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The importance of correctly translating your documents for USCIS

Translating is an art where grammar, spelling, and rhetoric come together to give sense and meaning to a group of words from one language to another.

When we talk about translations, sometimes we think that anyone who knows the source language and the target language can do it, which is partly true, but translating an important document to do paperwork requires experience and knowledge of techniques that only a certified translator knows how to use.

A certified translator is a person who has studied the methods and techniques of translation, as well as the cultures of the source and target language. To obtain a certification qualification, the person must pass an exhaustive examination in which he/she will apply the techniques and methods learned, considering the culture, grammar, and target audience.

In the case of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the translation of documents that are not originally in English is required to be done by a certified translator who certifies that the translation is complete, correct, and competent.

The Code of Federal Regulations, 8CFR 103.2(b)(3), regarding translations, states, "Every document containing a foreign language submitted to USCIS shall be accompanied by a complete English translation that 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."

The documents required by USCIS and that need to be translated into English are birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce certificates, academic degrees, death certificates, passports, bank statements, police records, criminal records, transcripts (schools, colleges, universities), affidavits, and others.

Previously, we had said that USCIS requires the translated documents to be complete, correct, and competent. What does this mean?


It means that no information should be missing from the original document to the English translation. The format of the certified translation must also reflect the original document.


This means that all information has been accurately translated. Names, numbers, addresses, and any other information in the original document should be spelled the same in both languages. (If the person's name is Pedro, the name should not be changed to Peter).


USCIS requires the translation to be certified because if the information is found to be incorrect and incomplete, the translator will be held responsible and not you. Furthermore, if USCIS needs clarification on the certified translation, they will contact the translator with the contact information provided on the certification.

IMPORTANT: If you do not submit your documents translated into English by a certified translator with certification of the translation, your case will likely be denied. So be prepared.

At Traducy we have certified translators who provide complete, complete, and competent translation services.

Call us at 385-977-8713 or email us at or visit our website: if you need help or if you would like to get your free quote or estimate.

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