Translating a Document for the USCIS – What You Need to Know

When filing immigration paperwork, supporting evidence, like a birth certificate, maybe in a foreign language. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires you to translate the document into English when sending supporting evidence.

Those translations of evidence and application materials require a simple certification by the person who is translating the document. The translation and its certification are extremely important. If they are not included, your application could be delayed or rejected.

concept of foreign language to english document translation
Concept of foreign language-to-English document translation. Our guide can help you when you need to translate documents into English for USCIS.

What Needs Translation In the Immigration Process?

There are various forms you might need to translate during the immigration process. Any document that the USCIS needs as evidence in your visa or green card application must be presented in English. Though birth certificates are the most common document that needs translation, others could include:

  • Records of divorce (if you were previously married)
  • Marriage certificate (if you are currently married)
  • Financial records, such as bank statements
  • Police records detailing any applicable criminal history

Rules Regarding Translation

Anyone who is fluent in both the original language and English can translate a document for USCIS consideration. However, the translation must be typed (NOT handwritten). It’s also a good idea to type your certification letter. Currently, the U.S. does not require your translation to be notarized.

When applying for a green card or immigrant visa, you will need to provide a translation of any non-English documents during the initial phase of the application process. Remember to also include the original documents as well!

Certifying Your Translation

When it comes to the certification, the translator must promise they are competent to translate the language and that the translation is accurate. Almost anyone can certify the translation of a document as long as they can do so accurately and as long as they complete a certification form.

The certification form can be very simple. A suggested format provided by the USCIS is as follows:

Certification by Translator

I [typed name], certify that I am fluent (conversant) in the English and ___________ languages, and that the above/attached document is an accurate translation of the document attached entitled ______________________________.



Typed Name


If you need further assistance with translations, you may choose to hire an accredited translation service, like Day Translations. These types of services can help you translate a document from a variety of different languages into English.

Getting Help With the Immigration Process

Translation is just one of the many hurdles and requirements that immigrants must meet before having their applications approved by the USCIS. The process, unfortunately, is confusing and often difficult to understand even if English is your native language!

At FileRight, we provide immigration solutions at every step of the way. Instead of having to sift through the data on official government sites, we provide complete online document packets with all the forms you’ll need. We also have instant error reporting to ensure that your application is correct before it’s sent to the USCIS. Purchase our software today!

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