Document Translation

What Are the USCIS Translation Requirements & How To Get Approved Translations

Document Translation

Dealing with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can be a complex affair. Whether you’re applying for a marriage green card or filing for full citizenship, you’ll need to provide a wealth of documents to support your application. If you’re making the move from a non-English speaking country, USCIS translation requirements can make the process even more confusing. 

Every document you submit that isn’t written in English will need to be meticulously translated. Second-rate translations won’t just slow down the application process, they’re likely to result in your application being denied completely. Thankfully, you can make life easier by turning to USCIS certified translations. 

Thankfully, you can make life easier by turning to USCIS certified translations.

The USCIS Translation Requirements

USCIS application requirements are particularly strict. When submitting immigration documents written in a foreign language, you’ll need to prove a complete English translation. A translator needs to provide certification, guaranteeing that the translated documents are both accurate and complete. 

Furthermore, the translator will need to certify that they have sufficient fluency to be able to translate from the original language into English. A certified translator will need to provide a written statement to confirm this, while their signature needs to be notarized. 

In the United States, it can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months after filing an application for it to be processed and approved. To streamline the immigration process and prevent any delays, you’ll need to ensure that your application is complete and free of any errors.

USCIS Translation Requirements for Birth Certificates

When submitting a birth certificate for USCIS approval, applicants need to provide their full name, date of birth, and the location of the birth. Along with birth certificates, parents’ full names also need to be included. Finally, a seal needs to be provided to verify that the documents included are official. Along with the document translation, applicants need to provide a clear photocopy of the original birth certificate itself. 

As with other approved documents, the overall structure of the translation needs to correspond with the original text. This only includes bodies of text, but things like official stamps and signatures. If the original document contains illegible text that can’t be translated, the translator will need to mark these as such to meet USCIS translation requirements. 

USCIS Translation Requirements for Immigration Documents

A typical immigration application will require an exhaustive set of official documents. Although birth certificates and marriage certificates are the most common documents requiring translation, applications may also need to provide things like property deeds, education transcripts, criminal records, and more. 

Translated immigration documents will need to be accompanied by a certification letter from the translator. This written statement confirms that the translator is fluent in both the original language and English. This statement should also include the translator’s full name and signature, address, and the date the statement was written.

How To Know if You Have a Certified Translation

One of the easiest ways to determine whether you are dealing with certified translation is to check it for completion. A USCIS certified translation should contain all the information outlined in the original text. Furthermore, both sets of documents should be as structurally identical as possible. If the two documents look noticeably different, there’s a good chance your translation falls short of USCIS requirements.

Next, your documents should be assessed for accuracy. Only a professional translator will be able to ensure that the original text is correctly translated into English. If the information is found to be incomplete or there are any glaring errors, the certified translator will be held accountable. Should USCIS require clarification, they’ll communicate directly with the translator via the contact credentials they provided.

Common Mistakes on USCIS Forms That Can Cause Delays or Denial

USCIS requirements are uncompromising. Of the 800,000 or so immigration applications made every year, around 12% are denied. There are many different reasons why a USCIS form may be rejected. 

Have you ever forgotten to include your signature at the bottom of a loan application or hospital form? Surprisingly, many people are guilty of this when filing a USCIS application. How legible is your handwriting? Although it’s not a requirement to submit a typed form when making an immigration application, it’s worth using something like Adobe Writer if your handwriting leaves a lot to be desired. 

You also need to ensure you’ve paid the correct processing fee. Underpayment will of course result in rejection. However, paying more than the specified amount can also cause unwanted delays. USCIS doesn’t issue refunds, so will refuse an application outright if you’ve paid more than you need to. 

It’s not uncommon for government agencies to send abbreviated documents, even if you’re requesting a full copy of an original. However, USCIS won’t accept an application that’s supported by these extracts. When requesting official documents, make it clear to those issuing them that you need full copies to support an immigration application. 

Finally, ensure that you’re providing as much information as possible. It should go without saying that you need to be truthful with the information that you’re providing. If important details are missing, explain the omissions to avoid your application being thrown out or delayed.

How to Avoid Having Your Documents Rejected

To prevent issues with your application, it’s best to invest in professional translation services. An experienced translator will ensure that your documents contain all essential information, are properly formatted, and adhere to rigorous USCIS requirements. 

Never attempt to translate documents yourself with online tools like Google Translate. Aside from issues with accuracy, many countries don’t allow you to self-certify translations of official documents. 

As we’ve already mentioned, there are many reasons why USCIS may decide to refuse your application. Some translations may be missing essential information, while others may include inaccuracies. In both of these scenarios, you’ll be sent a Request for Evidence (RFE). Although receiving an RFE isn’t the end of the world, it can cause significant delays. 

Ultimately, it’s far faster and more cost-effective to invest in USCIS certified translation service. At BLEND, our team of experienced linguists can deliver certified translations of official documents like birth certificates, transcripts, medical records, and more. 

What To Look for in USCIS Translation Services

For peace of mind, you’ll want a translation service that’s fully versed in the latest USCIS requirements. You’ll need a translation provider that’s experienced with all the official documents you need translated. 

Keen to get the ball rolling as quickly as possible? Filing an immigration application is a time-intensive process. As such, you’ll want a translation service that can get to work on translating your documents as quickly as possible. 

As with any other service provider, it also makes sense to see what previous customers have to say. When selecting a certified translation service, take the time to read user reviews and online ratings. 

If it’s your first time using a translation service, transparency is important. Look for a provider that makes placing an order as easy as possible. You’ll also want a service that makes it simple to upload and send your official documents. 

Looking for certified translation services? At BLEND, we have extensive experience in translating documents for official use. With linguists working in more than 120 languages, we can guarantee that your translated documents will be as accurate as possible, streamlining your application process considerably.  Likewise, if you’re looking for fast and efficient translation in New York, or fast and efficient translators in LA, we’ve got you covered.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Does USCIS Require a Certified Translation?

A certified translation serves as a guarantee to government agencies that the information outlined in a translated document is an accurate representation of the original one. 

What Are the USCIS Translation Requirements

USCIS translations need to provide an accurate translation of original documents. They also need to be completed by a certified translator who is both fluent in English. And the source language. Furthermore, the attached certification should include the name, signature, and contact details of the person who carried out the translation.

What Are Some of the Common Immigration Documents That Require USCIS Certified Translation?

Just about any foreign language documents included in a USCIS application will require USCIS certified translation. These include birth and death certificates, marriage certificates and divorce decrees, academic transcripts, and medical records. Other documents include passports and visas, legal transcripts, financial statements, and police records. Need help completing a USCIS application? Why not get in touch today to learn more about BLEND’s certified translation services? If you’re in a hurry, you can even start the process today. Simply complete the online form and upload your files to receive a free quote. Once you’ve approved, our team of certified translators will get to work.

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Corinne Sharabi

Corinne is the Social Media and Content Lead at BLEND. She is dedicated to keeping global business professionals up to date on all things localization, translation, language and culture.


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