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The Ultimate Guide to Converting Your Immigration Documents into English

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In the case of immigration procedures, breaking language barriers is a first step. If any foreign document has to be submitted to USCIS, it must include an exact and thorough English-language translation. In this situation, USICS translations become important.

Certified translations are not merely translating words. Their role is to ensure that the translated material accurately reflects the original meaning. This avoids misunderstanding by USCIS staff members when they go through it.

Key Takeaways:

  • Accurate USCIS-certified translations are vital for successful immigration applications.
  • Professional translation services ensure legal compliance.
  • Expert linguists ensure accuracy and expedite the process, avoiding delays and denials.



Why is it Necessary to Translate Documents?

You must have certified translations for any foreign language documents. The translations must be in English and support your USCIS application. Initially, it was mandated by the US government via the USCIS

Even in your native tongue, it may be difficult to understand your documentation. Let's not burden the USCIS further by assuming that they can figure out native languages on their own.

According to federal regulations, USCIS follows:

"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.

A certified translation for immigration purposes is a translator's statement. The statement attests to the validity and competence of their work. The relevant papers must be submitted with a certification declaration.

USCIS Certified Translation Requirements

In the United States, English is the language that is most often written and spoken. The USCIS requires documents in non-English languages to be translated. Translations must be done before filing for immigration purposes. 

Here are the documents to be translated:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce papers
  • Death certificate
  • Birth certificate
  • Police records
  • Academic diplomas and degrees
  • Passport
  • Bank Statements

Please note: Avoid self-document translations, even if the individual is proficient in English. You can get assistance from a qualified translator to translate a paper into English without losing its significance. If a translation is not submitted when filing, there may be a delay. The delay could be due to rejection or a request for evidence.

Guidelines for USCIS Translations

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USCIS has established specific guidelines for translations to be accepted for immigration purposes. Here are some key points to keep in mind:


Translations must be accurate and complete to reflect the content and context of the original paper. Without any omissions or alterations, it is best to capture all these important information:

  • Names
  • Dates
  • Signatures

The task requires more than just simple conversion of words - instead, it’s about cultural context and legal terminology. Not including translations can cause delays or rejections during processing.


USCIS requires translations to be certified. A certified translation is a statement signed by the translator. The statement affirms their competence and accuracy in translating the document. The certification should also include the translator's contact information.

Translator Qualifications

USCIS does not explicitly require translators to hold specific credentials or certifications. It is recommended to select a translator who is fluent in both the source and native languages. The translator should also have a strong grasp of legal terminology and experience with USCIS translations.


Translations should preserve the formatting and layout of the original document as much as possible. This includes headings, seals, stamps, and any other visual elements. If the original document contains footnotes or annotations, they should also be translated.

Here’s an example of the suggested format:

Certification by Translator


I, [name], certify that I'm (conversant or fluent) in [English and foreign language] and that the attached/above document is an accurate translation of the document attached entitled [document’s name].




Typed Name]


If you want a USCIS-verified translation, don't use Google Translate or any other translation tools. These excellent tools have speedy translation capabilities but don't meet USCIS standards.

The Translation Process

Converting immigration documents into English requires a systematic process. At the same time, the exact steps depend on the translation service you choose.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Document Collection. Gather all the documents that require translation. Make sure you have the original documents and any supporting materials, like stamps or seals.
  2. Choosing a Translation Service. Select a reputable USCIS translation service based on the factors mentioned earlier. Contact the right service provider to discuss requirements and get a quote for their services.
  3. Submit Documents. Share the scanned copies of your documents with the translation service. Ensure that the files are high-quality and legible to facilitate accurate translations.
  4. Translation and Certification. The translation service will assign a qualified translator to work on your documents. The translator will carefully translate the content while preserving the formatting and layout. Once the translation is complete, it will be certified by the translator, affirming its accuracy and completeness.
  5. Review and Approval. Upon receiving the translated document, review it carefully to ensure accuracy and completeness. If any revisions or corrections are needed, communicate them to the translation service promptly. Once you are satisfied with the translations, approve them for finalization.
  6. Delivery. The translation service will give you the completed translations. They will also provide the required certifications. Depending on your preference, you can receive the translations electronically or in hard copy format.

Once you receive the translated documents, carefully proofread them for any errors or inconsistencies. In addition, have a trusted person review translations for assurance. This person should be proficient in both languages, like Hacking Immigration Law, LLC.


How to Choose a Reliable USCIS Translation Service

Accurate translations of your documents are important and can’t be taken lightly. Using USCIS translation services gives you confidence. Professionals meet all criteria.

Here are factors to consider when choosing a reliable USCIS translation service:


Look for a translation service with extensive experience in USCIS translations. Hence, a deep understanding of immigration requirements is also important.

An experienced service provider is knowledgeable about the challenges of translating immigration documents. In such a way, they can handle complex translations easily.

24-Hour USCIS Translation Services

Time constraints make 24-hour USCIS translation services an attractive option. Translations can be done in one day. This allows for prompt immigration application submissions.

These translations remain top-notch due to their speedy completion. The quality and accuracy of the translations meet USCIS requirements.

Cost-Effective Solutions

It is possible to receive excellent translations at a reasonable price. You do not necessarily have to invest large amounts of money when obtaining USCIS documents translated.

Lower costs are important, but quality and accuracy must still be guaranteed. It is essential to ensure this before choosing cost-effective solutions.

Certification and Acceptance

Confirm if the translation service offers certified translations. Ensure they are widely accepted by USCIS. Ask previous clients for references or testimonials. They must have used the translations for immigration purposes and found success.

Turnaround Time

Time management is important when it comes to immigration. If documents don’t get translated in a timely manner, the procedure may be delayed and become very worrying for applicants. Inquire about their typical turnaround time and whether they offer expedited services if needed.

The Impact of Inaccurate USCIS Translations

Accurate translations play a role in ensuring the success of an immigration process.

Errors made during translation can cause issues with USCIS and lead to them issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE). This consequently hinders any progress on the application procedure.

For this reason, it is best that all translational aspects are precise when dealing with materials submitted to USCIS. Inaccuracies will hinder your journey to attain citizenship or a residence permit. Take note that they will only set you back.

Frequently Asked Questions

What translation does USCIS accept?

A translation should be certified as accurate and complete by a translator attesting to their proficiency. Any paperwork containing another language must be accompanied by an English version of the document, too.

Can I translate my own documents for USCIS?

Candidates can have their foreign-language paperwork translated into English. They can ask their wives or other family members for help. However, the translator must give a certificate of translation letter. This letter proves their English proficiency and can be written or typed.

If you're unsure, you might need to get your documents translated by a translation service provider. Many translation services providers provide excellent services that meet all USCIS criteria.

What are the requirements for USCIS-certified translations?

To be accepted by USCIS, translations must be fully precise and complete as certified by a professional translator. Alongside this certification, they must also include the original foreign language document.

Parting Thoughts

USCIS, or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, plays a role in the immigration process. As part of USCIS-certified translation requirements, immigration documents often need to be translated into English.

Do you need help with the immigration process? You may get legal assistance from Hacking Immigration Law LLC, where a qualified immigration lawyer will assess you. It’s time to talk to the national immigration law firm based in St. Louis, Missouri.


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