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Written by Javier Arizpe

September 23, 2020

Documents you need to translate to live abroad


If you are looking for opportunities outside your country or have plans to study or live abroad, it is essential to have the necessary documentation to process any legal paperwork during your stay.


Most of the documents required by authorities must be translated, if the official language in that country is different from yours, and this translation must be done by a certified translator.

Emigrating implies much more than the desire to leave your country. In fact, legal procedures are sometimes the first obstacle people face, and in some cases can be an instant discouragement.

And if you are a few steps away from setting out on this new life adventure, here is a list of the documents you need to translate to process any paperwork abroad; I assure you that it will be easier than you think.


Birth certificate

In order to process the lawfulness and in many cases, to study at a foreign university, your translated birth certificate will be required.


Identity document, passport and visas

Depending on the destination, you may need one of these documents. Verify the requirements of the paperwork you are processing so you don’t translate additional documents that you won’t need.


Driver’s license

In some countries, this license is accepted internationally; however, it may need to be translated. Of course, you must always remember to carry this document along with the original card in case it is required.


Criminal record certificate

To be able to settle, study and apply for a job in some countries, it is necessary to present your criminal record certificate. As it should be effective abroad, this document will have to be legalized and then translated.


Medical Certificate or Health Card

Another essential and obligatory document is your health card, as it indicates if you suffer from a chronic condition, illness or failure. You may also be asked for a vaccination card and medical exams. As in the ones above, it must be translated by a professional in the area, such as a certified translator.



Whether it’s a work or study diploma, this is another document that you can’t miss on your list. In some cases, academic transcripts, course certificates or other related documents are also requested.

The list ends here because these are the most common documents, but depending on your case, other documents could be requested.

I know that requesting these documents in different agencies and then proceeding with the search of a certified translator may seem as a long and tedious process, but you just have to be patient. You will see that when you get all the translations of the list you will feel closer to your destiny. Good luck!


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