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7 Things to Know Regarding Spanish to English Translations for USCIS

If you are applying for U.S. residency or starting your U.S. naturalization process, regardless of how you qualify, you will have to submit certain documents from your home country to USCIS, such as your birth certificate, marriage certificate, divorce decrees or police background checks. There are 7 things to know regarding Spanish to English translations for USCIS. They are of course applicable to other language pairs.

1) The petitioner, beneficiary or applicant cannot translate the required documents, regardless of how proficient or fluent in English they may be. They need to be translated by a third party who has no vested interest in the applicant. 2) All translations must be certified. In other words, the translator or translation agency must provide a Certificate of Accuracy stating that they are competent in both the source and target languages, and that the translation is accurate to the best of their ability. The certification should include the translator's name, signature, address and date of certification. 3) Everything in the original document requires translation. Make sure that all seals, signatures, numbers, etc. are translated. If some text is not clear, the translation should state “illegible.” 4) Unless specifically required, applicants do not need to provide original documents with an application or petition. In other words, they can submit ordinary legible copies of the original document and copies of the translation. Keep in mind that if you submit original documents, they will be kept as part of the records, even if their submission was not required. 5) Translations are not required to be notarized. Make sure that you are not charged a notarization fee that you do not need. In the USA, a notary is not a lawyer like in Latin American countries, but rather a person appointed by a state government whose primary role is to serve as an impartial witness when important documents are signed. They do not certify the accuracy of documents or translations. 6) Ideally, you would want the translation to visually resemble the original’s format. For example, the translation of the seals should be in the same location as in the original. However, provided that all of the content in the document is translated, translations are not required to have the same exact format as the original documents. 7) While extracts of official documents are acceptable for USCIS purposes in some cases, it is not the translator’s role or job to prepare one. They need to be prepared by an authorized official or record keeper. As a matter of fact, a summary prepared by a translator will not be acceptable by the USCIS. It is in your best interest to hire a professional and certified translator or translation agency to take care of your translations for USCIS submission. Do not take the risk of having your application delayed or rejected due to errors in your Spanish to English translations. Language Concepts Consulting LLC is a boutique provider of professional translation and graphic design services to organizations of all sizes and industries across the United States. We specialize in English to Spanish translations and translations to Asian languages. We offer comprehensive and certified translation services to individuals, advertising agencies, educational institutions, financial and insurance companies, food and beverage companies, market research companies, medical and health care providers, nutraceutical and direct selling organizations, media and marketing companies, television networks, among others.

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