Certified Translations for Use Abroad

While most of our customers come to us looking for a certified translation for use in the United Kingdom, a significant number need them for use abroad. A certified translation and all of its requirements are not the same everywhere, so on this page we set out some information on how the process works and what is needed in some of the countries we get the most requests for.

 


Australia

Austria

Brazil

France

Germany 

Italy

Ireland

The Netherlands

Portugal

Romania

Slovakia

Spain
United States

Australia:
 

Do you need to translate documents into English for use in Australia? Whether you are applying for an Australian visa, validating your studies or registering for citizenship in Australia?

Any document in a language other than English must be accompanied by a certified English translation. We can carry out your certified translations for Australia at the best price, guaranteed.

 

Our group of freelancers includes translators accredited in Australia by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI), this is the professional body that regulates professional translators in Australia. As members of NAATI, our local freelancers translators will carry out your translation for you in the manner appropriate for acceptance by all Australian authorities.


The Australian system for recognition of certified translations is a little like that of the UK, in that it is unregulated. For this reason, and depending on where your translation is headed, it may not always be essential to order your translations from a translator accredited by NAATI. However, for guaranteed acceptance we recommend that you take this route, otherwise, you might find that your translation is rejected meaning you would need to start afresh, possibly having to pay for two certified translations. Since we guarantee the lowest prices for certified translations anyhow, we strongly recommend that you take the safe option.

  

We can provide a certified translation service for any documents, with the following being those that we get most requests for.
 

- Baptismal and birth certificates      
- Driving licences for cars or motorcycles    
- Marriage certificates
- Death certificate
- Divorce certificates
- Identity documents
- Educational certificates and diplomas
- Employment certificates
- Immunisation certificates
- Criminal record certificates

 

So, if you’re lucky enough to be headed down under and require a certified translation for the trip or move, just get in touch, we’re here to help with the guaranteed cheapest certified translation service.

 

Austria:

 

In Austria, a certified translation is always required when official documents such as birth certificates are involved. As soon as the document is to be submitted to an authority, it falls into the category of legal translations. Courts and universities also sometimes require certified translations.
 

The decisive factor here is that the translation is literal and legally binding. Only translators sworn by a court may perform this task. Other translators can theoretically also translate official documents, but these translations are not recognised by the courts. So if you hire a court-certified professional translator, you will save time and money.
 

An authorised translator is appointed and sworn in by the Ministry of Justice. Similar to a notary public, he or she confirms the detailed translation with his or her own signature and stamp. But watch out: This certificate of authenticity does not replace a notarized translation. 
 

WHAT EXACTLY IS A CERTIFIED TRANSLATION?

Austrian offices and courts require certified translations. This is the only way to guarantee that the content is absolutely identical in the target language and therefore legally valid. This means that the necessary documents are prepared or translated by court certified interpreters. Specially trained and sworn interpreters translate, for example, the following documents into the certified version:

Certificates (birth certificate, marriage certificate, death certificate)
Medical certificates and medical reports
Diplomas and certificates (university or school leaving certificates, certificates of further education)
Court Decisions
Adoption documents
Driving licence
Identity documents
Documents for naturalisation
Company register extracts, contracts and other business documents
Patent applications
 
This is only a small excerpt; the list of documents that require certified translation is long. In fact, a certified translation may become necessary sooner than you might think: students who want to study abroad, for example, usually need a certified translation of their diploma when they enrol.

 

OTHER FEATURES OF A CERTIFIED TRANSLATION
 

A quality feature is when the heading already indicates that it is not the original but the translation. It must also indicate the type of document that has been translated. An example of a very simple title would be: "Translation of birth certificate".

The date and place of the certification must also be visible in order to make the translation valid. The stamp alone is not enough. If several pages are stamped separately, the name must appear on each page of the original or otherwise be included in the endorsement for authentication.
 

For the certified translation, depending on the type of document, it is recommended to submit the original document. In the case of certificates, a simple scan or photo of the document is often sufficient - but court documents or longer documents should ideally be submitted in the original.
 

