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.
This article provides some do-it-yourself information for creating your own certified translations and a link to get a quote from professionals.
Why does USCIS require a certified translation?
According to the Code of Federal Regulations (8 CFR 103.2(b)(3)),
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.
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Best practice is to use a professional translation service that is familiar with formatting and expectations from USCIS. Plus, there is no conflict of interest when you use a third party. However, 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.
Format for Certified Translation
The translator must certify that s/he is competent to translate and that the translation is accurate. The certification format should include the certifier’s name, signature, address, and date of certification. A suggested format is:
Certification by Translator
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].
Sample Certified Translation
You may download the sample certified translation below as a reference. The sample is for a utility bill, but each document is unique. So you’ll need to apply the same process to your specific situation.
Get a Professional Translation
Professional translation services like Day Translations know how to prepare certified translations that will be accepted by USCIS. As an active member of the American Translators Association (ATA) and the National Association for Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT), Day Translations provides the highest level of professionalism and excellence. Their experts will certify the translation and give you the confidence that everything is right.
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.