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The Power of Translations for Successful Immigration in Canada

Updated: Jul 25, 2023

Immigrant couple in Canadian streets holding Canadian flags
Newcomers to Canada

Canada, with its welcoming attitude towards immigrants, offers a plethora of opportunities for those seeking to build a new life within its borders. As a country with two official languages, English and French, the process of immigration involves translating important legal documents to ensure seamless communication and compliance with the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). In this article, we will explore the most common legal documents that immigrants need to translate for immigration purposes with IRCC, including driver's licenses, birth certificates, marriage certificates, transcripts and passports. Additionally, we will explain how to find a reliable translation service, the process of notarization or the use of commissioners of oaths, and we will highlight the difference between certified and notarized translations.

Driver's License

For newcomers to Canada, obtaining a Canadian driver's license is often necessary for everyday life and employment opportunities. Immigrants with a foreign driver's license must have it translated into English or French before presenting it to the relevant provincial authorities. This translation allows the government to assess driving history, making it easier for applicants to apply for their Canadian license.

Birth Certificate

A birth certificate is a fundamental document in any immigration process, as it verifies the applicant's identity and familial ties. Immigrants must translate their birth certificates to meet IRCC's requirements and ensure they can prove their relationship to any accompanying family members during their application process.

Marriage Certificate

Married immigrants planning to reunite with their spouse in Canada must present a translated marriage certificate to IRCC. This document is crucial in establishing the validity of the marriage and allows immigration officials to process spousal sponsorship applications smoothly. A marriage certificate is also required for couples applying together for study permit, work permit or permanent residence.


Students seeking to continue their education in Canada must translate their academic transcripts to showcase their previous qualifications and academic achievements. Translations of transcripts enable IRCC to assess an applicant's eligibility for educational programs or work opportunities in the country. The Canadian educational institutions often require the transcripts in order to assess applications and issue a letter of acceptance.


When immigrating to Canada, individuals need to submit their passports as part of their application process. For passports issued in languages other than English or French, certified translations are essential to facilitate the examination of identity, travel history, and visa requirements.

Finding a Reliable Translation Service

To ensure accurate translations that comply with IRCC's guidelines, immigrants must seek the services of a reputable translation agency in Canada. Agencies like FL Translation boast certified translators in good standing with IRCC and have strong partnerships with the best notaries and Commissioners of Oaths in Calgary. Their expertise will guarantee precise translations for all the legal documents, streamlining the immigration journey.

FL Translations Contact Information
FL Translations

Notarizing a Translation or Using a Commissioner of Oaths

Notarization of a translation involves an additional step to ensure the accuracy and authenticity of the translated document. A notary public certifies the translator's signature on the document, confirming its accuracy. Alternatively, using a commissioner of oaths involves having the translator swear an oath on the document's accuracy, which is then signed and stamped. Both notarization and the use of commissioners of oaths add an extra layer of credibility to the translated documents and are often requested by IRCC.

Certified Translations vs. Notarized Translations

According to IRCC, a certified translation is a document translated by "a certified translator who is a member in good standing and 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", such as the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO) or the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Alberta (ATIA).

On the other hand, a notarized translation is done by a competent translator who is not a member of any professional translation association in Canada. This translation requires an additional step of certification by a notary public or commissioner of oaths. While both types of translations are accepted by IRCC, the choice between them depends on the specific requirements of the immigration process.

Application for a Permanent Resident Card Form
Immigration Documents

In the pursuit of a successful immigration journey to Canada, accurate translation of legal documents is of paramount importance. As IRCC adheres to stringent guidelines, choosing a reliable translation service like FL Translation ensures your documents meet the necessary standards. Precise translations of driver's licenses, birth certificates, marriage certificates, transcripts, passports, and other legal documents will facilitate the application process, enabling applicants to embrace the opportunities Canada has to offer with confidence.

Embrace the power of quality translations, and open the door to your new life in Canada

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