Urgent Changes to USCIS Enforcement of Certified Translations in 2020

Ian Hawes

Ian Hawes

February 5th, 2020
ImmiTranslate Immigration Update ImmiTranslate Immigration Update

As part of our continuing effort to keep pace with policy changes surrounding immigration translations, ImmiTranslate has identified an urgent enforcement trend pertaining to certain certified translations submitted to USCIS.

Officially, the law regarding translation requirements for immigration is defined in 8 C.F.R. Section 103.2(b)(3):

"(3)Translations. Any document containing foreign language submitted to USCIS shall be accompanied by a full English language translation which the translator has certified as complete and accurate, and by the translator's certification that he or she is competent to translate from the foreign language into English."

Prior to this enforcement change, USCIS would typically accept a translated document signed by a representative of a translation company, provided that the certifying statement declared that the translation was complete and accurate.

Based on an assessment of recent notices from USCIS on behalf of various petitioners, we believe that the submission of a translation containing only a signature of a translation company representative (and not the signature of the actual translator) is no longer considered acceptable by USCIS. This is an enforcement change from the past several years, and the most noticeable change to translation enforcement since USCIS stopped requiring the notarized signature of a translator.

Consistent with our 100% USCIS acceptance guarantee, clients of ImmiTranslate have enjoyed full compliance with USCIS translation requirements since 2017, when we introduced certifications that included the name and signature of the translator.

Unfortunately, most translation companies, including some that promise USCIS acceptance, do not appear to include the signature of the actual translator. We urge all language service providers to remain compliant with the official law surrounding certified translations for immigration and update their practices.

Q&A

Who does this affect?

Any petition that includes a translation that does not contain the signature of the translator. A signature solely from a translation company representative is not valid for USCIS acceptance.

When did this enforcement trend begin?

Based on our assessment, we believe this enforcement trend began in October of 2019. We expect enforcement to continue throughout the current administration. At this time we do not believe enforcement is consistent.

What options are available if a translation does not include the signature of the translator?

The best advice we can provide is to request the exact name and signature of the translator from the company that performed the translation.

Is ImmiTranslate compliant with USCIS requirements?

Yes, clients of ImmiTranslate have enjoyed full compliance with USCIS translation requirements since 2017. All of our certified translations include the signature and name of the translator, along with a statement attesting to the accuracy and completeness of the translation.

What correspondence does USCIS provide related to this form of rejection?

The text that has been reviewed by ImmiTranslate typically follows the following template:

"The petitioner did not submit certified translations in accordance with 8 C.F.R. Section 103.2(b)(3) which states that any document containing foreign language submitted to USCIS shall be accompanied by a full English translation which the translator has certified as complete and accurate, and by the translator's certification that he or she is competent to translate from the foreign language into English. The certificate signed by [Signer's Name] does not identify the names of the individuals who translated the beneficiary's [Document Names]. The petitioner failed to provide certifications from translators, stating that the English translations are complete and accurate, and that the translators are competent to translate from the foreign language into English."


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