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Translation of supporting documents for immigration to Canada

Individuals submitting their applications for immigration to Canada must ensure that all supporting documents issued in a language other than English or French are accompanied by an official translation, regardless of your immigration category, be it a temporary or permanent resident application.

This also applies to multilingual documents containing text in English and/or French, such as the European Criminal Record Check, ID cards, driver’s licence, etc.. wherein just several or even one single word is in another language, as it might be an officer’s discretion to return or refuse your application.

IRCC does not accept translations done by you, the applicant, family members, or your legal representative, be it a consultant, a lawyer, or a notary, regardless, your representative may be a certified translator.

Documents written in a foreign language must be:

  1. translated by a certified translator and
  2. accompanied by an affidavit or a declaration signed by a translator and/or stamped by the translator who translated the document

Please note that some provincial nominee programs may have their specific translator’s affidavits, and therefore, you need to ensure that the translation meets these specific requirements.

If documents are translated in Canada

Applicants should use the services of a certified translator who is in good standing with their provincial or territorial organization. The translator’s certification can be confirmed by a seal or stamp that shows the translator’s membership number of the association. In Ontario, such an association is called the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO). Every province has its own professional translation association.

Documents translated by a non-certified translator

Whether the translation was conducted by a certified translator or in situations where the translation cannot be provided by a certified translator, for languages such as Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian and other nations with a very small population in Canada, in either case, the translation must be accompanied by an affidavit/declaration wherein the translator swears to the accuracy of the translation.

SOMETIMES, the translator is required to swear that the translation is a true rendition of the source document in front of a commissioner authorized to administer oaths.

Who can swear an affidavit?

In Canada:

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

Outside Canada:

  • a notary public, or equivalent

Translations done outside Canada.

Each country may have different requirements for the translation of documents. Therefore, the translations need to meet the requirements of that country. Regardless, it MUST be accompanied by a translator’s affidavit or a declaration.

Unacceptable affidavits and declarations