If you are planning to visit or move to Canada, you may be wondering whether your official documents need to be translated into one of the official languages of Canada (English or French). In this article, we will go through all the specific details you need to know about translations of documents required for your application to visit or move to Canada.
The IRCC requires that all supporting documents for all immigration applications are submitted in either English or French, as these are Canada’s two official languages. This is applies regardless as to whether you’re submitting an application for permanent residence through Express Entry, an application for a work permit through International Experience Canada (IEC), or any other type of immigration application.
In certain circumstances, the IRCC may allow you to include documents in a language other than English or French without a translation, but in this case IRCC will clearly indicate this in your application. If nothing is indicated in your application, you must provide translations for all required documents that are not in English or French.
How do I ensure the translations will be accepted by the IRCC?
In all situations, supporting documents that are in a language other than English or French must be accompanied by an official translation of the original document, or of a certified copy of the original document in English or French.
The translation must be
- of the original document, or of the certified copy of the original document
- certified by a certified translator. In the event that the translation cannot be provided by a certified translator, it must be accompanied by an affidavit, and included with the application
Important: Supporting documents in a language other than English or French can either be the originals or certified photocopies of the originals.
When a certified copy of the original document is submitted, the accompanying translation must be of the certified copy, and the translator must stamp both the certified copy and the translation.
How can I determine whether a translator is certified?
Documents that are not in English or French must be translated by a certified translator.
A certified translator is a member in good standing whose certification can be confirmed by a seal or stamp that shows the translator’s membership number of a professional translation association in Canada or abroad. To be sure, when submitting an application to the IRCC, using a translator who is CTTIC or ATIO certified is recommended.
All stamps and seals that are not in English or French must also be translated.
Note: A translator who has not yet received certification or accreditation, but is in the process of receiving it, is not considered by the IRCC as a certified translator.
If the translation is being done in Canada
Applicants should use the services of a certified translator who is in good standing with their provincial or territorial organization and certified to translate documents.
If the translation is being done outside of Canada
Applicants should use the services of a translator who is accredited (officially recognized or authorized) in the country where the translation is being completed.
For all applicants (in or outside of Canada): translations must not be done by
- the applicants themselves
- members of the applicant’s family
- the applicant’s representatives or consultants
An affidavit for a translation is a document that states that the translation is an accurate version of the original text. The translator swears that their translation is an accurate representation of the contents of the original document. The translator does this in front of a commissioner authorized to administer oaths in the country where they live. The commissioner or notary public must be proficient in English or French in order to administer the oath.
Important! All stamps and seals that are not in English or French must also be translated.
Submitted applications without translations
Applicants who submit required and/or requested documents without accompanying translations will have their application returned as incomplete. They will also be asked to
- have the original document(s) translated into English or French by a certified translator (or the equivalent in other countries), and
- re-submit the application with the original document(s), or a certified copy or copies of the original document(s), and the certified translation(s) attached
For more details about the translation of official documents for Canada, visit the Canadian government’s official web site here.