Key Documents You Should Translate Before A Trip

Key Documents You Should Translate Before A Trip

Leaving aside arguments about the necessity of leaving the comfort zone, the reason most people feel anxious about traveling is that it means leaving an environment they are used to, which they feel comfortable navigating, and in which they know how to solve problems should they appear. When abandoning a familiar environment, we become somewhat exposed and vulnerable.

When we don’t speak any of the official languages of the destination country, this anxiety is on an entirely different level. Fortunately, we can address this anxiety as well as potential problems abroad by preparing in advance. One way to do this is to ensure that all our important documents are both readable and legally valid abroad.

What Documents Might Require Translation?

Obviously, the types of documents you will need to depend entirely on the purpose of the trip. Tourists require an entirely different set of documents compared to seasonal workers, immigrants, or asylum seekers. Once you know the list that applies in your case, you should learn why translating and legalizing some of them might be beneficial.

Depending on the country you intend to visit and your citizenship or status, you might learn that your documents require a certified translation and authentication/ legalization, including through apostillation or equivalent procedures.

One standard procedure to ensure the documents are recognized by the destination country is to have them translated by the local embassy of the respective country or by translation agencies listed by this embassy. Yet, depending on the agreements between countries, the documents could be translated by any locally certified translator. The translations could be authenticated by any notary, which often results in significantly lower prices, especially if you have to do this with more documents. You could also delegate certain tasks to the best online translation agencies after reviewing their credentials and deciding on the agency that suits best your needs. The advantage with these online agencies is that they are well adapted to working with clients regardless of geography, so you could count on their help also when staying in the destination country.

Among the documents that might require translation and authentication/ legalization are the following:
  • Documents related to your visa or immigration application, for instance, important civil documents, such as birth or marriage certificates for you or your family members, etc.
  • Documents that confirm the purpose of the trip, for instance, the invitation for participation in an event (in case it has been received in a language different from the local one), the confirmed list of speakers or participants in an event if you are among them, etc.
  • Documents demonstrating that you have sufficient funds for the anticipated duration of stay, for instance, a bank statement, a scholarship award letter, a declaration of financial support, etc.
  • Proof of accommodation, for instance, a hotel booking, a valid rental contract, etc.
  • The immunization card stating your vaccination status and in particular, the Covid-19 vaccination certificate, especially now, when many countries haven't agreed yet on a standard form and are only discussing the introduction of Covid passports.
  • The parents’ consent for traveling in case of minors.
Key Documents You Should Translate Before A Trip

Final Remarks

Having your important documents translated should make you feel less vulnerable and hence, more confident abroad. In many cases, you will have to translate these documents anyway at a later time, so why not do it earlier and take advantage of it? Although you shouldn’t have any problems with professional translators, it is good to know that typical requirements for any translation include: a statement from the translator confirming that the translation of the original document is accurate and doesn’t contain insertions, deletions, modifications, etc., the full name of the translator, his/her contact details, the date on which the translation was made, and the translator’s signature.


Melony has vast experience working as a content writer for several academic assistance platforms. She wrote essays and documented papers in STEM and humanitarian disciplines, marketing, etc. Currently, she shares the accumulated knowledge through a series of posts. This involves writing advice as well as tips for building a career in the content writing industry.


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