Authorised translators usually work for a higher price, as the vocabulary is usually complex and precise work is required. This means that you will have to expect higher translation costs here than is the case with simple translations. There are also special conditions for certified translations, so you should clarify a few things with the translator in advance. This way you can save a lot of money. Before you order the translation, the following things should be discussed:

Text requirements: Often only individual passages or pages are required for use in court or by the authorities. So in many cases it is sufficient to have only individual parts of the document translated. Since important documents can sometimes be very large, you can save a lot of money by being selective.
 

In case of doubt, ask the relevant office which parts of the text are required in which form of translation: Where does the translation need to be certified, where is the simple version sufficient and which passages or pages do not need to be translated at all?
 

We're here to help with all these questions regarding certified translations for use in Austria. Just get in touch for advice or a quote.

Brazil:
 

Have you ever heard of certified translation? Although many people have, at some point, come across this term, there is still great ignorance on the part of the general population as to what it really is and for what purpose it is intended. This means that most people only end up knowing about them only when they need one.


We are talking about one of the most important translation modalities that exist. Without it, it would not be possible to attribute authenticity to foreign documents, since our legislation does not recognise or accept documents written in other languages as evidence in court or as legally valid documents.
 

This is where the so-called certified translators, professionals specialised in translating documents faithfully, giving them authenticity so that they can accompany the originals in another language and thus be accepted by Brazilian agencies and institutions, come into play.
 

But how does a certified translation differ from other types of translation? What are the fields of action of the certified translator? We will try to answer these and other questions in this article, explaining in detail how this modality works and how it is possible to become a certified translator.
 

What is certified translation?

Unlike when a book or article is translated, for which a good, but standard translation is enough, for formal procedures in Brazil it is necessary that the translation has its accuracy proven. 


In other words, it is as if it were necessary to have a guarantee that everything that is present in the document and has been translated from one language to another is in fact true and that there have been no changes of any kind.


Why is sworn translation necessary? To understand its importance not only in Brazil, but in other countries, it is necessary to understand a little of the legal requirements that each nation has when receiving certain types of documents from foreigners. In the case of Brazil, this requirement comes as a result of Federal Decree No. 13.609 of October 21, 1943.

This decree indicates that no foreign document written in a language other than Portuguese is valid in Brazil. In order for them to be considered by a public body, for example, they must be accompanied by a translated version, thus giving rise to the certified translation.


To attest to this fidelity, we can turn to translation companies and individual translators which are duly registered with the State Trade Board, which qualifies them to carry out the certified translation of documents and other items that require absolute fidelity and suitability of information. 

We have freelance translators working in our group who are registered with the Brazilian State Trade Board, so we can put you in touch with the person who can carry out your certified translation in exactly the way they are required for acceptance in Brazil. Get in touch today for your Brazilian certified translation, we guarantee the highest quality, acceptance and the lowest price!

 

France:

Certified Translations and Apostilles in France
 

France has very strict procedures for carrying out certified translations, especially if the applicant is a foreign organisation. In this case, an Apostille will be requested in advance for the original document and once the translation has been certified, the translator's signature must be authenticated and a Hague Apostille must be requested for the translation. For a certified translation for use by an individual however, the apostille isn’t always necessary. The main issue is that the translator is carried out by an authorised certified translator. This is one who has passed the state prescribed qualification and is registered with the French Ministry of Justice.

 

What must a French certified translation contain?

Certified Translations always have 3 elements in France:

- the complete translation of the source text,

- the original or a true copy of the original,

- the translator's sworn statement.

 

All pages of the translation must be signed and stamped by the sworn translator. At the bottom of the last page, the translator's sworn statement attesting that the certified translation is a true and faithful copy of the original must appear.

 

Certified Translation in France: how does it work?

In France, certified translations are carried out by "Expert Translators before the Court of Appeal", appointed by the Ministry of Justice. The sworn translator or "Expert Translator" is a translator authorised to validate the authenticity and conformity of a translation with the original document. All sworn translators are listed in the Sworn Translators Directory.

