You’ve seen it before, a translated document that has a big, bold stamp or seal on it. It may make you feel reassured to see it there, but it’s not necessary for USCIS or even for most US institutions. The standard US requirement for a translation is that it be certified. Always be sure to ask the requirements of the place to which you are submitting the translation. Specifically, do they need the translation to be just certified or certified and also notarized? It’s important to understand the difference… basically, stamp or no stamp.
Typically, the only time you will see a stamp on a translation is if the document is notarized by a notary public. In this case, the translator will do the work, certify it, and then sign his/her signature in front of a notary. It’s a misconception that the notary public is verifying the accuracy of the translation. They are not. They may not even be able to read the original document or the translation. They are only verifying the identity of the person who is signing it. This process is what makes the document both certified and notarized, and the stamp would be that of the notary.
We get the following question a lot: “Do certified translations require a stamp?” No, they don’t. A certified translation means that the translator has added a statement to the document verifying his/her fluency in the source and target language, as well as the accuracy of the translation. The certification will also include the translator’s signature, the date, and the translation company’s contact details. At Rev, we call this a certification box. So, while it won’t have a stamp, it will have a certification box and it will be a certified translation.
Next, we get the following question: “Will USCIS accept it if it doesn’t have a stamp?” They sure will. USCIS requires all foreign documents to be submitted as certified translations. Neither a notarized translation nor an original copy is required when working with the USCIS.