Information about Translating Foreign Documents

USCIS often requires that copies of vital statistics records and civil documents from foreign countries be submitted with most applications, including naturalization applications.

If you have a situation where you do not have a vital statistics record or civil document, such as a birth certificate or marriage certificate, from your home country please visit the Department of State reciprocity webpage. This site has information about what vital statistic and civil documents are available from various nations as well as information about how to obtain a new document if needed. Select the country of your choice, and then click on “Jump to Country Documents” to find detailed information about this issue.

Be aware that USCIS also has regulations about translations of civil documents. I have linked the USCIS page about Tips for Submitting Applications. On this page you can find good advice from the experts about how to file your application. Included on this page is the following information about translations:

“Please submit certified translations for all foreign language documents. The translator must certify that s/he is competent to translate and that the translation is accurate.

The certification format should include the certifier's name, signature, address, and date of certification. A suggested format is:

Certification by Translator

I [typed name], certify that I am fluent (conversant) in the English and ________ languages, and that the above/attached document is an accurate translation of the document attached entitled ______________________________.

Date Typed Name

The excerpt below is from the N-400 application instructions. The instructions do not specifically state that translations must be notarized; however, in my experience, the certification of the translator’s credentials is usually notarized.

Copies. Unless specifically required that an original document be filed with an application or petition, an ordinary legible photocopy may be submitted. Original documents submitted when not required will remain a part of the record, even if the submission was not required.

Translations. Any document containing foreign language submitted to the Service shall be accompanied by a full English language translation which 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.”