 

Any document written in the a foreign language and requested by an official authority requires a certified translation.
Any document presented to the French government, universities, notaries and courts must be written in French or translated into French by a Sworn Translator.

We have authorised French sworn translators working on our team, so if you have been told you need a certified translations of a non-French language document for submission in France, we can help you.

Germany:

 

For many official and legal texts, the law requires that a certified translation comply with strict regulations. In Germany, only about three per cent of all professional translators meet these strict requirements, which allow them to produce certified translations. These translators are appointed as sworn or authorised translators by the competent regional or higher regional courts, depending on the federal state in which they live. Our team includes these authorised translators, so we can carry out a certified translation for you for use in Germany.

What exactly is a certified translation?

Certified translations are texts or documents that are translated from a foreign language into German or vice versa and whose authenticity is legally guaranteed (i.e. certified). In short: the certification of a translation is a uniform certificate of authenticity for a translated document.

Examples of the types of foreign-language documents you might need a certified translation of for use in Germany.

Contracts

Extracts from the commercial register

Annual reports and other business documents

Insurance policies

Court judgments

Certificates (e.g. birth certificates, adoption certificates, marriage certificates, divorce certificates, death certificates)

Academic diplomas

All official documents (e.g. driving licences)

Job references

Why and when do I need a certified translation?

In principle, certified translations by a sworn or authorised translator are always required if a foreign-language text is to be given legal effect in Germany or anywhere else in the European Union before courts and state authorities.

What is the difference between a certified translation and a simple translation?

Simple translations (e.g. from the fields of advertising or literature) do not have to meet any special formal requirements.
A certified translation, on the other hand, may only be carried out by sworn or authorised translators. In the case of certified translations, after the text has been translated, a certification mark, certification stamp and the translator's signature are added. Depending on the federal state within Germany, the regulation applies that a certified translation must additionally be over-certified by a signature of the responsible consulate and/or the president of the responsible court (by means of a so-called legalisation or apostille).


Only a small percentage of German translators are allowed to issue certified translations.

Certified translations may only be produced by sworn or authorised translators. Normally, documents and signatures are certified by authorities or authorised persons (e.g. a notary). The authentication of a document or signature is a legal guarantee of its authenticity. This means that a legal responsibility is assumed with an authentication. This sharing of responsibility serves the purpose of ensuring that authenticity is not guaranteed frivolously. The authenticity of the object to be authenticated is carefully checked. Persons who come into contact with the certified document can thus rely on its authenticity and legal certainty.

 

In the case of foreign-language texts, neither employees of an authority nor a notary may assume such responsibility, since they simply lack the technical background. Since linguistic subtleties can have very different legal effects, only court-appointed or sworn translators are used for the certification of foreign-language texts or the translation of foreign-language texts; the latter.

 

The small number of certified translators that are publicly appointed and sworn in in Germany is due to the strict admission requirements and examination conditions. Our group does include some of these authorise translators, however, so if you do need a certified translation to be used in Germany, just get in touch.

Italy:

 

Certified and authenticated translations

 

The practice that confers legal value according to current Italian legislation is the affidavit. This can be carried out by the translator going to court and making an oath report and the affixing of stamps to the translation. This gives legal value to the translation.

Foreign authorities often require that the certified translation be accompanied by a declaration from the translator or translation agency, indicating their personal and contact details and confirming that they have carried out the translation to the best of their ability and respecting the original text. This is basically what is required for a certified translation in the United Kingdom, but it is not sufficient for use in Italy.

 

In Italy the certified translation is completed in the Court of First Instance by means of the translator making an oath, which is then sworn in. The further legalisation of the translation involves an additional step, which is necessary if the sworn translation is to be submitted abroad. In this case, the document must be legalised by contacting the Public Prosecutor's Office of the same court, where it was certified. A stamp will certify the legal value of the person who signed the text.

When might a certified translation be required for use in Italy?


Certified translations are often required in Italy for the following:

 

Enrolment in a professional register

University enrolment

For work purposes

For tax purposes (invoices, receipts)

For immigration reasons 

As you can see, the fact that a certified translation must be sworn in court makes the process more complicated in Italy than is most other countries. This is no problem, however, as our translators in Italy are authorised to carry out this procedure and can go to their local court in order to certify your translation. Just get in touch if you require certified translations for us in Italy.

