What You May Need To Translate For The Purpose Of Canada Immigration.

When preparing for an application for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), one of the questions that come to mind is what language your documents have to be in.


The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) demand that all verifying documents for all immigration purposes are to be submitted in either of the two official languages in Canada which is English or French.

This rule applies to all kinds of immigration applications whether you are presenting an application for a work permit via International Experience Canada (IEC), an application for permanent residence via Express Entry, or any other type of immigration application.

The IRCC in some cases may permit you to add documents in a language that is not English or French without a translation, but it will clearly be stated in your application in such a scenario. However, if they fail to indicate it in your application, please note that you must provide translations for any document you want to submit that is not in English or French language.

The essence of this article is to reanalyze all the details you need to know concerning the translations of documents needed for your Canadian immigration application. You are advised to read the page completely for a detailed understanding, or you can skip ahead if you have specific questions.

What are the documents that need to be added with the translation?

Over the years, the IRCC is known to be very strict about which documents you need to add with your immigration application and failure to include a document or worst still, including the wrong type of document will lead to your application being considered incomplete thereby resulting in rejection. Do we still need to state why it is important for you to know the required document?

Please note that you must attach translations for any verifying documents you submit that are not in either English or French as far as translations are concerned unless stated otherwise by the IRCC. 

For your application to be considered as complete, any documents that need translations must have the following:

  1. The English or French translation of the document from an authorized translator; and
  2. An affidavit must be obtained from the person who concluded the translations; and
  3. A valid photocopy of the original document.

The three above-listed requirements must be met for your application to be regarded as complete. Furthermore, let us go into detail about what each of these documents means.

What can be said to be a certified translation/translator for Canadian immigration applications?

This has to do with the official translation of your document into either English or French and this must be carried out by a certified translator. This process differs from country to country because each country has a process specific to them.

You must ensure that your translator has a good relationship with their provincial or territorial organization if you are applying from within Canada while for those applying from outside Canada, find out from your translator if he/she is qualified to provide authorized translations because every certified translator must have gone through some form of formal training in translation.

What is the meaning of an affidavit for translations for Canadian immigration applications?

This is defined as a document signed by the translator in the presence of a certified person vouching for the truth of the translations.

Also, each country has rules specific to them regarding who has the authority to issue an affidavit, and examples of such individuals are commissioners of oaths, commissioners of taking affidavits, and notaries public.

All certified translators are expected to know the rules that oversee affidavits and should be able to swear affidavits fast and easily too. Most times, translators usually have a stamp that accompanies their certification which allows them to swiftly communicate their credentials to the immigration authorities. 

What is an authorized photocopy as regards translations for Canadian immigration?

The photocopy of the original document that was translated which has been certified by an authorized person is what is referred to as a certified photocopy of the original document and this photocopy must be readable. The following are marked on the photocopy when compared to the original documents:

  • The name and signature of the person;
  • The position or title of the person;
  • The name of the original document of the person;
  • The date in which the document was certified; and
  • Lastly, the phrase that says “I certify that this is a true copy of the original document.”

Individuals who are authorized to proceed over an affidavit are the same set of people authorized to certify photocopies. 

Please note that if your application requires translations, make sure that you meet all requirements and commence your application on time to make sure that you have the required time needed to locate an authorized translator.

Can my family member who speaks English or French translate the document for me?

The answer to this question is no because the IRCC will not accept translations done by family members even if the said family member has a Ph.D. in English Literature. You are expected to find an authorized translator to conclude your translations.

Do I have to provide a translation since it’s just a page?

The answer is yes, you have to. As we earlier stated, the  Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) unless stated otherwise requires translations for all verifying documents. Truthfully, we cannot assure you that your application will be dismissed if you forget to attach just one page.

There are chances that the immigration officer in charge of your file may neglect it, but you are advised to be better safe than sorry when it comes to immigration applications.

In conclusion, you now know, by the virtue of this article, all that you need to translate for your immigration applications and what language they should be translated to unless stated otherwise by the IRCC.

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