Marriage certificates are documents that are issued by authorities in almost every country in the world. They are almost universally printed or written in the official language of the country in which the marriage took place. This is fine until an individual or couple who are married seek to travel and reside, work or study in a country where their own native language is not used. It is almost uniform that authorities in the country to which the married individual or couple travels to requires the certificate if needed to be presented, to be translated in that country’s own official language.
For example, if a German couple were married in Germany it is a foregone conclusion that their German marriage certificate is printed in German. If either of the couple or both, travel to Australia for work purposes, they will need a German marriage certificate translation when they apply for a work or residence visa.
The reverse would be true too. If an Australian couple seek work in Germany or Austria, then their marriage certificate printed in English would need to be translated into German before their visas are approved.
Why are Marriage Certificates so Important?
In this day and age, orthodox marriages between a man and a woman are becoming increasingly less common. Many couples choose to remain unmarried as cohabiting partners, or same-sex marriages or relationships occur. In some societies, there may be no official documentation of traditional marriage and yet the actual relationship is still a real one. It is important for any couple who have a relationship, whether they are married or not, to check the requirements if travelling to another country for residence, work or study.
Many countries these days allow a variety of relationships but may insist on a couple proving that the relationship is a genuine one. A formal marriage certificate provides proof of an ongoing relationship and may be necessary when only one person in the marriage is applying for the principal visa. The regulations in place may allow the other partner to accompany the principal applicant as long as there is proof of a genuine relationship as could be provided by the submission of a marriage certificate.
In addition to immigration, there are many other reasons why marriage certificates are important. Tax authorities, health and social welfare departments, as well as employers and educational institutions may all require individuals and couples to show the nature of their relationship such as a marriage certificate. Standard practice for all these agencies and organisations is to cite certified marriage certificate translations or affidavit translations of marriage certificates.
Certification of Marriage Certificates
Each individual country, state, employer or other organisation has its own standards and regulations for all documentation required to be shown, including marriage certificates. It is hard to generalise because of this level of variation so it must be emphasised that any couple who are aware that their marital relationship is important should determine just what they have to do before submitting their important personal documents.
In Australia, every official translation, e.g. a German marriage certificate translation, must be completed by an accredited translator or professionally qualified translator. Australian translators who are qualified to offer German marriage certificate translations are all accredited by the country’s own accreditation authority, NAATI, but translations performed outside Australia re recognised as long as they have been done by an equivalent professional translator.
All translations of marriage certificates or affidavit translations of marriage certificates must themselves be certified by the translator performing the translation. This is to confirm that the translation is a true and accurate translation of the original certificate.