How To Get Translated Documents For Canada Immigration

Learn how to choose the best translator that will best translate your documents!

Traveling or immigrating to Canada from any country around the world is usually a dream come through. It is indeed overwhelming to Immigrate to a lively and interesting country like Canada, but if your documents are not in either English or French, you have some little work to do.

How to get translated documents for Canada immigration should not be a problem, here, we have all you need to know about translating your documents and the steps to carry them out.

Not only will you learn about translating your documents in this prose, but also how to choose the best translator that will best translate your documents.

About document translation

Document translation is the process of translating a document from one language to another by a professional. The official language of Canada is English and French, so if you have a document that is in other languages, you must get it translated into one of the official languages of Canada. Note that the translation must be of the original document or a certified copy of the original document.

It is important to get your document translated and duly stamped by a certified translator. You don’t need to translate a document if they’re already in French or English even if your application is in the other official language. For instance, if you complete an application in French you can still accompany it with an English document.

Translation for Canadian immigration

Translation of documents is important. You will be have to provide translations of your official document into French or English when applying for permanent residence or immigration. The submission of documents to support your application is an important step in the process of immigrating to Canada. Documents such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, degrees, or criminal records are important for your application.

Most especially if you are applying for permanent residence through Express entry, family sponsorship, work permits, or any other immigration pathways, you must provide supporting documents. If your documents are in other languages, you must accompany them with an official translation with a signature, seal, and every other element that appears on the original documents. And yes!, the name and signature of the translator must also appear on the documents

Choosing a translator

Basically, a certified translator is an individual who is in good standing, and whose certification can be confirmed by a stamp or a seal. The stamp or seal of your translator must show the membership number of a professional translation association in Canada or abroad. Note that if the seals and stamps are not in French or English, you should ask your translator to translate it as well.

How to determine if your translator is certified

It is not only important to get the translation of your document, but also to ensure that your translator is certified. A translator who has not received accreditation or certification but is in the process of obtaining it will not be considered by IRCC as a certified translator.

You should use a certified translator who has a right standing with the Territorial or provincial organization and is authoritative to translate documents (if you are doing your translation in Canada). However, if you’re translating your documents out of Canada, you must use the service of a translator who has an official recognition in the country where you will carry out your document translation.

Qualities of a good translator

All document translator has to meet outstanding qualities and be justified in the following

  • Must be accurate at translating
  • Should know vocabulary terms
  • Must follow strictly, the translation protocol
  • Should be objective, impartial, and unbiased
  • Never leave anything out or add new text
  • Translate every word, even if it does not relate to or associate with the main topic
  • Shouldn’t state an opinion ( even when directly asked to do so)

Don’ts of document translation

Translating your documents for Canada immigration is quite easy but there are some “don’ts” to this translation.

  • You should not translate your documents by yourself
  • Your family members should not do the translation for you
  • Likewise, your consultants or representative should not translate your documents for you
  • Any of your family members who is a notary or translator should not translate your document. This also includes guardians, siblings, spouse, parents, conjugal partner, common-law partner, child, grandparents, aunt, niece, uncle, nephew, and cousin

In the case whereby the accuracy of your translator document is suspected, you might be asked to translate your documents by a different translator and IRCC will not be responsible for any translation fee.

Documents translated by a non-certified translator

In a situation whereby a certified translator was not gotten to translate your document, while you get it translated by a non-certified translator, you must accompany your document with an affidavit that swears to the accuracy of the language proficiency and translation of the translator.


An affidavit is a document that states that the original text has an accurate translation. It bears the translator’s witness that the translation is accurate and it is the correct representation of the content of the original document.

The affidavit is usually before a commissioner that has the authority to administer oaths in any country where you live. To administer the oath, the notary public or commissioner must be proficient in French and/or English. Below is the list of individuals that can take an affidavit

  • a notary public
  • a commissioner of oaths
  • a commissioner of taking affidavits

How to get translated documents for Canada immigration

Without a doubt, You don’t need to get bothered about how to get translated documents for Canada immigration if you follow the steps provided in this guide. In exact, to translate your documents from any other language to the official language of Canada, there are three steps to it

Step one: Submit your Document

The first and initial step towards translating a document is to submit  your original documents for translation in Canada or in the country you live in. Note that if you are unable to get a certified translator, your documents must be accompanied by an affidavit that is done in the presence of a high commissioner that understands English or French.

Steps two: Translation of Documents

Secondly, a word-for-word translation of your document is crucial, bearing the certification of the translator (in form of a seal or stamp), or an affidavit (if the translator has no certification). While translating documents, the translator must pay attention to

  • Accurate transfer of content
  • Omissions/additions
  • Appropriate use of terminology
  • Appropriate register
  • Collocation
  • Tautology
  • Consistency
  • Grammar
  • Syntax
  • Tense Usage
  • Spelling & Punctuation
  • Layout & Presentation

Step 3: Proofreading and Editing

The final step to translating your documents is to proofread and edit the documents. You should allow another translator to check for the context, accuracy, grammar, punctuation, and syntax of the document. The Layout correction of your document will take place in this stage before the translator will send the documents to you for approval.

Documents that often need translation

To immigrate to Canada, some documents are very important for your application, hence need a translation. Some of the documents that you need to translate for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada are:

  • Birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, and divorce certificates
  • Job reference letters
  • Police clearance certificates
  • Police records
  • Diplomas
  • Invitation letters
  • Immigration documents
  • Judgments
  • Academic degrees
  • Adoption papers

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I ascertain if my translator is certified?

To ascertain if your translator is certified you can check their official website. Checking the website is one of the simplest ways to see if the translation agency offers certified services. After checking the website you can send them a mail, call the services, and read the online reviews

Does translated document expire?

Basically, a translated document does not expire. You don’t need to make another translation unless the requesting agency asks for it. However, the requesting agency will want you to provide an up-to-date certified translation which you can effectively do so.

Can I notarize my own translation?

You will have to state that the document is accurate by writing “I verify that the translation is correct” or something similar. You should go to a notary public to verify and sign the documents

How do I become a certified professional translator?

To be a professional translator, you must become fluent in another language, get special training, be certified, target a specific industry and learn the terminology, and then gain work experience

Can I become a translator without a degree?

Yes, without a degree, you can become a translator without a degree. However, at the minimum, you should have GED or high school diploma. But employers often do not require a formal degree in the language you want to translate.


Translating your documents for immigrating to Canada is important, that is why we have given you the steps on how to translate your documents for Canada immigration. Ensure to get notary of your documents if the translation is by a person without certification.