Immigration Topics Explained:

USCIS Certified Translation

USCIS Certified Translation Explained

What does certified mean?

A certified translation is essentially a sworn statement affirming the translator’s ability to translate a document from the original language to the English language accurately for your immigration application or petition.

This article provides some do-it-yourself information for creating your own USCIS certified translations and a link to get help from a professional translation company.

All Foreign Language Documents Require a Certified Translation

Why does USCIS require a certified translation?

According to the Code of Federal Regulations (8 CFR 103.2(b)(3)),

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.

If you have included any foreign language documents with your USCIS application or petition, you must also submit certified translations into English. Common documents that require a translation include: birth certificates, death certificates, passports, marriage and divorce certificates, and academic transcripts. Any foreign language documents that support your USCIS form must be translated into English with a certified translation.

Failing to submit a translation at the time of the filing will likely result in rejection or Request for Evidence, creating delay. Don't forget, include a copy of the foreign language document and the certified translation.

Who Can Translate

Can anybody do my translations?

You or a family member may generally translate your own documents if you can certify that you are competent in both languages. (Ultimately, this is up to the discretion of the USCIS officer.) However, the best practice is to use a professional translation service that is familiar with formatting and expectations from USCIS. This ensures it is done correctly. Plus, there is no conflict of interest when you use a third party.

Family and Friends

Current policy does not prevent friends or family from translating documents. However, any conflict of interest can potentially concern a USCIS officer. For example, the petitioning spouse who translates for an immigrating spouse has a conflict of interest. It's possible the USCIS officer will request a translation from a third-party who has no particular interest in the decision to grant a visa. This could significantly delay your case.

Google Translate and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Do not use Google Translate or any other automatic document translations for the purpose of a USCIS certified translation. These are terrific tools for providing quick translations but do not meet the USCIS translation requirements.

Professional Translators

Professional translation services know how to prepare certified translations that USCIS will accept. These services will generally guarantee their services. They are a third-party with no conflict of interest and can help give you the confidence that everything will go smoothly. Professional translators can be individuals or companies.

Get A Professional Translation

Rush Translate specializes in providing certified translations that meet the USCIS guidelines. They even offer a USCIS acceptance guarantee to give you total peace of mind that their translation will be accepted.

Rush Translate, providing USCIS certified translations
Get your documents translated and certified by a professional translator within 24 hours.

USCIS Translation Requirements and Sample

How do I create my own translation?

A certified translation must be complete. In other words, the English translated document must include all text from the source document. A signed certification, like the one below, must accompany the translation.

I, [typed name], certify that I am fluent (conversant) in English and [foreign language], and that the above/attached document is an accurate translation of the document attached entitled [name of document].

Signature ___________________
[Typed Name]

If you choose to prepare your own certified translation, this is a simple example of the certification that must be accompany the document. But there is more than one way to do this correctly. The Rush Translate website has additional examples of sample translations with certifications.

Sample certification and translation

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