Why You Need Official Translation of Documents for Immigration

Jul 09, 2020

Applying for a work visa, citizenship or other types of immigration is a quite complicated process. For weeks, you will have to gather up all the paperwork that’s necessary for a full and valid immigration application. Not only that, but you will need to have translated versions of all those documents you need to supply. To save money and time, many people turn to online services providers and freelancers who can take care of that for them. However, you need official translation documents for the purposes of immigration.

In this article, we will explain the main difference between official (certified) translations and non-official translation. We will also look into detail all countries around the world require that your documents are officially translated when you’re applying for immigration.

What is an official translation (certified translation)?

Many people believe that official translations are translations of documents made by translation agencies or companies. However, not all companies are official translation providers. Also, official translations can be provided by independent professionals. In both cases, official translation (certified) is considered to be a document which has a translation that’s stamped by an official authority.

In the US, the agency that deals with immigration applications is USCIS. Online language translation services specialize in US immigration documents, paying special attention to USCIS’s requirements. If you’re applying for citizenship, visa, or a study period in the US, make sure you choose a translation company that has experience with translating documents for this agency.

Image source: USCIS

Official translation document checklist

Countries around the world have their own requirements on the documents you will have to supply in the immigration process. As an example, we will look at all the documents that are required in the United States by USCIS. Here are the documents that you will need:

●    application forms
●    resident cards
●    marriage certificate, divorce decree (in case you changed your last name)
●    birth certificate/naturalization certificate/certificate of citizenship
●    current marriage certificate
●    financial documents (bank account, leases, loans, tax documents)

All application documents provided by authorities will be in the local language. However, given that you’re a citizen from another country, naturally, your birth certificate (and marriage certificate) will be in your native language. Translation companies reviewed at PickWriters can help you translate your birth certificate to apply for immigration. You can also ask for a certified translation of other official documents.

Image source: The Word Point

Can you translate yourself or ask someone to do it for you?

If you are considering applying for immigration, it’s likely that you already know the national language, at least the basics. Also, with the help of technology tools, it would be quite easy to find matching phrases for all the words in your birth certificate or other documents. With this in mind, many applicants wonder whether it’s worth it to pay someone for an official translation. Why not just translate it yourself and save yourself some money?

Well, as we have previously mentioned, almost no country or authority will allow you to submit a translation of a birth certificate or some other official document that has not been certified. Even freelance translators who provide people with translation services don’t have the authority to issue these types of documents without permission from the government.

Are official translations of immigration documents expensive?

Official translations of documents that are necessary for immigration purposes are more expensive than general texts or non-certified translation. The reason is that the exam to become a certified translator is costly, as well as the education necessary to become one. Therefore, it’s normal to expect that a certified translator would charge more than the ones who don’t have certification.

Generally speaking, official document translations can be considered expensive, but overall you won’t have to fork out that much money because you only need a couple of documents.

Be careful when you look for translation companies who claim to offer cheap or even free official document translations because it can be a scam. These are sensitive documents and you should only share them with highly professional agencies with years of experience. Before you start working with any of them, make sure you check their online presence, reviews, recommendations, and anything else you can find on their work.

Do you need to hire proofreaders after official translation?

When you hire an official translation agency to create a certified translation of your document, you won’t need to hire or look for a post-translation proofreader. Careful proofreading is included in the price and it’s a given when it comes to certified translations. It’s also one of the advantages of official translations compared to non-official ones.


Regardless of the purpose of your application, you will need to provide the local authorities with official translations of your documents. This is the only way they can guarantee they are true and translated correctly. No official agency in the world would accept documents that you have translated by yourself.

You don’t have to be concerned about privacy or confidentiality when you’re working with a professional translation agency. Every translation company that deals with these kinds of documents guarantees that official translations are confidential and secure.

Header Image Courtesy : technitrad.com

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