Ireland:

The situation with regards to certified translations in Ireland is very similar to that in the United Kingdom. It is not regulated by the Irish government, which applies no legal definitions and allows translators to carry out their work independently, and they can hence freely certify their translations. Membership of the Irish Translators and Interpreters Association is certainly a help, and would add a level of local recognition, but is not strictly necessary for acceptance, since translators who are members of professional associations based in the UK also regularly have their certified translation accepted in Ireland.

The Netherlands:
 

Foreigners who might want to come to live in the Netherlands will very often be required to present their official documents to a variety of institutions in our country. These may be the local town council, the immigration or naturalisation departments, a possibly a lawyer or notary public. It may also occur that foreigners who have obtained Dutch documents after staying a while, will then need translations back into their own language to present to requesting institutions back at home or in a third country. In any of these very common cases an official translation is likely to be needed.
 

As stated above, the requirements for official translations very much depend on the type of system in place in the particular country in which the translated documents must be presented. In the case of the Netherlands, there is a distinction between two kinds of official translation, these are certified translations and sworn translations. In many of the countries we provide translations for, a sworn translation is required by law, but in others, however, the rules are not so strict and they are not necessarily required. It should be noted that a significant extra charge is often made for a sworn translation. A certified translation is often a cheaper option for use in the Netherlands, since they are very widely accepted. Having said this, you should always check with the requesting organisation about what exactly is required.
 

Generally, the system is quite flexible for certified translations in the Netherlands, and it is fairly cheap and straightforward to have the carried out by a certified translator in to Dutch or from Dutch to another language. It is a little more tricky when an official translation is needed from one foreign language to another. For these requirements, the cost would be a little higher since there are fewer certified translators working between one foreign language and another. Fortunately, these type of combinations are not very widely needed in the Netherlands, and most translations are carried out from or into Dutch or English.
 

If you are uncertain about what kind of official translation you require - either certified or sworn - or whether you can submit English documents, it is usually best to ask the requesting institution or a language service company or organisation such as ourselves for more details.
 

What does “sworn translation” mean?
 

A sworn translation in the Netherlands receives a stamp and signature from registered and recognised translator whose name will appear in the official list of sworn translators. The stamp and signature show the client that the translation has been carried out by an official sworn translator. There will also be a statement accompanying the translation stating that the authenticity and accuracy of the document. The original version of the text or copy of will be stapled to the sworn translation so that the two versions may be compared. Any interference with the texts or the staples invalidates the sworn translation. If you have a Dutch sworn translation it may be used in an application for an apostille or for the process of legalisation.
 

What does “certified translation” mean?
 

The difference between a sworn and a certified translation is quite small but also quite significant. A certified translation in the Netherlands will also bear the translator’s stamp and signature, but it will not have been carried out by an official and recognised sworn translator. The stamp and signature may be added by the translator or also by the project manager or other representative if the job has been done by an agency or a non-profit translation group such as our own. You would also receive a separate certificate along with the translation which state that they are an independent and professional organisation and they declare the certified translation to be a true and faithful reproduction of the original document into the Dutch language. Similarly to the case of the sworn translation, the original (or copy), the translation and the certificate are all stapled together and presented this way to the requesting authority.
 

If the client choses to go for a certified translation, the translator does not need to be one who appears on the official list of Dutch sworn translators; it can be carried out by any professional translator. This means that they are simpler to organise and that the price is significantly cheaper than sworn translations. While these standard certified translations are very widely accepted in the Netherlands, there are cases when they will not be enough, and this is why it is so important to check exactly what is required before commissioning any kind of official translation in the country. If you are in need of an apostille to attach to your translation or you need it for the process of legalisation, you should not go for the standard certified translation, but the legally recognised sworn translation. If in doubt, just ask - we can help in that regard. Another option is to speak to the requesting authority.
 

What does “apostille” mean?
 

