Certificate of Translation

What is a certified translation?

A birth certificate, marriage certificate or any document in a language other than English, submitted to USCIS or an immigration court, must be accompanied by a Certified English translation, i.e. a copy or original of the document must be accompanied by two things;

  1. A translation into English (e.g. a birth certificate translation), and
  2. A Certificate of Translation which must be signed by the translator and notarized by a notary public.
Certified Translation
Certified English Translation - the translator may be any person who is fluent in English and the foreign language

While the translations may be done by certified translation services or certified translators, the translations may also be done by applicants or beneficiaries when they are competent in both English and the foreign language in which the document is expressed.

Sample Certificate of Translation

An example of the certificate of translation follows. The form for acknowledgment of the notary will vary by state. The example has a form for acknowledgement for a Florida notary public.


“I, [name of translator] after being duly sworn upon oath, declare that I am fluent in the English and [foreign e.g. Spanish] languages, and that the attached translation of [name of document e.g. birth certificate], related to [applicant’s or beneficiary’s full name], the original of which is in the [foreign] language, is a complete and correct translation from the [foreign] language to English to the best of my knowledge and ability.”

Signature of translator: __________________________________________

Name of translator (Print name) :


Address of translator



Telephone number of translator



SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me on this ______ day of _________________, 20__,

COUNTY OF ________

Sworn to (or affirmed) and subscribed before me this _____ day of _____, 20___, by (name of person making statement).

(NOTARY SEAL) (Signature of Notary Public-State of Florida)
(Name of Notary Typed, Printed, or Stamped)

Personally Known ______ OR Produced Identification _______
Type of Identification Produced_______________________________________________

In closing, all documents filed with the USCIS or Immigration Court must be in English or accompanied by a certified English translation.


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Adjustment of status based on marriage

What is adjustment of status?

Adjustment of status is the process of applying for a green card (become a lawful permanent resident) by non-immigrants who are already in the United States. The applicants are not required to leave the United States and go through the hassle and delay of applying abroad. An applicant seeking adjustment of status must have made lawful entry into the United States which means admission into the United States after inspection by an immigration officer.

Green card Petition

An adjustment of status application usually does not stand alone (except in diversity visa, asylum or refugee cases). It is based on a petition for an immigrant visa that is immediately available or a prior approved petition for an immigrant visa. The person who does this petition is usually an employer or a family member such as a spouse or parent. For applicants who have married a United States citizen, the green card application and the immediate relative petition can be filed at the same time and they do not need to await the approval of the petition.

Obtaining a green card is discretionary

An adjustment of status by USCIS is discretionary. Obtaining a green card is a privilege, not a right. USCIS will check the applicant’s immigration and criminal history carefully to decide if there are any obstacles (in-admissibility factors) that could prevent issuance of a green card.  However, applicants married to a United States citizen may have some obstacles waved such as overstaying or earlier unauthorized work. Even if the applicant has a criminal history that could be an obstacle, he may be able to able to apply for a waiver. A waiver is a request that the immigration service “forgive” past criminal convictions or other obstacles.

Is the marriage true and real?

The immigration services will also test (using the documents you send and the adjustment of status interview) whether there is a level of trust between the applicant and the United States citizen spouse that would be expected in a marriage. To prove trust in the application process the applicant and spouse must prepare documentary evidence of their marriage. To prove trust at the adjustment of status interview it is important that communication between husband and wife is open enough for them to answer questions about each other (spouse’s date of birth and income, the details of how the couple met) that an immigration officer may ask of the couple.

Adjustment of Status by marriage











Green Card Checklist – Documents you need to get

Documents that carry a lot of weight and credibility with the immigration services in proving a marriage follow. Any documents not in English must be translated into English for proper submission to the USCIS.

  1. Birth Certificate of both parties
  2. Marriage Certificates (If the marriage took place abroad, give a copy of the foreign law relied on to prove the marriage is valid in the foreign country.) 
  3. Divorce Decrees for any earlier marriages
  4. Passport – of the applicant
  5. AR-11, Arrival Departure Document
  6. Joint Obligations – Receipts showing join obligations for living expenses (lease, cable, utility bills, auto insurance) – applicant should make sure that accounts have both names.
  7. Joint Ownership of Property – Title that shows joint ownership of property – car title, deed
  8. Joint Management of Finances – Evidence of joint management of finances – joint bank account, life insurance, pension with spouse named as beneficiary. This is very important because it clearly indicates trust (people tend not to trust their money to strangers.)
  9. Photos of the Couple
  10. Wedding Invitations, wedding gift cards
  11. Wedding Photos – also photos from honeymoon, if any
  12. Correspondence addressed to either or both spouses at the same address
  13. Join Tax Returns and W-2s (last two)
  14. Spouse as Emergency Contact – Employment Letters from applicant and spouse on company letterhead and signed by an official of the firm, stating when employment began, salary, marital status, dependents claimed and whom to notify in case of emergency.
  15. The latest two pay stubs/statements.

This is merely an overview of adjustment of status. Please discuss the specifics of your case with a competent immigration attorney as complex legal issues may arise during adjustment of status.

Gary Goodin, Immigration Attorney

Copyright © 2011, the Immigration NavigatorTM

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