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Thread: Document Translations for Immigration

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    Document Translations for Immigration

    What has to be translated?
    Always carefully read the instructions on any applications/forms, and ask an attorney if you're not sure which documents require translation. Each specific consulate has its own requirements for what needs to be translated, so check with them (often the consulate/embassy website specifies which documents must be translated for each type of immigration process). It never hurts to translate more than what is necessary. However, in general, civil documents (marriage/birth certificates, police certificates) as well as ANYTHING that will be used in a waiver, should be translated. According to the NVC, documents used at the visa interview can be in English or whatever languages are the official languages of the country where the interview takes place. Still, carefully follow the consulate's instructions on translations in the pre-interview information packets you may receive. And if you will be filing a waiver, any documents submitted as supporting evidence must be in English or translated into English.

    Who can translate?
    If a document needs to be translated for US immigration purposes, it can be done by any person who is competent in English and the original document's language. This person does not need to hold any special certifications, as the US government has no way of officially recognizing translators. They only need to be competent enough to sign a statement certifying that the translation is accurate (see example below).

    Can I/my spouse do the translation?
    You can, but you will need to find an unrelated person competent in both languages to review the translation and sign the certifying statement before you submit it. The person signing the statement should not be the petitioner or any beneficiary of the immigration process.

    Should it be notarized?
    Unless otherwise specified, you don't have to get it notarized. However, it's always best to be as official as possible, which is why notarization is best.

    What does the translator have to put to certify the translation?
    It's best if you create two boxes at the bottom of the translation, if you're notarizing the translation. Otherwise, just the first box. Ideally you place them side by side:

    Certification by Translator
    I, [translator's full name], certify that I am fluent in the English and
    [Spanish/Portuguese/French/etc] languages, and that the above document is a complete, accurate, and truthful translation of the document attached issued
    by [person or state/municipal govt that issued the document].

    Signature and date

    Translator's Full Name
    Translator's Full Address
    County of [whatever county you're getting it notarized in]
    State of [state you're in]

    Subscribed and sworn before me this ________ day of
    _________________________, 2011.


    Notary Public, my commission expires __________________________.

    The person certifying the translation would need to sign their section in front of a notary, who would stamp and sign their section. It takes less space if you put these two side-by-side, but if you have space, you can just put the notary section after the translator's signature section.
    Last edited by Los G; 07-03-2012 at 05:13 PM.
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