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The Importance of Accurate Translation Services for USCIS Document Processing

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the government agency overseeing the administration of immigration and naturalization within the U.S. The complexity and importance of their work require a high degree of precision and compliance, which is no different when it comes to the requirement of translated documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and more.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) handles an extensive range of immigration matters, and document translation plays a vital role in their processes. Any foreign language document submitted to USCIS, from birth certificates to academic transcripts, requires a certified English translation. This article will help you understand the translation requirements for various personal documents necessary for USCIS proceedings.

USCIS Translation Requirements

USCIS requires that any document in a language other than English be accompanied by a complete English translation. Importantly, the translation must be certified by a competent translator who attests to the accuracy of the translation and their ability to translate from the foreign language into English. The certification must include the translator’s signature, their name, their address, and the date of certification.

Whatever you send to USCIS must either be written in English, or, if it is in a language other than English, you must also send an English translation.

  • The translation must be full and complete.
  • The translator must say, in writing,
    – That he or she is fluent in both English and in the language on the document being translated, and
    – That he or she is competent to translate the foreign language into English.
    (from USCIS website)

Translate Birth Certificates for USCIS

Birth certificates are frequently required by USCIS to verify applicants’ birth dates, birthplaces, and parentage. If your birth certificate is not in English, it must be translated. The translation must include everything on the document, even seals or stamps. USCIS certified translation services like GTS have expert translators who are familiar with birth certificate formats from around the world and can provide accurate translations that meet USCIS standards.

Marriage Certificates for USCIS

For immigration processes related to marital status—like spouse sponsorship or status adjustment due to marriage—you’ll need a translated marriage certificate if the original is not in English. This translation should include all details on the certificate, including names, dates, locations, and any legal terminology. A professional translator familiar with USCIS requirements can help ensure your document is accurately translated and accepted by USCIS.

Divorce Documents

If you’ve been divorced and it’s relevant to your immigration case, your divorce decree or other related documents must be translated into English. These translations should include all details, including grounds for divorce, custody arrangements, and property divisions. Given the legal complexity of these documents, it’s recommended to work with a translation service like GTS that specializes in legal translations for USCIS.

Academic Transcripts

When academic records are required—like for work visas or certain green card categories—academic transcripts must be accurately translated. This includes course names, grades, credits, degrees awarded, and school names. Considering the specificity of academic terminology and grading systems, an experienced translation service can be instrumental in ensuring your academic transcripts are translated accurately and appropriately.

Criminal Records

In some immigration cases, applicants may need to provide criminal records. These records must be translated in full, including the nature of the offense, dates, sentences, and legal commentary. Given the potential impact of these documents on an immigration case, an accurate and complete translation by a professional translator experienced with legal and USCIS documents is essential.

Tax Returns

USCIS may also require translated tax returns. These are typically needed to prove the financial ability of sponsors in family-based immigration cases or employers in employment-based cases.

For instance, in family-based immigration cases, the sponsor (usually the U.S. petitioner) must submit an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864), which is a contract between them and the U.S. government affirming they have the financial means to support the intending immigrant. In this scenario, the sponsor is usually required to provide their federal tax returns for the most recent three years, among other financial records.

Other Documents that we translate for USCIS

  • Property Ownership Documents
  • Bank Statements

Finding USCIS Certified Translation Services

As the need for certified translations for USCIS is widespread, there are several services available to help. When choosing a service, ensure they’re familiar with USCIS requirements, as mistakes can lead to delays or denials. Some translation services may also offer expedited delivery options for urgent cases. Many online translation services are highly reliable and convenient. You can order online certified translations for USCIS from GTS here.

In Conclusion

Document translation for USCIS is a critical step in the immigration process. The requirements are precise, and the implications of inaccuracies can be significant, making it essential to choose reliable and experienced translation services. Whether you’re translating a birth certificate, a marriage certificate, or any other document for USCIS, accuracy, and adherence to USCIS standards should be your utmost priority.