The immigration process is highly complicated, even for those with experience. One of the biggest challenges, aside from financial strain and duration, is obtaining and translating all necessary documents. While this can be a simpler process for some and require fewer documents, it can just as easily be complicated for others with hundreds of pages of supporting documentation.

Immigration document translation requires a high level of accuracy and attention to detail. Even a misspelling of a name can create hassles during the review process and unnecessary headaches trying to fix it. Knowing that a translation partner exists—that can translate documents for you accurately and efficiently—can help remove at least one layer of negotiation associated with the immigration process. 

14 Common Immigration Documents That Require Translation

The application process for immigration requires supporting evidence relating to the type of visa. The following documents are fourteen of the most common projects that need translation before submission:  

  1. Passport translation  
  2. Foreign language diploma translation  
  3. Birth certificate translation  
  4. Marriage certificate translation  
  5. Divorce decree translation  
  6. Criminal record translation  
  7. Published works translation  
  8. School transcripts translation  
  9. Deed translation  
  10. Work history translation  
  11. Tax return translation  
  12. Bank statement translation  
  13. Reference letter translation  
  14. Drivers license translation  

Obtaining all necessary documentation can be challenging enough without the added stress of finding someone reliable to translate them. Knowing which documents are needed for your specific application type will help assure you have all the supporting evidence before tackling translation. 

Know Which Documents You Need Translated

The first step in any immigration document translation undertaking is to know which documents are needed for your application process. Your list of necessary supporting evidence will depend on the type of immigration visa. The main types of immigration paths are: 


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  • Family-based: These are issued to family members of current U.S. citizens and teen cardholders, including spouses, children, siblings, parents, and widows/widowers.  
  • Employment-based: These are issued in various categories depending on your skills through extraordinary abilities or specialized training. It can also be issued due to investing a significant amount of money in creating jobs in American communities.  
  • Diversity lottery-based: These are issued by a random selection of eligible entries of individuals who live in countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.  
  • Humanitarian-based: These are issued to refugees or asylum seekers and victims of abuse, trafficking, and crime.  

There are many other types of immigration paths, and visas and each of these requires its own translated supporting documentation. Working with an immigration lawyer or researching resources provided by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can help you get on the right track with obtaining your immigration documents for translation.   

Is Certified Immigration Document Translation Necessary?

The USCIS requires that all accompanying translated documents be certified by the translator as complete and accurate. The translator must also be certified as competent to translate from a foreign language to English. Submitting your documents without certified translation can create expensive delays requiring you to submit more evidence or even result in a rejected application.  

Do You Need an Immigration Translation Partner?

While it is generally allowed for you or a family member to certify that you are competent in both languages and translate your documents, it may not be up to the standards of the USCIS reviewers. Partnering with a translation service that’s familiar with the formatting standards and accuracy expectations of the USCIS can help prevent further delays. A translation partner will also make quick adjustments if necessary, along with supported translation reasoning if you’re unsure why a document was translated in a certain way. 

Unlike a transactional translation service, a translation management partner provides consistent translation across all documents. For instance, when applying for an employment-based visa, the job title “software engineer” can be translated several ways, including “coder,” “systems developer,” etc. If the title isn’t translated consistently, it can easily confuse reviewers and become very inconvenient to explain. Translation partners are well equipped to handle jobs with varying levels of complexity. The following shows the primary four levels of difficulty for immigration document translation projects:  

immigration document translation

At Bureau Works, we strive to be a translation partner that will handle initial translations and be there for you if adjustments are needed in the future. We do so with a quick turnaround and high reliability. Working with a translation partner, like us, that provides very competitive rates can grant you a much more cost-effective translation process. We have a robust translation platform that provides critical tools, features, and review processes for accurate, consistent, and efficient immigration document translation.  

 Bureau Works provides comprehensive immigration document translation services and support to aid your immigration process. Contact our team for more information on how our platform can assist you.

Published On: November 30th, 2021 / Categories: Platform Technology, Tips & Trends, Translators /

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