If you are migrating to the United States and your mother tongue is not English and you know you need to get your birth certificate translated you will want to know who can translate a birth certificate for immigration.
That’s a good question to ask as not anyone can translate the certificates you are asked to provide with your application for immigration. For a start even if you consider yourself to be bilingual you are not allowed to translate your own documents. However, it’s useful to be bilingual as you can check the translations you have paid for to make sure they match the standard required by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).
For all types of translations you should always hire an experienced and professional translator. For any legal documents like a birth certificate you should pay particular attention to who you select. The reason for this is that the USCIS will turn down a birth certificate translation if any information has been left out. The sort of detail I am talking about is the information embossed on the seal or watermark that is so often found on birth certificates around the world.
If the birth certificate has a part of it that’s difficult to understand, because it’s bent, dirty or has a smudge concealing the letters, your translator must write a note with the translation to explain why some information is missing. If your translator misses any detail and a space has been left on the translated birth certificate this will be rejected by the USCIS until a proper translation has been carried out.
Coming back to the question “who can translate a birth certificate for immigration?” the USCIS does not demand someone with any specific qualifications but it does emphasize that the translator must be prepared to write and sign a statement that says the translation is accurate. You have to check with your chosen translator that he or she is prepared to do this before the translation is completed. Attention to detail is so important with legal documents like birth certificates so it’s important to choose a translator who can prove that he or she possesses this quality.
Do translators need qualifications?
In the U.S. a certified birth certificate translation doesn’t have to be done by a professional with a fistful of qualifications or even belong to a professional translator association. Having said that, many translators do try to get professional qualifications and some are members of the American Translators Association. In some countries like Australia, just to name one, government agencies only hire translators who are members of NAATI and who have set an exam to prove their ability to do translation work well. Basically in theory anyone can carry out a birth certificate translation for immigration purposes but not anyone is capable of doing a good job.
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