All Spanish residence visa application documents must be translated into Spanish by a certified Spanish translator. But what, exactly, is a “certified” translator, and how is a certified translator different from the Spanish speaking mom of that kid on your kid’s soccer team? So glad you asked.
A “certified translator,” also known as a “sworn translator” or even “legal translator” are individuals officially recognized by the nation(s) that have certified them. Their translations follow a precise protocol and are considered official and acceptable by legal authorities in that country.
As with just about every other official individual or entity in Spain, certified translators have — you guessed it — an official stamp. Each page of every translation will bear their stamp and their signature. The final page of each document will also include a copy of their oath or a legend declaring that their translation is a complete and faithful representation of the original.
Your translator can be located anywhere in the world, so long as they have that official seal. If you want to work with one specifically in the United States, jump directly to page 610, where you’ll find the start of the individuals and business entities who translate from English to Spanish based in the States.
If any of your original documents were issued in a language other than English, you’re in luck. This list contains translators working all over the world across a variety of languages, including German (alemán), French (francés), Italian (italiano) and even one individual who will translate from Korean (coreano). Of course, this document itself is written in Spanish, so you’ll need to search for the language in question using the Spanish word for that language. Then scroll through the pages to see where (which country) the translator who works in that specific language is located.
I recommend interviewing at least two people, preferably three. Be sure to tell them your time frame, the number of people on your application and, ideally, make sure they have experience translating documents specifically for visa and immigration purposes. Their familiarity with the process will help, as they might catch an error or omission on your part.
Once you get a good feel for someone, ask for a quote and turn around time. Most translators charge by the page. Some are more forgiving than others as far as charging full cost for pages that are almost identical, such as Apostille seals, which will literally only vary in name and record number. Finally, verify their delivery protocols. Ideally documents are relayed through a secure, shared cloud drive. No need to be picking up and dropping off documents in person.