Countries that have signed up the Apostille Convention, which include all of the countries in the European Union, have agreed to accept a document with an apostille from one of the other states that are party to the convention as legally valid in their own country. This agreement means that official document do not need to be legalised or notarised again in the receiving country, and that they will be accepted as valid as they are. In the Netherlands an apostille will be issued by a district court, which will verify that the name and signature of the sworn translator who has carried out the job are true and correct. If all is in order the apostille will be then be issued and the document can be used abroad without further checks.
 

What does “legalisation” mean?
 

As stated above, those countries that are signatories of the Apostille Convention will accept translations with an apostille that have come from another signatory state. But what if an official translation has been carried out in a country which has not signed up to this convention? Or similarly, if a translation carried out in the Netherlands is going to be used in a non-signatory country. In this case the original documents and the corresponding translation must be legalised. In the Netherlands this will also be carried out in a district court, and once again, the translation must have been done by a nationally recognised sworn translator. What’s more, the original documents must also be legalised in a similar manner by the authorities of the country of origin, and also by the authorities in the country where the translation is going to be submitted. As you can see, it’s a complicated process, and this is usually reflected in the price of having all of this carried out. We tend to stay away from such complicated procedures in whcih we cannot control the process from start to finish. We prefer to work on project that we can ensure the quality of all the way through. It’s not very often that clients need this option, but if you do we can point you in the right direction. We tend to stick with the translation itself, so if you need a certified or sworn translation for use in the Netherlands, or anywhere, else, just get in touch and we’ll be happy to help. As you can see, the situation for general certified translations is not that complex in the Netherlands, and is actually quite similar to how they're carried out in the UK. Stay tuned for our explanations of how the process works in some other countries soon.
 

Portugal:
 

Translations can either be standard or certified.
 

A standard translation can be done by anyone with knowledge of another language, and is not legalised, so it is not official. It may be accepted, or it may not. This is why it is convenient to know the requirements of the entity for which it is intended.
 

"What is a certified translation?


A certified translation in Portugal consists of a notarial document (which can be issued by a lawyer), which certifies the identity of the translator and ensures that the translation is faithful to the original submitted. The certified translation
consists of a set of three parts (the order may not always be the same):


The statement of the lawyer (or notary) and the translator, which must be signed and stamped. Certification by a lawyer is issued in the target language (not all notaries do this).

The original (or certified photocopy), which must be signed and stamped by the translator and the lawyer (or notary).

The translation, which must be signed and stamped by the translator and the lawyer (or notary).


A lawyer has the power to translate and certify his or her own translations.


For foreigners, a certification stamp from the Post Office and the Parish Councils is unfortunately not valid.


"Is there such thing as a certified translator?"


As in the UK, there are no certified translators in Portugal. Rather, it is the translation itself that is sworn. The translator must claim responsibility for the translation in a statement made before a notary or lawyer. This is the service we can provide: we can deliver a certified translation that the translator has produced along with a notary or lawyer. Our members in the country will be glad to carry out this service for you, and this is what makes the translation official and acceptable for formal procedures in Portugal.

Romania:

The situation regarding certified translations for use in Romania is similar to that of many other mainland European countries. In order to be accepted they must be carried out by an official translator appointed by the Romanian Ministry of Justice. An original hard copy will also be required, so must be signed, stamped and posted to you by the translator. We have officially appointed certified translators in or group so if you need a certified translation for official use in Romania, or at the Romanian embassy in the UK or elsewhere, we'll be able to help you. 

 

Slovakia:

For certified translations for use in Slovakia, the situation is very similar to that of many other mainland European countries. In order to be accepted they must be carried out by an official translator appointed by the Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic. We have officially appointed Slovakian certified translators in or group, so if you need a certified translation for official use in Slovakia, or at the Slovakian embassy in the UK or elsewhere, we can get you exactly what you need for guaranteed acceptance.

Spain:

10 questions about sworn translation


What is sworn translation? Who can produce one? What is the legal value of sworn translations? We tell you all this and much more below. Read on.
 

