator has certified as complete and accurate, and by the translator’s certification that he or she is competent to translate from the foreign language into English.”
What Documents Require a Certified Translation?
Any documents supporting your USCIS application or petition that are not in English are required to be translated into English with a certified translation. Common documents include:
- School transcripts
- Birth certificates
- Death certificates
- Marriage certificates
- Divorce certificates
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How Do I Get a Certified Translation?
If you, a family member, or friend are fluent in both languages, you can generally translate your own documents if the USCIS officer allows it. However, to avoid any errors and to make sure the translation is formatted correctly, your best course of action is to use a professional translation service. Look for a service that is an active member of the American Translators Association or National Association for Judiciary Interpreters and Translators to ensure accuracy. An online search can provide you with a variety of professional translation service options.
Avoid Google Translate
Though it may seem like a tempting, easy, and free way to translate your document, never use automatic translation tools like Google Translate for official USCIS documents. You have no way of guaranteeing the accuracy or correct formatting of these services.
Correct USCIS Certified Translation Formatting
Regardless of what person or service translates the document, they must certify that they are competent in both languages and that the translation is accurate. They should format the certified translation so that it contains the certifier’s name, address, date of certification, and their signature.
A suitable format may look something like this:
Certified by Translator
I, (name of translator), certify that I am fluent in English and (language of original document), and that the attached document is an accurately translated version of the document attached labeled (name of original non-English document).
(Date of Certification)
(Signature of Translator)
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