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A Complete Guide to Certified Translation for Immigration into the US

If you want to work, study or live in the USA, you must deal with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). USCIS will want to see documents that prove unequivocally who you are. If those documents are in a language other than English, you will need to provide certified translations of these documents.

In this article, I’ll run you through everything you need to know about US immigration requirements regarding certified translation and the certificate of translation USCIS requires. I’ll also include some top tips for navigating the USCIS translation requirements.

Let’s explore in detail USCIS translation certification requirements:





What Is Certified Translation?


Every translation of a document filed in court must be certified.


The failure to use a certified translation could jeopardize the admissibility of the document for use in evidence whether you are in a federal or local court.


Federal law requires courtroom interpreters to be “certified”*but that does not mean they have to have the type of certification or level of qualification. Rather, the “Civil Filing Requirements,” merely state that “documents not written in English must be accompanied by a translation unless a waiver has been granted by the Court.”

Written document certification has arisen as a matter of custom and good practice in the litigation translation industry. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit refused to reverse an immigration appeals judge who ordered a person to be deported because the affidavit she submitted was “unaccompanied by a certificate of translation.”**


* (see, “Court Interpreter’s Act,” 28 U.S.C. section 1827)

**See Villalobos v. U.S. Atty. Gen., 479 F. App’x 966, 967 (11th Cir. 2012).











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