How to Get a Birth Certificate Translated and Notarized

Last updated May 27th, 2021

Foreign nationals immigrating to the United States need to have their birth certificate translated in order to use it for official business.

Some of the government agencies that require having an approved translation of your foreign birth certificate include:

  • The U.S. Department of State
  • The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

If you’re migrating to the US, pay close attention to this quick guide on getting your birth certificate translated and notarized.

How do I get a foreign birth certificate translated for use in the US?

If you have a birth certificate from another country, such as Mexico, Cuba, China, India, etc. you will need to have it translated so that you can use it in the United States.

For your translated foreign birth certificate to be accepted by the USCIS, make sure to:

To translate a foreign birth certificate, follow these simple steps to ensure that the translation is approved by the USCIS:

  1. Find an appropriate translator to translate the foreign birth certificate
  2. Certify the translation
  3. Notarize the translated birth certificate

Step 1: How to find a birth certificate translator

In order for your birth certificate to be accepted for any purpose in the United States, it has to be translated by an appropriate translator.

A qualified birth certificate translator is a professional who is fluent and proficient in both the language the foreign birth certificate is written in, as well as in English — the language you want it translated into.

Can I translate my birth certificate myself or have a friend translate it?

A bilingual person with a basic knowledge of both languages may not be proficient enough for the birth certificate translation to be accepted by the USCIS.

Additionally, even though you or a friend were indeed highly proficient in both languages and you translated the foreign birth certificate yourselves, the following problems would arise since you would not be able to:

  • Have your own translation certified —translation certificates are necessary, as explained in step 2 below
  • Notarize your own translation —notarization is also necessary, as explained in step 3 below

To be on the safe side, verify the agency’s required standards first to ensure your birth certificate’s compliance with the law. Most government bureaus —including the USCIS— only accept birth certificate translations done by certified translators.

Step 2: How to have a birth certificate translation certified

Once your foreign birth certificate is professionally translated, you must have it certified by the person or agency that translated the document.

Please note that certifying the translation of a birth certificate is not the same as having the birth certificate translation notarized.

Certification for a birth certificate translation is a sworn statement issued by the professional translator or translation agency that is signed and dated. This certificate confirms that the birth certificate translation is complete and accurate.

To be in compliance with USCIS standards, the certification of a translated birth certificate should state

  • The languages the translator is fluent in —the language the original birth certificate was issued in, as well as the language it was translated into
  • The company seal, if the birth certificate was translated by an agency
  • The date the birth certificate translation was certified
  • The certifier’s name, signature, and address

Now that your birth certificate is translated and the translation is certified, you will need to have it notarized.

Step 3: How to notarize a translated birth certificate

Once your document is translated and certified, you will need to get a separate affidavit to have the birth certificate notarized. Some translation companies offer packages where they have all 3 steps completed at once (translation, certification, and notarization of the birth certificate).

The translator will sign a statement verifying the translation is accurate once the birth certificate has been issued in English. The translator will then have their signature notarized on the certification of the translated birth certificate.

Then, you must have a different Notary Public notarize your signature on the translator’s declaration. This indicates that you agree with the accuracy of the information contained in your birth certificate translation.

Once these 3 steps are completed, your foreign birth certificate will be ready for legal use in the United States.