1. What is sworn translation?

In Spain, a sworn translation is a translation of documents written in a foreign language that is carried out so that obtains legally validity before a specific official body. Sworn translations must always bear the stamp and signature of the sworn translator and, furthermore, on the last page of the same, there must be a certificate proving that it is a sworn translation.


2. Who can perform a sworn translation?

In Spain, sworn translations can only be carried out by translators authorised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAEC) to translate from a foreign language into one of the official languages of the Spanish State and vice versa. Sworn translators are not civil servants, nor do they have an official position. They are independent professionals who practise their profession independently or within a company and who have been authorised by the MAEC.


3. Who guarantees the preparation and suitability of sworn translators?

It is the MAEC itself that certifies that they are duly qualified through the three systems that, until recently, have been in force to access this appointment:

- By passing the language exam of the Office of Interpretation of Languages.

- Recognition of a foreign qualification obtained in another EU country.

- Through the validation of the degree in Translation and Interpretation, provided that the credits required for legal and economic translation have been passed.

At present, the status of sworn translator can only be obtained through the first two channels: passing the aforementioned examination organised by the Office for the Interpretation of Languages, dependent on the Ministry itself (which consists of a series of eliminatory language tests) and through the recognition of a foreign qualification.

 

4. What is the value of translations made by sworn translators?

Translations carried out by sworn translators are not simply private translations, but have official value. This is established by Royal Decree 2555/1977, of 27 August, which approves the Regulation of the Office of Interpretation of Languages of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (as amended by Royal Decree 2002/2009, of 23 December) which in Article 6 paragraph 1 states the following: 

“Translations and interpretations from a foreign language into Spanish and vice versa carried out by Sworn Translators and Interpreters shall be of an official nature, and translations may be subject to revision by the Language Interpretation Office when so requested by the competent authorities.”

In accordance with the provisions of this precept, it must be understood that private translation is carried out by any person with knowledge of languages and the capacity to translate, while official translation is that carried out by a "sworn translator" who, thanks to the accreditation granted by the MAEC, is able to certify the fidelity and accuracy of her translations.


5. Who or what bodies require sworn translations in Spain?

Normally, these translations are required in administrative and judicial processes in which foreign documentation must be provided or a statement must be made before the Public Administration. Therefore, it is usually public bodies that require a particular document to be translated by a sworn translator in order to recognise its validity. 


6. What are the most frequent services that a sworn translator can provide?

The following are among the most common services provided by sworn translators:

Translating a written document and certifying that the translation is correct and complete.

Certifying that a translation carried out by another person is correct and complete.

Interpreting in a judicial process, in an act before a notary, in a marriage ceremony, or in any other official act in which a person or people involved do not speak the language in which the act is carried out.

7. Does any foreign document that has to be presented as evidence in a legal process have to have a sworn translation?

Although Law 1/2000 on Civil Procedure states that it is necessary to accompany the translation of documents written in a foreign language in order for them to have probative value, according to current regulations this translation can be carried out "privately", that is, by any person with the capacity to do so and without any other additional requirement. However, in this case, the quality of the translation may be questioned, both by the opposing party and by the judge, and the translation may be rejected with the consequent damage to the person providing it.

Therefore, it seems advisable, and even convenient, to accompany a sworn translation (carried out by a sworn translator with her stamp and signature) of the document in question, as this will have "official" value before our courts. In the latter case, only the judge will be able to reject the document, and this will probably happen very rarely. 


8. What documents are usually translated by sworn translators?

Some of the documents most frequently translated by sworn translators are the following:

- Foreign business contracts or certificates that must be presented to a Spanish authority for recognition.

- Academic certificates, medical certificates or criminal records.

- Documentation provided in naturalisation procedures.

- Wills issued abroad, birth, marriage and death certificates.

- Residence permits.

- Powers of attorney granted abroad.


9. What legal documents do not need a sworn translation?

Most of the documents used in the commercial traffic between companies and individuals do not need a sworn translation. Contracts, agreements, insurance policies, etc. do not need to be stamped by a sworn translator to be valid between the parties, unless the parties agree. However, it is important that a translation is carried out by a legal expert in order to avoid errors in the translation of legal concepts or in clauses that could have serious consequences to legal relations.

