Items you will need
- Certified copy of marriage license
- Certificate of marriage registration (if available)
- Skilled translator or translation service
- Affidavit of translation
Whether you are from another country or had a destination wedding in a non-speaking country, it can be useful – and sometimes necessary – to have your marriage license translated into English. Those who immigrate to the United States are required to have all non-English documents, including marriage licenses, translated into English for immigration officials to review them accurately. While this might sound cumbersome, having your marriage license translated into English is a simple process that involves finding a skilled translator and having him or her provide an affidavit verifying the ability to translate accurately.
Obtain or locate the certified copy of your marriage license. The certified copy will show an official seal or stamp, often with a raised print in order to show full legality. Obtain or locate a certificate of marriage registration. Some countries provide a marriage registration in addition to a marriage license. Collect both to show legal proof of the marriage, if required. You will only have to have the license translated, but having the registration translated as well will be required if it is included.
Consult a translation service to translate the marriage license into English. Companies such as Translation Services USA and Applied Language Solutions provide linguists with a wide variety of language skills and experience in translating official documents. Additionally, both companies (and others like them) offer free quotes on the translation process, so you will be able to find out in advance what the service will cost.
Have the translator provide a signed affidavit that verifies his or her knowledge of both English and the original language of the marriage license. The signed affidavit can come in one of two forms: a statement at the end of the document showing who the translator is and providing the date of translation and all contact information for the translator, or an attached document with a full explanation about the translator’s authenticity and knowledge of the language and a signature and stamp of a notary public.
For those who are immigrating to the United States, keep in mind that there are limitations on who is allowed to perform the translation. The petitioner (that is, the person or the persons who are requesting the residency status in the United States) cannot perform the translation, and the beneficiary (that is, the person functioning as the sponsor for those who are immigrating) cannot perform the translation either.