Immigration Documents Translation for USCIS

Before you embark on your immigration journey, it’s critical to get all the immigration documents translation for USCIS well prepared to meet the agency’s standards so that your application gets approved by the US government soon. This post provides useful tips on getting your document translation for USCIS ready.

Documents Translation for Immigration

USCIS is an acronym for “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services,” an agency under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government of the United States whose main duties lie in processing applications for work visas, naturalization, asylum, refugee, and citizenship. 

If you are immigrating to the U.S. from an English-speaking country, your application process is easier since your documents are in English and certified document translation for USCIS is usually not required. If your home country doesn’t use English, your documentations issued are generally in a foreign language. In such cases, the cost of your immigration journey could increase because you will need professional document translation for USCIS employees to review. The fee could increase if your native language is distant from English or rare because certified translators fluent in both English and such languages are harder to find.

So what documents require translation for immigration? They are typically civil documents such as birth certificates, academic degrees, transcripts, marriage certificates, divorce certificates, passports, bank statements, affidavits, criminal records, medical examination reports, vaccination records, published/publicized work, and much more. From adoption documents to text messages, we used to help customers 24/7 to handle their translation needs, regardless of the document type or language. Learn more about the kind of documents we used to process for certificates translation

Requirements for Document Translation for USCIS

According to the Code of Federal Regulations, 8CFR 103.2, the exact requirements for immigration documents translation are stipulated as following sections:

(b) Evidence and processing - (3) Translations. 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.

Apart from the above criteria, you are likely to be requested by USCIS to submit the original copy to review at any time during the process. If you can’t provide the requested document in such cases, you will increase the likelihood of your case rejection. As soon as the agency determines it doesn’t need the original document anymore, the files will be returned to you.

According to the N-400, application instructions for Naturalization, notarized translations are not mandatory requirements by USCIS. However, the certification of the certifier/translator’s credentials is often notarized. Explore the difference between certified translation, notarized translation, and apostille translations, or contact us to find out.

Copies – You should submit legible photocopies of documents requested, unless the instructions specifically state that you must submit an original document. USCIS may request an original document at the time of filing or at any time during processing of an application, petition, or request. If USCIS requests an original document from you, it will be returned to you after USCIS determines it no longer needs your original.

Translations – If you submit a document with information in a foreign language, you must also submit a full English translation. The translator must sign a certification that the English language translation is complete and accurate, and that he or she is competent to translate from the foreign language into English.

Translations for immigration documents - Requirement Checklist

To help you quickly understand the requirements of USCIS document translation, we’ve made a checklist:

USCIS has certain requirements for the format of Certification by Translator. You can use the following certification template to replace the certified translator’s name, the foreign language, the document name, date, typed name, and address.

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].



[Typed Name]


Measurement of a Certified Translation for USCIS

Now that you understand the requirements, how to measure a certified translation? 

There are three metrics, completeness, accuracy, and proficiency.

The translators who provide the document translation for USCIS must sign a Certificate of Translation Accuracy to certify that their translation work is complete and accurate without any information missing from the original copy or mistranslated. They also need to certify their proficiency in English, and the document’s written language qualifying them for providing translation services for USCIS. In addition to accurate translations, the translated document must have the same layout that mirrors the original document. 

This is why it’s highly recommended to go for professional translation vendors when you need to translate immigration documents. Many freelance translators do not have the skillset or toolkit to replicate the original document’s layout, especially for languages that are written from right to left or top to bottom. Unlike large and medium-sized language service providers, they use in-house experienced linguists to handle the certified translation of documents for USCIS and have a dedicated team of desktop publishers to take care of the layout problem. 

Why Is Translation for USCIS Important?

According to USCIS’s Annual Statistical Report FY2021, USCIS received around 9.1 million petitions, applications, and requests for benefits in FY 2021, with receipts outnumbering other fiscal years since the fiscal year 2017. With a workload of that size, any mistake in your document translation for USCIS could postpone your application process for months and possibly even years. 

If you can’t afford to go through the process again with another long wait in line, remember to ensure all application forms, the supporting documents, and their accompanied translation for USCIS are completely and correctly filed on the first attempt. With Wordspath, you will have the peace of mind of knowing that a professional and qualified team of translators has reviewed your immigration documents translation. To minimize the processing time, you must avoid an error, even a tiny one, in translations for immigration documents to make the whole process more streamlined. 

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How to translate immigration documents?

Normally in English-speaking countries, the immigration offices accept certified translations produced and attested by a competent bilingual translator. But notarized translations are always preferred with higher reliability. 

Meanwhile, since immigration policy always changes, it’s best to work with a professional immigration documents translation supplier who constantly keeps tabs on the updates on immigration policy and the revised requirements that come with it. In some European countries, only state-appointed certified translators can translate immigration documents. Using a bilingual individual may ensure the linguistic accuracy of your immigration translation, but not necessarily the correct certification process in a particular country. That said, it’s a surefire way to have a language service company prepare all the documents translated for immigration

Nobody is willing to risk getting his application denied because of the information gap produced by using the wrong certifier for his immigration documents translation. Working with a professional translation service can alleviate concerns about whether the translation for USCIS fulfills the agency’s requirements and hence, is always a preferred option.

To Wrap Up

The immigration document translation for USCIS is critical, yet people often neglect its importance when filing an immigration petition. Don’t ever try to translate the documents for immigration application yourself as supporting certifications, even if you are a bilingual individual competent in both languages. Neither should you use Google Translate to prepare the translations for immigration documents because machine translations are usually inaccurate and fail to live up to the USCIS standards.

Need to translate immigration documents and don’t know how to start? Working with a professional language service provider is worthwhile because USCIS can contact the translation vendor directly if it has any questions about the provided translation. Its work’s high and guaranteed quality also generates higher approval rates, saving avoidable costs and time caused by application rejections. Contact us to start your immigration journey today. 

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