How to Sponsor your Spouse for Canadian Immigration - Part 3

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This series will help you discover how you can sponsor your spouse for Canadian Immigration. Part 3 will focus on "Translating Documents: who, what, and how".

Canada’s spousal sponsorship program is available to a spouse, common-law partner, or a conjugal partner of a Canadian citizen, Canadian permanent resident or Indian under the Canadian Indian Act. The end goal is to obtain permanent residence for the spouse, common-law partner, or a conjugal partner.

If you missed it, Part 1 discussed,  "Who is eligible to be sponsored and who may sponsor". Part 2 discussed, "Where to Start - Gathering Evidence and Documents Required".

Translating Documents for Canadian Immigration 

Translating documents for Canadian immigration is very important. When people choose to do the immigration application themselves, a mistake in translation is a common reason why the application is returned. 

What documents need to be translated for a spousal (or common-law) sponsorship application?

Any documents that are not in English or French must be translated.

What must translated documents include? 

Unless your document checklist specifies otherwise, each translated document must include the following: 

  • A certified copy of the original document; and 
  • The English or French translation; and, sometimes,
  • An affidavit from the person who completed the translation (see below for when this is necessary). 

What is a certified true copy? 

A certified true copy of a document is a photocopy of a document that is certified by an authorized person. 

The authorized person compares the original document to the photocopy and must print the following on the photocopy: 

  • "I certify that this a true copy of the original document",
  • the name of the original document 
  • the date of the certification 
  • their name
  • their official position or title, and 
  • their signature. 

Who is authorized to certify copies of documents for Canadian immigration purposes? 

In canada: 

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

Outside of Canada:

  • a notary public 

Who may and may not translate documents for Canadian immigration purposes?

Translations may be done by: 

  • A certified translator (a member in good standing of a provincial or territorial organization or translators and interpreters in Canada)
  • Someone who is not a certified translator (so long as this person is not related to the applicant). A person that translates a document but is not a certified translator must submit an affidavit, as outlined below. 

Translations may NOT be done by a related party, including:

  • the applicant
  • applicant’s parent
  • guardian
  • sibling
  • spouse
  • common-law partner
  • conjugal partner, grandparent
  • child
  • aunt
  • uncle
  • niece
  • nephew
  • first cousin.

Who is considered a certified translator? 

A certified translator is a member in good standing of a provincial or territorial association of translators and interpreters in Canada. For example and to search their directory, please see: 

When searching the directories listed in the websites above, select the language that you wish to translate and under certification status, select "certified". 

If my document is translated by someone who is not certified, what must their affidavit of translation include? 

Their affidavit must include the following:

  • A statement confirming that they are not related to the applicant. 
  • A statement swearing the accuracy of the translation. 
  • A statement describing the language proficiency of the translator. 

The affidavit must be sworn in the presence of:

In Canada:

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

Outside of Canada:

  • a notary public

The steps to translating documents are: 

Step 1

Obtain a certified true copy.

Step 2 

Translate the document.

Step 3

Obtain an affidavit from the person who completed the translation if the translation was not done by a certified translator. 

To summarize, when translating documents, you have two options: 

Option 1:

Translation is done by a certified translator (a member in good standing of a provincial or territorial association of translators and interpretrs in Canada). You must submit the following:

  • certified copy of the original document; and
  • The English or French translation, and

Option 2:

If the translation is NOT done by a certified translator (a member in good standing of a provincial or territorial association of translators and interpreters in Canada):

  • certified copy of the original document; and
  • The English or French translation, and
  • An affidavit from the person who completed the translation.

What's Next? 

Part 4 of How to Sponsor your Spouse for Canadian Immigration will discuss "Planning Ahead - Processing Time and Strategy for Inland vs Outland Applications". Stayed tuned. 

 


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