What language Should my Supporting Documents be in for Canadian Immigration Applications?
Anytime you are submitting a document for a Canadian Immigration application that is not originally in English or French, you must also include a translation into either English or French that meets the specific requirements of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
Steps for Canadian Immigration Certified Translation
There are 2 requirements when submitting a certified translation for Immigration Canada – a proper translation and a certified true copy of the original document.
1. A Proper Translation
A proper translation for immigration purposes consists of one of the following options:
- If the translator is certified as a translator in Canada – a translation of the document into English or French
- If the translator is not certified in Canada or is outside of Canada – a translation into English or French plus an affidavit from the translator
What is an Affidavit for Translation for Canada?
An affidavit is a document on which the translator has sworn, in the presence of a person authorized to administer oaths in the country where the translator is living, that the contents of their translation are a true translation and representation of the contents of the original document.
A Sample Affidavit of Translation for Canada
An affidavit for translation that will be accepted by Immigration Canada would be a sworn statement that is similar to the following:
I, John Doe, of the city of Calgary, Alberta do solemnly declare that:
- I am sufficiently proficient in the German language and can read, write and understand the same.
- I gained my understanding of the German language because it is my first language.
- I am sufficiently proficient in the English language and can read, write and understand the same.
- I gained my understanding of the English language by attending University in English at the University of Calgary.
- I have read the original source document affixed hereto and marked Exhibit “A” which is written in the German language and I have read over the translated document, marked Exhibit “B” which is written in the English language and I declare that the contents of the translated document are the same as the contents of the original source document.
And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing it to be true.
Signature of John Doe
Signature and stamp of Notary or Commissioner for Oaths
Note that the legal format for affidavits will vary depending on the country in which the affidavit is being sworn. The affidavit needs to be legal in the country in which it is sworn.
2. A Certified True Copy of the Original Document
If you are not submitting the original document that was translated, then you must include a certified true copy of the original. This can be obtained by taking your original document to a lawyer or Notary who is approved to certify copies in the country in which they practice. The lawyer or Notary needs to make a copy of the original document, and then write the following on the copy:
“I certify that this is a true copy of the original document”,
- the name of the original document,
- the date of the certification,
- their name,
- their official position or title, and
- their signature.
Where can I Find a List of Certified Translators in Canada?
IRCC does not maintain a list of certified translators for immigration purposes, but relies upon the Provincial licensing bodies for translators in Canada. You can find a certified translator for Canada with a simple google search or by visiting the home page of the Provincial Translators for a specific Province. Any translator licensed by a Provincial body in Canada will be able to produce a translation that is acceptable for Canadian Immigration purposes.
Other Notes Regarding Translations
Even if you have managed to secure a certified translation for immigration to Canada, there are other rules that also need to be observed:
You cannot translate a document for your own application, even if you are fluent in both languages.
If you are submitting a document that has been composed by someone else, for example, a letter; the original document needs to reflect the language skills of that individual. You should not be writing a letter on behalf of your mother in English and then asking her to sign it, if your mother cannot write in English herself. The proper route to take in this instance is for your mother to write the letter herself, in her native language, and then have it translated.
Translations cause a lot of issues with Canadian immigration applications. If you need to provide translated documents as part of your application, we recommend that you meet with a professional to ensure that the translations you have obtained will be acceptable and to ensure that you include all of the documents necessary for your application to be accepted for processing.