Birth certificates can be requested on several academic, professional, and personal occasions. Counting with a translated birth certificate can be very useful, especially when traveling.
Maybe you are interested in studying or working abroad. Or perhaps you’re aiming for an immersion experience in a different culture, to learn a new language and meet new people. Now, since we’re talking about a legal document, you may be wondering where to begin.
This guide will help you learn about the steps you need to take to translate your birth certificate.
Your birth certificate is the document that serves as proof of both your age and citizenship. It’s an official document, issued by the government of the country where you were born, that can be required by foreign authorities. Countries may request it for identification, tax, or even census purposes. It is important that the translation is accurate since you may need it as a backup for the personal information you decide to share.
When would you need to translate your birth certificate?
Generally, all immigration processes include the requirement of presenting a translated birth certificate. For example, if you ever apply for a visa to obtain citizenship in a foreign country you’ll have to provide a copy of your birth certificate translated into that country’s official language.
Even if you’re just planning an event abroad, like a wedding, you would have to submit your translated birth certificate to the local authorities. Same thing happens with academic applications to enroll in schools or colleges in another country.
Here’s a list of some occasions where a translation of the birth certificate can be required, depending on the country:
- Change of name
- In some countries also when buying real estate abroad
- The establishment of civil partnerships
- Recognition of paternity
- Applying for child allowance or maternity assistance
Do translated birth certificates need to be notarized?
Not all translations need to be certified. Actually, any professional translator can provide the service of translating a birth certificate. However, if you’re applying for residency or citizenship, the level of formality required for your identification documents will be higher.
In this scenario, you would need the services of a translation agency specialized in certified translations. Besides, these kind of companies are accustomed to these processes so they will address the necessary requirements so that the translation will be accepted by governmental institutions.
This is the case especially when it comes to a legal document. A representative of the company that provided that certification would have to sign a certification letter. This speaks of the accuracy of the translation. An official notary public would then observe the signing of the document and then stamp and sign the document himself as a witness. This is now a “notarized translation”. The point of a notarization is the attestment of identity, willingness and awareness of a document signer.
In the case of the United States, the translation of a birth certificate has to be certified, but not necessarily notarized. Notarization can be required if the documents are sent from abroad. But when it comes to the supporting documents for immigrant visa or residency applications, it is not necessary.
What is the USCIS and which are its requirements?
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a federal agency that oversees lawful immigration into the U.S. Both USCIS and the US State Department request immigrants to submit their birth certificates (translated into English) when applying for residency and visas.
It is important to keep in mind that the format of the translated birth certificate needs to match the original document. One should pay attention to seals, for instance, that appear in the original because they should be in the same place across both documents.
About the certification mentioned before, this will also be required. The certified copy of the document has to be printed on the letterhead of the language services organization. The certification letter needs to be attached and it has to include original signatures.
The quality of the presented documents is also relevant. For example, translation can not be handwritten, it must be typed. Application processes can be delayed due to poor-quality documents. Submitting documents that do not comply with the USCIS requirements might even lead to additional costs.
The personal information that the USCIS needs to find in the birth certificate includes:
- Full name
- Place of birth
- Date of birth (month, day, year)
- Both parents’ full names
- A seal verifying that it is an official record from the issuing office
How much does it cost to translate a birth certificate?
The translation market is international. This might seem obvious, but the main consequence it brings is that each country has its rules. So, when it comes to costs, a key point to keep in mind is that different languages have different translation rates.
The cost of a translation of a birth certificate for USCIS can vary depending on a handful of factors: total of words in the document, format, seals, original language, among others. This is why some companies set minimum translation prices at $50 or $74 dollars and others charge a lot more.
Prices also fluctuate significantly by location, service provider, and complexity of the document. Moreover, many governments have both a short-form and a long-form version of a person’s birth certificate. USCIS needs the birth certificate that includes the most possible information on it. This also has an impact on final costs.
We are here for you
Obtaining U.S. citizenship is a complex process. The U.S. immigration process may be a lot to take in, but there’s no need for you to figure it out alone.
We have translators who specialize in this type of document. If you are applying for citizenship, college or maybe for a new job, we’ll provide you with flawless, mirror-image certified translations in over 100 languages. You’ll be able to present an accurate and reliable translation of your birth certificate in no time. Feel free to contact us to help with your USCIS certified translations!