 

10. Where can I find a list of sworn translators active in Spain?

On the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs there is an updated list of sworn translators active in Spain. This list is sorted by the languages they translate and by the provinces in which these translators live or work. Some of the translators in this list are part of our own certified translation group. So just get in touch in the care that you need a certified translation for use in Spain, and we will organize everything for you.

Here's a bit more information regarding the v
alidity of official documents and translations.

Information on the validity of foreign public documents and their translations submitted to consular offices and the State
Administration in Spain.

1) Foreign public documents intended to be presented to the Spanish Administration must comply with all the following formal requirements
 
1.1) It must be an original document or a copy certified by the same body that issued the original document.
 
1.2) Except in the specific cases in which there is a Convention establishing exemption from legalisation for certain documents, (for example, it is not necessary for German educational documents), all foreign public documents must be previously legalised through diplomatic channels or, in the case of States party to the Hague Convention of 1961, initialled with the Hague Apostille.
 
1.3) It must be translated into Spanish on the basis of Article 36.1 of Law 30/1992, of 26 November, on the Legal Regime of Public Administrations and Common Procedure.
 
Generally, in Spain, only the following translations are considered official, and therefore valid for presentation to any Spanish administrative body
 
a) by a Sworn Translator appointed by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (they are exempt from legalisation by amendment of Article 13 of Royal Decree 2555/1977 of 27 August approving the regulations of the Language Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
 
(b) by a Spanish diplomatic or consular representation abroad (which must subsequently be legalised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation to be presented to the Administration in Spain).
 
(c) by the diplomatic or consular representation in Spain of the country that issued the document (which must subsequently be legalised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation to be presented to the Administration in Spain).
 
However, in the case of local translations, for a foreign translation to be effective in Spain, it must be duly legalised or Apostilled within the meaning of point 1.2).
 
Some States party to the Hague Convention of 1961 (including Spain) do not issue apostilles for translations by sworn translators because they consider them to be official documents, but not public documents, rather private documents.
 
Outside of Spain, however, it is possible to obtain an Apostille for a translation carried out by a sworn or authorised translator as follows:
 
As a first step, a stamp must be obtained from the authority which is responsible for the official registration of certified interpreters and translators, certifying that the person signing the translation is a certified or authorised translator. The signature of the aforementioned authority makes the document a public document for which a Hague Apostille can be requested.
 

For the second step, the Apostille can be requested for the signature and seal of the competent authority that certified the translator as a sworn or authorized translator. Generally, to obtain the Apostille you do not have to go to two different offices but the office or authority competent to issue the Apostille puts the two stamps on the same form.
 
Please note that, however, a translation made by a local sworn or authorised translator abroad, even if it is correctly legalised, may be rejected by some bodies of the Spanish Administration, and an official translation may be required in terms of 1.1) - 1.3). It is recommended that interested parties consult beforehand with the site where the translation is to take effect, if the manner in which the translation is to be legalised is accepted.



United States:

The situation for certified translations in the United States is very similar to that in the UK, that is, it is unregulated and there is no official body dictating what constitutes a certified translation and what will or won't be accepted as one.

The situation varies depending on which organisation you are submitting your translation with. As you can see in our
blog post covering the requirements for certified translations for immigration to the US, although the overall immigration process may be long and complicated, where your translations are concerned, is it relatively simple. As long as the rules for the way the certified translation need to be done are followed (there should be an accompanying statement in which the translator certifies that they are competent to perform the translation), pretty much any bilingual person may carry it out. Despite this relative laxity in the requirements for a certified translation, we recommend that you use a professional translator, preferable one with membership to a recognised translation institute. The American Translators Association, as the name would suggest, is well-known in the United States, and a certified translation carried out by one of its members would guarantee acceptance with any American organisation. Many of our freelancers are members of the ATA, so we always meet your needs when it comes to official translators required for use in the United States. Just get in touch if this applies to you. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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