Please DON’T FORGET … all documents sent to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must be properly translated into English! Nothing can be presented in a foreign language. Here are some tips to make sure your application with USCIS is not rejected because of translation problems with your legal documents:
- Your translations must be certified by someone who is fluent in English and a foreign language (both languages at the same time). The translator CANNOT be the petitioner or the beneficiary. It has to be an independent person. The certification must contain a paragraph that verifies the authority of the translator and his signature on the same page on which the translation was made.
- It is advisable to notarize your translation, this is an essential requirement if you are going to send the translated document to a consulate or to a United States embassy abroad.
- Your passport does not need to be translated unless there is a lot of information that makes it difficult to distinguish your first and last names, place and date of birth.
- Check the final result of the translation. Everything that is in the original document must be included in the translation (stamps, logos, barcodes, watermarks, signatures).
- If something is in the original document that cannot be read, the word “illegible” should be noted.
- Check all the numbers and dates in the translated document. Compare them with the numbers and dates of the original document. Please note that some countries reverse the date and month (for example, the date: 10/31/2018 in the United States may be: 10/31/2018 in other parts of the world).
- Always send copies, save your originals! Unfortunately, it is well known that USCIS frequently loses or destroys petitioners’ documents.
We recommend that you work with a professional translation service. Translation agencies generally charge $ 20 to $ 25 per translated page when many legal documents have to be translated. When the material to be translated is low, they charge 15 to 17 cents per word. Many of the translation agencies work virtually and by mail. Most ask the client to scan or take a photo of the document to be translated and to email it for analysis to determine the cost of the translation. When the translation is ready, ask the translation agency to allow you to review the draft of the translated document to check the content and possible errors, do this before the translator signs, certifies and notarizes the translation.
With a little extra attention to detail, you can avoid a simple mistake that can cause major headaches and delays; and, until the non-approval of your petition or process with USCIS.