Translation of visa documents (for embassies and consulates)
When applying for a visa of a foreign country, it is very often necessary to submit a number of your documents to the embassy or consulate of that country. Although embassy staff will usually know and speak Russian well, they may require that your documents be translated into English or the official language of the country whose visa is to be obtained. It is not always necessary to have a quality translation of your documents. For example, for a Schengen visa, it is sufficient to submit the originals of your documents in Italy. In addition, many countries issue short-term visas as soon as you cross the border and your passport, which has already been translated into English, is sufficient.
What documents do embassies and consulates require for a visa?
Your passport and a certificate of income are most often required to prove your ability to pay when you are in a foreign country. The proof of income can be replaced or supplemented by all kinds of bank statements, certificates of employment, tax returns, etc. In order to obtain the student visa, it is obligatory to submit the student card or certificate from the place of studies. Pensioners are required to submit a pension certificate.
If you are sending your child abroad unaccompanied by one or both parents, a notarial consent of one or two parents for the departure of the child, and possibly a power of attorney on the accompanying person will be required in order to obtain the visa. These documents must be translated into a foreign language and notarised.
The list of required documents always includes a certificate of criminal record. The certificate is valid for 6 months. The translation of the certificate must be filed with the original document and notarised.
The exact list of required documents should always be checked with the embassy or consulate of the country where they will be applied for. These institutions work within the legislation of their country and the laws may vary considerably from country to country. Only the countries that have concluded a Schengen Agreement between them have more or less the same requirements.
How are translations of documents produced for consulates?
In addition to specifying the exact list of documents required, you should clarify straight away whether a translation of these documents is required or whether the originals in Russian are sufficient. If you need a translation into English or a translation into the official language of the country where the documents are to be submitted, it is imperative that you specify the rules for making these translations. It is also necessary to clarify the rules of making such translations. Our Bureau of notarial translations often faces different requirements. Some consulates require notarized translations and some require only the translator’s signature on the document. Some embassies only require the translation to be laced to the photocopy of the original document, others require the translation to be laced only to the notarized copy of the document.
In order not to pay extra money and not to waste time, it is better to clarify all requirements at the official websites of the consulates, and most reliably still get advice on these issues by telephone secretaries of these foreign institutions.
Even in the Schengen Area, the requirements of the consulates differ considerably. The rules for submitting documents to the embassies of the neighbouring countries, e.g. the Czech Republic and Germany, differ considerably. At the German embassy, things are much stricter. Not to mention the unique requirements of the Greek consulate. The US embassy has special requirements for the submission of documents.
Do I have to have an apostille stamped?
As a rule, you do not need an apostille for foreign visas. It is needed to facilitate the legalisation of your documents abroad. This is the case for your employment or for admission to an institution of higher education abroad. The apostille procedure is quite time-consuming and not the cheapest, so be sure to check the requirements in advance.