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Obtaining English Version of Documents

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What if I can’t get English versions of our documents? Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our office here in St. Louis, Missouri. [J Anon 00:00:12] has a question … Oh, and we have our office in San Diego. Don’t forget about that. J anon wants to know, he’s applying for a green card for his spouse. His spouse is from Russia, and she has a Russian birth certificate. As you might imagine, it’s in the Cyrillic alphabet in Russian, and they don’t have an English version. And I think that Anon was asking, “Well, I can’t get an English version from Russia of the birth certificate.” And that’s completely normal. So don’t worry about, J anon.

What happens in that scenario is you just need to find someone who is fluent in Russian and English or whatever language it is. You need to find someone who’s fluent in both languages, and then they need to read over the Russian document or the foreign language document and translate it into English. Then at the bottom, they just needed to say, “My name is Jim hacking. I am fluent in Russian, and I am fluent in English. The foregoing translation was true and correct to the best of my knowledge,” and then sign it and then get that notarized. And that should be plenty good for a translation.

So you don’t need to get a English version from the home country unless of course the home country’s language is English. Then obviously, it would be in English, but in a situation like this for [J Anon’s 00:01:27] wife, she’s not going to have to get an English version of her birth certificate from Russia. She’s going to have to get someone in America, and it doesn’t have to be a paid translator. It can be a friend. It just can’t be the petitioner or the beneficiary, and it can’t be the lawyer because I took Russian for seven years. I almost got a Russian major. Instead, I got a Russian minor, and I took Russian for a really long time, but I would not feel comfortable translating any legal documents.

So you want to make sure that someone who’s highly competent, especially if you’re using complex legal words. This is true for any document, not just birth certificates. You’re going to want to get someone. You might want to pay for certified translator. That might be better, but you don’t have to as long as the person is fluent and is willing to swear under oath that the contents and the translations are true and correct to the best of their knowledge. That’s really what you need to have, and that should seal the deal.

So [J Anon 00:02:22], you don’t need to get an English version of that Russian birth certificate or any other documents. You just need to get a certified translation that it’s a true and accurate copy. And again, it can’t be your wife or anybody else related to you. It should be a disinterested person who is fluent in both languages, and that’s really all that you need. So nothing to worry about there. And I hope this helped.

If you have questions about translation of documents, and if you do have questions about documents themselves, one good thing is to always check the visa reciprocity table, R-E-C-I-P-R-O-C-I-T-Y, reciprocity table. If you Google visa reciprocity table and then click on your country, it’ll tell you exactly what documents you need to have for that country when you’re submitting them to U.S. CIS. The State Department has gone through and determined and described each document that’s available from each country. So hopefully you can do that, and I’m sure what the Russian birth certificate, it’s pretty straight forward. Then just get that translated.

You do need to translate everything that’s on the page. So if there’s court names or agency names or department of vital records or whatever, you’re going to want to translate all that. Every single word on the page needs to be translated. So, that’s everything I need to know about translation of documents. If you have questions, give us a call at (314) 961-8200. You can email us at info@hackinglawpractice.com. Be sure to join us in our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home. If you liked this video, please be sure to share it out on social and to subscribe to our YouTube channel. And of course, every Tuesday and Thursday, usually around noon central time, I will be live in both those places, our immigrant home Facebook group and in the YouTube channel, answering as many questions as I can in one hour flat. So hopefully you can join us, and that’s all I got for you today, and we’ll see you next time. Thanks.

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