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Translations for emigration and immigration

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Translations for emigration and immigration

Nina Nguyen I 18.08.2021 I Guide: Live & Work

Certified translations of your documents are essential not only for finding a job, but also for emigration requiring a visa. Each country has its own requirements and regulations that must be followed. The country of origin and qualification determine which documents and proofs have to be submitted, so it is worthwhile to find out some time before departure and have all the necessary documents translated and certified.

Emigration: When do I need translations?

When emigrating, translations of your personal documents are almost always needed. This applies, for example, to an application for a visa, a permanent residents card, a green card, acquisition of citizenship or naturalisation.

The embassy or consulate of your new home country will tell you exactly which document is required and whether you need to have certified translations made. Relocation agencies are emigration experts and, in addition to information, often offer complete packages with all the necessary administrative procedures.

Translations for emigrants: what to bear in mind

Incorrect translations of personal documents can lead to a rejection of your application. Therefore, you should make sure that all documents are translated correctly and thus accepted by the relevant authorities. For documents such as police clearance certificates, marriage or birth certificates, authorities require certified translations in most cases.

Things to look out for when translating your emigration/immigration documents

Often you will be asked to translate some or all of the required documents into the native language of the country you are planning to relocate to. Most authorities and organisations like the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) only accept certified translations of your birth certificate and other legal documents. However, you cannot provide a certified translation of these certificates yourself, even if you are fluent in the language required.

A certified translation needs to be carried out by a professional translator who formally states that they are qualified to make the translation. In some countries, there is a professional body that the translation company needs to register with in order to be able to carry out certified translations.

Keep in mind that there are strict regulations regarding the format and style of the translated certificates. You do not want to have your Green Card application denied because of the incorrect translation of one of your documents. This is why it is best to hire a professional translator who is experienced with translating immigration documents and who can handle all your immigration paperwork.

In a nutshell: Immigration documents are essential for your relocation process. If you require a translation of your personal documents, make sure that they are translated by a court-sworn, professional translator. Incoherent or non-certified translations may not be accepted by the authorities. Find more information on "certified translations" and what "certification" means here in the lingoking Guidebook.

Can I translate my own birth certificate for USCIS?

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is in charge of everything from processing immigrant visa petitions to naturalization petitions and refugee applications. You are required to provide an English translation of all foreign language documents. You cannot translate these documents yourself if you are the petitioner. In other words: You are not allowed to translate your own immigration documents!

But who can translate a birth certificate for immigration? You can either hire a professional translation agency or ask someone who is qualified to translate your documents for you. But keep in mind that USCIS only accepts certified translations of your immigration documents.

Summary: Certified translation of immigration documents

When you need your emigration or immigration documents translated, for example to apply for a Green Card, it’s important to get it done properly. Using a professional translation service is the best way to make sure translations meet all requirements made by immigration authorities. A professional translation plattform like lingoking can provide you with an accurate and fast translation while at the same time always protecting your privacy.

You can find more detailed information on relocation and work & life in Germany on our affiliate partner's page My Life in Germany. Check it out!

What is a "certified translation"?

* A certified translation is the translation of an official document, provided with the translator's certification mark.

* Such a translation can only be carried out by court-certified translators. With his/her signature, stamp and certification mark, the translator confirms the accuracy of the translation.

* The authenticity of the translation is thus guaranteed in a legally binding manner.

How do I find the right translation agency?

These questions can help you find the right translation agency:

* Is it an established translation agency that has been successfully offering its translation services for several years?

* Does the translator have experience in translating documents for emigration or immigration?

* Can the translation agency also provide you with a certified translation that is recognised by the authorities?

* Is the translator a member of official organisations such as the American Translators Association (ATA)?

* Is the security of your personal data guaranteed at all times and is your privacy protected?

* Can the translation agency also offer you fast ordering options such as express delivery?

* Are the prices transparent and clear? What is included in the order?

* Can the translation agency offer you other services, such as an interpreter or the translation of additional documents?

About the author

@Nina Nguyen | Global Content Manager, lingoking

As is unmistakable by my surname, I have Vietnamese roots, but I grew up in a beautiful small town in Lower Franconia (hint: famous for the "battle keys"). Since my school days, I have been passionate about the languages of this world and the different cultures that enrich us. With my experiences from my studies and in the professional field of translation, localisation, transcreation and content, I work in the marketing team of lingoking to introduce the world of lingoking beyond national borders and to inspire companies as well as each individual with our platform.


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