Learn how to obtain certified English translations for your green card application.


This article was provided by RushTranslate, a company that helps individuals and businesses with translation services.

When applying for your green card, you will need to include various supporting documents with your application. If those documents are in a language other than English, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires that you include certified English translations. In this guide, we’ll explain how you can obtain certified translations that will meet USCIS requirements.

What is a certified translation?

A certified translation is a word-for-word translation of a document that is accompanied by a signed certificate that attests to the translator’s fluency in both languages and that the translation is complete and accurate with no content added or omitted.

How do you obtain a certified translation for your non-English documents?

While you can obtain a translation from anyone that can sign a statement certifying they are fluent in both English and the other language, it is strongly recommended that you obtain the translation from a professional who has experience meeting USCIS requirements. Although professional translation services come with upfront fees, they will also bring peace of mind and can help avoid costly delays in your application.

Which documents need to be translated?

Any document required for the green card application that has non-English language printed on it must be accompanied by a certified translation in English. Common examples include the following:

  • Vital certificates (for instance, birth, marriage, or death certificates)
  • Criminal records or background checks
  • Bank statements
  • Affidavits
  • Academic records

Keep in mind that USCIS may reject original multilingual documents that already include English if they are not also accompanied by a certified translation. The best practice is to translate all required documents that contain any non-English text.

Common Questions

Does the certified translation need to be an original hard copy?

No — USCIS will accept a soft copy (photocopy or a print out from a PDF file).

Does the certified translation need to be notarized?

No — USCIS does not require the certified translation to be notarized.

Does the certified translation need to be typed?

Yes — USCIS requires all translations to be typed.

When are translations needed in the application process?

In most cases, documents and the accompanying translations are submitted as part of the initial application. However, USCIS may request additional documents in later stages that require translations if they include non-English text.

What is the typical price for professional translation services?

Rates can vary greatly based on numerous factors including which language needs to be translated, location of the service provider, complexity of the documents, and so on. However, there are some professional agencies that have flat rates to help simplify the process. A simple web search will show online agencies offering certified translations that range from $20 to $40 per page but it is important to know that most will limit the number of words allowed per page.

Who to trust?

We have listed numerous translation providers in the past and now recommend a single agency for our clients. RushTranslate provides professional translation services with fast turnaround times and ultra competitive rates. They are a US-based company, familiar with USCIS requirements, and backed by a 100% acceptance guarantee. They offer services in over 60 languages and have free, no obligation quotes.

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We only recommend products or services that have been vetted and deemed trustworthy. Please note, we may receive an affiliate commission for qualified purchases made through vendor links.

Disclaimer: The contents of this post were accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of publishing. Immigration is constantly changing, and old information often becomes outdated, including procedures, timelines, prices, and more. Take note of the publish date. For archival purposes, these posts will remain published, even if new information renders them obsolete. Do not make important life decisions based on this content. No part of this post should be considered legal advice, as RapidVisa is not a law firm. This content is provided free of charge for informational purposes only. If anything herein conflicts with an official government website, the official government website shall prevail.

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