For the past few years, immigration laws have been in a state of constant flux that leaves many individuals confused and anxious over their residency, citizenship, or lack of status. As an immigration attorney or firm, your number one goal is likely to allay their fears by providing fast, accurate, and useful legal services. However, the language barrier in these cases can be a significant problem. Even if you speak the language fluently, translating that ability to writing is an enormous task. This is where USCIS certified translation is useful.

With the right translation platform, you can ensure that your content is accurate, reliable, and sensitive to the client’s needs. However, there are many nuances to legal translation that can’t be overlooked. Before you choose a translation partner for your immigration practice, it’s essential to take note of these challenges and requirements. That way, you can select the best possible USCIS certified translation services to meet your firm’s diverse needs.

The Importance of USCIS Certified Translation

As an attorney, you know the strict laws around dispensing legal advice. Only attorneys are permitted to provide guidance on the complexities of the US immigration system to their clients. However, when there’s a language barrier, the lines become blurred. Who is providing the advice? The attorney or the person who translates it on their behalf?

That’s where USCIS certification comes in. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services branch of the Department of Homeland Security has a program in place specifically for the translation of legal matters. This allows individuals to interpret and transcribe information from an attorney to a client and vice versa, without the need to be admitted to the bar. It keeps lines from blurring and ensures everyone understands their role and responsibilities to clients.

The Office of Legal Access Programs is the only body authorized to provide these certifications, and it’s an incredibly involved process that requires the submission of detailed business records and information on personnel involved in immigration services. Often, it’s much easier to choose a translator or translation platform that is already USCIS certified to save time and hassle.

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Of course, USCIS certified translations aren’t the only important component in the legal service industry. There are other vital considerations for law firms to review before choosing a translation partner:

  • Volume: If your practice focuses primarily on immigration, chances are good that there are hundreds of forms, certificates, statements, and briefs that require translation. With that much volume, relevant documents can likely be misplaced, rushed, or not checked correctly.
  • Standardization: Templates are a staple of the legal profession. That’s a good thing because once you translate one basic form, that translation can apply to all future forms—provided you have a good program in place.
  • Accuracy: Accuracy is vital in legal translation so you can ensure your clients receive the right information pertinent to their case and that precisely the right information is filed with USCIS. Inaccurate translations can create liability issues for firms, especially if those inaccuracies are material to the situation.
  • Confidentiality: You must keep all your case files secure. When you’re sending materials back and forth for translations with a handful of agencies or outside translators, the risk that bad actors will gain access to that information increases.

The intricacies of the immigration system will open your firm up to a whole other level of challenges when it comes to translations. As a result, it’s wise not to piecemeal these programs. Instead, you’re either going to want to work with certified translators directly or to do so through an efficient platform that also handles the complex management effectively.

Choosing Between a Translator or Platform

While the options for USCIS certified translations are varied, in the legal service industry, they’ll mainly break down to one of two types: working with a standard translator directly or submitting work through a platform.

Here is a comparison between the two:



  • Submissions are made one at a time, usually via email
  • Translations are completed by hand, often without the use of computerized tools
  • Quality can vary based on the expertise of the translators chosen
  • Maintaining confidentiality can be challenging as less secure communication tools like instant messaging and email are common
  • Timelines for receiving completed documents can vary significantly
  • The translators will provide services in only a limited number of languages
  • Translations can be requested in batches
  • Tools like translation memories and workflow automation eliminate redundant tasks
  • Standards are created based on the client, so the quality of the work remains consistent and is supported by automated QA procedures
  • A good platform will have security protocols, checks, and balances in place to limit unauthorized access to user files
  • All translations are easily trackable to ensure deadlines are met
  • Multiple language options are available


Unless you’re in the market for a one-time translation only, then using a localization management platform is the best option for getting USCIS certified translation services. These comprehensive translation solutions are capable of the rapid, high-volume, accurate work necessary to ensure your clients receive the best legal services available. They deliver consistency and reliability when your firm needs it the most. And your clients can continue to look to you to help secure a yet-uncertain future.

Bureau Works offers an ideal platform for USCIS certified translation services so that you can provide your clients with expert advice. Contact our team for more information.

Published On: May 12th, 2020 / Categories: Business Translation /

Gabriel Fairman

May 12, 2020

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