When working with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), paperwork must always be filled out perfectly. Often, it must also be in multiple languages, so that all parties involved in the immigration process can understand the text. Luckily, certified translation handles many different kinds of documents, including those relating to immigration and citizenship. Below we’ll discuss how to find, work with, and understand USCIS certified translation services.
What is USCIS Certified Translation?
The US immigration process is becoming increasingly complicated as new regulations are introduced. If applications aren’t filled out properly or meet all the legal requirements, they can be rejected.
Does USCIS require certified translation? The short answer is yes; USCIS requires documentation to show that the copy is certified as being the same in the new language as it was in the original.
For instance, on the US Department of State’s website, a requirement for the paperwork in the naturalization of foreign-born spouses reads:
“(3) Translations. Any document containing foreign language submitted to USCIS shall be accompanied by a full English language translation which the translator has certified as complete and accurate, and by the translator’s certification that he or she is competent to translate from the foreign language into English.”
Immigration requirements are crystal clear on this matter: you need certified translation.
So, how do you certify a translation? USCIS certified translation often comes with a document stating that the copy is accurate. You can find out more about this based on this website, including the particular requirements of USCIS when it comes to your multilingual immigration documents. According to Ofer Tirosh, CEO of language service provider Tomedes, since this is an important requirement of the USCIS, you simply can’t go without this service if you are navigating the immigration process and another language is involved. It is a required part of immigration paperwork; any non-English documents need the copy to be certified for the USCIS to accept them.
Certified translation can cover vital certificates required by the USCIS. These include:
- Birth certificates
- Marriage certificates
- Divorce certificates
The USCIS is stringent in its requirements. The translated document has to include all the text from the original document. It also must have a signed Certificate of Translation Accuracy, which is the official name for the document certifying the copy.
A good language services provider will be able to guarantee the acceptance of its documents by USCIS. Many often post acceptance rates of 100%. This can provide you with peace of mind that your copies won’t cause any undue issues.
How to Work with USCIS Certified Translation Services
Working with certified translation services might just be the easiest part of the complicated immigration process. Working with a service often takes the following steps:
- You start by submitting your document to the company. These days, many translators simply have you upload digital copies into a secure system.
- Provide relevant personal details, such as your name and contact information.
- Next, you designate which languages you need the text translated between.
- Then, you submit the order and pay for the work to proceed.
Often, this is all completed online.
A convenient part of producing such documents for immigration purposes is that the whole process makes sure the text and information stay accurate between languages. A mistake could mean misrepresenting someone coming into the country, which can create all manner of issues.
Immigration certified translation is quite a different process from working to translate things like blog articles or marketing materials, where cultural sensitivities and tone must be considered. Those services require more communication and collaboration between the agency and client. Working with immigration documents is a much more hands-off transaction.
Once the process is complete, you receive the copied document and the Certificate of Translation Accuracy, often via both email and hardcopies through the mail.
How long the process takes varies from company to company, though many services offer a 24-hour turnaround time for certificates. Many of the US’s 1,096,611 legal permanent immigrants in 2018 made use of such services.
How to Find USCIS Certified Translation
With more than a million immigrants arriving in the US each year, certified language services that offer to help them abound. Most people look online initially. You might search local keywords like certified translation services NYC or USCIS certified translation services near me, for example, to find a service in your area.
Some people also ask around their personal or professional networks to find language companies. If someone you know had a good experience with such a company, using that business can reduce your risk of working with dubious certified translation services that don’t deliver on what they say they will. If someone recommends a service, it indicates they had a smooth experience getting their documents accepted by USCIS.
As well as comparing companies’ rates, you should also vet the background of the agency or translator, with an eye towards their experience in handling USCIS paperwork specifically. To find the best USCIS language service, check their background by:
- Looking into proof of their past work. Review work portfolios, client testimonials or references if you are working with an individual translator.
- Looking at how companies are rated through independent consumer groups like Consumer Advocates. You can also check their Better Business Bureau rating.
- If the company does not list such information on its website, ask what its USCIS acceptance rate is for the documents that they have translated. Also, double check that they can provide a Certificate of Translation Accuracy.
- Make sure the translator you use, or the agency’s translators, have professional backgrounds. They might have majored in the language they translate, for example, or have plenty of past working experience translating documents for the USCIS. They may also belong to a trade body or similar professional organization.
By taking the time to vet the background of a language agency, you can make sure you find the best USCIS certified translation services and assure that the process will be a smooth one.