Hi Folks. My interview and test are coming up in a few weeks and I was going to preemptively have some passport stamps for both my wife and I translated just in case they ask for that. The stamps that need to be translated are the exact same in both mine and my wife's passports since we took the same trips. Do I need to have them translated once for me and once for her or will just one translation be ok for both?
The instructions clearly state that any document containing information that is not in one of the official languages needs to be accompanied by a proper, authenticated translation when it is submitted or presented to IRCC. So, IRCC is asking for the translation.
And of course there is NO way authentication of one document can constitute authentication of a different document no matter how similar they are. So, no, the translation of one passport will NOT suffice as a translation of the other. (And, as I recall, subject to confirmation by others, individual adults are interviewed separately, not together, even if they are spouses.)
That said, IRCC does NOT uniformly apply the policy or practice of requiring translations, and apparently especially so when the only non-official language information is contained in passport stamps. Many take their chances and go to the interview without a translation (I did this), and for many this was NO problem (not a problem for me), but many others are required to obtain and submit a proper, authenticated translation.
(which is repetitive as to the above observations):
To be clear, in the process of applying for citizenship the instructions clearly state that any document containing information that is not in one of the official languages needs to be accompanied by a proper, authenticated translation when it is submitted or presented to IRCC. That is, IRCC is asking for the translation.
That is, if you follow the instructions, you will bring proper, authenticated translations for any document which contains information that is in a language other than Canada's official languages (French and English).
When in doubt, follow the instructions. Otherwise, yep, follow the instructions.
And, again, following the instructions means bringing a proper, authenticated translation to the interview for any passport which contains information that is not in one of the official languages. The translation of one passport does not constitute a translation of another passport NO matter how similar the information in them is.
That said, again this is NOT uniformly enforced
. Indeed, many, many applicants do not bring a translation of passport stamps to the test/interview. And many encounter NO PROBLEM, no request to submit a translation, NOT even any mention of the stamps during the interview. As I noted, including me.
BUT there is no doubt about the instructions, even though they do not refer specifically to passports let alone passport stamps. They refer to all documents
. And this generally applies for almost ALL types of applications submitted to IRCC, that ANY documents not in an official language must be accompanied by a proper translation. And of course many of those who appear for the interview without a translation are required to obtain and submit a translation, tending to delay the process at least a month or three, sometimes longer.
And make no mistake, if there is a reason why the interviewer is enforcing the requirement, there is a significant chance that means the interviewer has taken note the applicant is someone who is NOT following the instructions (taking note at least mentally if not in written notes in the file), at least in part. So even if the only thing the applicant is told is to obtain and submit the translation, there is a significant risk the applicant's credibility is somewhat compromised.
Overall: The instructions are uniform: bring a translation. But again, as to passport stamps this is NOT uniformly enforced.
Thus there tends to some confusion about this. The confusion is aggravated by the tendency of some to give advice based on their personal experience. "I did not have a translation and I had no problem, so it is 'likely to be fine' if you do not bring a translation.
Perhaps NOT wrong in terms of numbers. It may very well be that most of those who go to the interview without a proper translation are, indeed, fine. Which makes "likely to be fine" true. BUT wrong in terms of offering competent advice. For prudent applicants, "likely to be fine" is NO where near good enough. (It is correct to say, to a person contemplating playing Russian Roulette, it is "likely you will be fine." Indeed, the odds of no problem are better than 85%. But that would be very stupid advice.)
Whether or not a translation will be required for a particular applicant can depend on various factors. In many situations it is predictable. Some one way, some the other. In many situations it is not easily predictable.
It does NOT depend on the instructions. The instructions state to provide the translation.
It depends on multiple factors but of course it is probable that the most common and determining factor is whether the passport stamps are (1) a focus of attention (for whatever reason; they often are NOT, especially where there is no concerns at all about meeting the presence requirement) and whether (2) the stamps are easily understood without a translation. Other factors probably include whether the interviewer is confident the applicant is honest and credible, the number of stamps with information not in English or French, and whether the interviewer or responsible Citizenship Officer or the particular local office is employing a more strict practice (temporarily or as a general policy; immigration officials often employ questions-of-the-week, or month, to in effect increase focused screening). And of course spot-checking is always possible. Among other things which can influence such decision-making.
Additionally, the language involved probably makes a difference, even though the instructions only distinguish between the Canadian official languages versus all other languages. Those employing a significantly different alphabet and especially different characters are, obviously, less easily deciphered without a translation.
Which leads to my personal experience:
In my own application process I understood the instructions but calculated that the few stamps I had which included some language in Western European languages other than French were easily understood, and I had a margin of presence over the minimum by more than 300 days, and most of my somewhat numerous trips abroad were merely driving trips to the U.S. in my own vehicle registered to the same Canadian address I had lived at since landing more than five years previously (contrary to some opinion, frequent travel can actually bolster the strength of a case when it shows a pattern consistent with a life being lived in Canada). And actually my interview was scheduled much sooner than I anticipated (at that time, many routinely process applications were taking 18 to 24 months, and I got the notice to attend both the interview and oath less than eight months after I applied), and I had forgotten about getting a translation. So I took my chances. Fairly confident there would be no problem. Understanding, however, that I was NOT doing what I preach, which as I stated above and often state: "When in doubt, follow the instructions. Otherwise, yep, follow the instructions.
And of course I was prepared for the possibility that I would be asked to provide a translation.
I do not offer my personal, anecdotal experience to suggest this is how it will go for anyone else. And definitely NOT to encourage or advise anyone else to do similarly. Rather, it is to illustrate the thinking process I had when suddenly, unexpectedly I was scheduled to attend the interview. I had barely a week's notice (which was common back then; it appears applicants get notice more in advance these days).
Each individual needs to approach these matters based on their own, personal best judgment.
Just do not be misled by advice assuring it will be OK based on personal experience. How this goes varies. How this goes depends.