In the United States, the policies governing the submission of supporting documents are quite strict and documents written in a foreign language such as a birth certificate, should be translated into English. The process to enter the United States as an immigrant is lengthy and rigid and one wrong move could mean the cancellation of the immigration application. There are many documents needed to be submitted to the USCIS or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, the government agency that handles all immigration applications and processes.
Required supporting documents
Supporting documents are necessary as these will prove who you are. Aside from the petitioner’s documents, you also have to submit your birth certificate, photocopy of valid passport biographic data page, and when applicable, your marriage certificate, marriage termination documentation, adoption documentation, military records, police certificates and court and prison records and other civil documents. One of the most important among these supporting documents is your birth certificate.
Requirements for document translation
The USCIS requires that all documents to be submitted written in another language should be translated into English. However, this does not mean that anybody who is proficient in the English language is qualified to do the translation. The USCIS policy clearly states that:
“Any foreign language document must be accompanied by a full English translation that the translator has certified as complete and correct, and by the translator’s certification that he or she is competent to translate the foreign language into English.”
Here, the translator means a professional translator who can provide you with certified translation of immigration documents. In the case of a birth certificate, you need to submit a photocopy of the original document, accompanied by a translation of it in English done by a professional translator. In turn, the professional translator will provide you with certification proving that work was full and accurate. The certification must include the name and signature of the translator, his or her address and the date the certification was made.
Completing the translation
When doing the translation, the translator must ensure that it includes the following:
- Your complete name, which must be spelled out
- Your date of birth (day, month and year)
- The place of birth
- Names of both your parents, all of them spelled out
- The name of the issuing office
- An annotation by the authority to show that the translation is an extract from the official records
The translation must be an exact copy of your birth certificate. Everything that is written or is in the original document must be included and translated entirely, including the signatures, seals and stamps, even dashes. If there are things that are not clear, the translation should indicate that, “it is not legible.”
Likewise, the visual format of your birth certificate must match the translated one. This means that the translation of an official seal for example, should be in the same location on the page where the seal appears on the original.
Do not take the risk of having misspellings and mistranslations ruin your chance of passing the first hurdle in the U.S. immigration process. Moreover, since you are the beneficiary of the immigration, you or anyone related to you doing the translation will not be favorable, and will not be considered as reliable as the translation done by a third and uninterested party. Rely on a professional translator who is an expert on U.S. immigration to do certified translation of your birth certificate and your other documents.