I am submitting the online Canada visa and they require the documents to be translated;

The digital documents must be provided in either English or French.

My documents are all in Portuguese.

Some of the documents I only have in paper, like the marriage certificate. How do I translate it? Should I type everything in Word? Should I scan the original document and put translate "balloons" on it?


  • 2
    Not sure about Canada, but US Embassies often have a list of certified translation services to use when translating local documents to submit to the embassy or consulate. You might check with your nearby Canadian consular office to see if they also maintain such a list. – user13044 Nov 17 '15 at 2:54

From experience with two successful Canadian vistior visa applications at the Moscow office:

I've provided scans of original (Russian) documents, plus translations. Everything was combined into one PDF file (actually one file per section of the application, with a short table of contents for the longer sections). Most of the translations were just separately-typed Word documents. However, for some documents which had a lot of information but only some of the information was relevant (e.g. paystubs), I used the "balloon" method.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Did you provide officially translated documents with affidavit from the person who completed the translation? – Aleksey Masny Feb 6 '16 at 20:41
  • 1
    For one or two of the documents we happened to have official/certified translations so we submitted these. For most documents, however, I just translated myself (e.g. lots of documents in proof of employment/proof of income sections). If I remember correctly, officially certified translations are not a requirement for the electronic visa application (which is what we did), they were only required for a paper application. My experience was from over a year ago, rules may have changed since then. – Eugene O Feb 8 '16 at 7:10
  • 2
    My guess (and this is only a guess): There are enough people in the Canadian visa office at Moscow who know enough Russian to verify a translation in case any doubt arises. They still require you to provide a translation for record-keeping purposes only (e.g. if a decision later needs to be reviewed by someone else) – Eugene O Feb 8 '16 at 7:13

Canadian immigration will only accept documents that have been translated by a certified translator. Otherwise, how would they know that a self-translated document is truthful?

From Applying for Visitor Visa:

Any document that is not in English or French must be accompanied by

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

Translations may be done by a person who is fluent in both languages (English or French and the unofficial language). If the translation is not provided by a member in good standing of a provincial or territorial organization of translators and interpreters in Canada, the translation must be accompanied by an affidavit swearing to the accuracy of the translation and the language proficiency of the translator.

Important information: Translations must not be done by the applicants themselves nor by members of the applicant’s family. Family member is defined as being a: parent, guardian, sibling, spouse, common-law partner, grandparent, child, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew and first cousin.

| improve this answer | |
  • I can't find a reference right now, but I'm pretty sure that the translation rules were far less strict for those eligible to apply online (as opposed to a paper application). – Eugene O Nov 17 '15 at 5:44

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.