The USCIS stands for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service; the agency tasked to manage the immigration services of the US government. People who wants to move to the United States for immigration, international studies, and other purposes need to submit required documents and secure the necessary approvals (visa) from the USCIS. According to the USCIS Checklist of Required Initial Evidence for Form I-485,
“If you submit any documents (copies or original documents, if requested) in a foreign language, you must include a full English translation along with a certification from the translator verifying that the translation is complete and accurate, and that they are competent to translate from the foreign language to English.”
There are many kinds of Immigration visas, and the requirements vary. However, the most common USCIS documents that need translation include birth and death certificates, marriage and divorce certificates, passports, and academic transcripts.
Why Do We Need To Translate Foreign Language Documents
First, it is a requirement of the US government through the USCIS. As an applicant, you don’t have much say in it. Secondly, your documents can be already be challenging to figure out in your native language. Let us not add more burden to the USCIS by leaving them to figure it out by themselves. Besides, an erroneous translation will create inconsistencies with your other credentials and will undoubtedly put your application in jeopardy.
Can I Use Google Translate?
NOOO! Google translate may be very good for ordinary translation, but it cannot be relied upon in translating essential documents like your immigration credentials. Besides, some translations will need a translator’s certification, and Google cannot provide that. In the future, Google translate will probably improve to meet USCIS requirements, but in the meantime, it is not recommended for your immigration purposes.
Can I Translate The Documents Myself?
Any competent bilingual can translate his credentials. However, immigration applications are very technical documents. A self-translation of essential papers is prone to seemingly unimportant errors that can cause a USCIS rejection of the application. A rejection means having to redo your application, which means a massive waste of time and money. Professional translators have years of experience translating immigration documents and daily dealing with the USCIS. It is best that you hire their services and be confident of USCIS acceptance. Besides, professional translators are faster, and their rates are much cheaper than self-translation.
Here are the documents that typically require translation:
- Birth Certificate- This document is very important when you apply for immigration. It tells your complete name, the complete name of your parents, date and time of birth, sex, and many other details. Basically, this document is a permanent record that the USCIS will use in establishing your identity and tracing your roots.
- Death Certificate- This piece of paper is evidence of a person’s passing. A death certificate will prove a petitioner’s demise, your new civil status, etc.
- Passport- This document ascertains your nationality and is needed in all countries’ ports of entry. The USCIS will need this official document to help establish your identity.
- Marriage and Divorce Certificates- similar to the death certificate, a marriage and divorce certificate will ascertain your relationship with your fellow applicant and people that you might petition in the future.
- Academic Transcripts- This document is a testament to your fitness to join the academic community or entire American society. It can be used in support of the type of visa you are applying for.
The USCIS requirements differ depending on the type of visa you are applying for. One thing is constant. It is the need for foreign language credentials to come with a certified translation. Get a competent translator at all times. The cost of hiring one is much lower than the consequences of erroneous translation.