With over 850 million native speakers, Chinese is the native language for more people in the world than any other language. Chinese is the official language of the People’s Republic of China (including Hong Kong and Macau) and Republic of China (Taiwan). Standard Chinese is also one of the four official languages of Singapore. In addition, Chinese is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. All official UN documents are available in Chinese.
Chinese immigrants in the United States
There were about 1.6 million persons of Chinese origin residing in the USA in 2008. After the Mexicans, Filipinos and Indians, Chinese constitute the fourth largest immigrant group in the USA. In 2009, Chinese constituted the second largest immigrant group, which was granted permanent residence in the United States. From 2006 to 2009, on an average 77,117 Chinese citizens have obtained permanent resident status. Majority of the persons of Chinese origin are settled in the states of California and New York.
Who issues birth certificates in China?
In China, the documentation of births has been in practice since ancient times. In the past births were registered for tax reasons and also to give the government a headcount of available manpower for military service.
When a child is born, a medical certificate of birth or birth verification record is issued to the family by the hospital. Using this certificate, the family has to apply to the local Public Notary Office (Chinese: 公证处 Pinyin:gōng zhèng chù) for a Notarized birth certificate. This Notarized birth certificate (GongZhengShu 公证书) is the one that is accepted by the US authorities. The Public Notary office is an agency of the Ministry of Justice of the People's Republic of China and its offices are situated in all major Chinese cities and rural county seats. The Public Notary is responsible for certifying documents as per Chinese law. Certification done by the Public Notary office include birth certificates, household/family registration documents, identity cards, police records, driver’s license, property deeds, power of attorney, etc.
China has a long history of family household registration. These have been in existence since 2,100 BC. Hukou (户口) is the system of household/family registration for mainland China. Special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau do not follow the Hukou system. The household registration record (户籍誊本) is issued to all families and it includes births, deaths, marriages, divorce, etc.
Why is a Chinese to English certified translation of birth certificate required?
Chinese applicants, who wish to immigrate to the USA, must submit Chinese to English certified translation of their birth certificate to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Not just for the USCIS, the Chinese certified translation of the birth certificate is also required for colleges, schools, and other public and private organizations.
Content of Chinese Birth Certificate
A typical Chinese birth certificate has the first, middle and last name of the child, gender of the child, date and place of birth, father’s and mother’s names, name and title of signing authority and name of certificate issuing government agency.
In addition to the above, some Chinese birth certificates have father and mother’s ages, nationality, address and profession. The birth certificate may also have information regarding grandparents.
What if an applicant does not have their Chinese Birth Certificate?
If the birth certificate was not notarized by the Public Notary Office, the applicant can take his/her household/family registration booklet and id and apply to the Public Notary Office for a notarized birth certificate. If despite this, the applicant is unable to get the birth certificate, the applicant should attempt to obtain a certificate issued by the local public Security Bureau certifying that the original birth certificate is not available. The Department of Homeland Security, Homeland and Naturalization Service allow secondary evidence and affidavits to be submitted. These rules are covered under 8 CFR 103.2(b)(2). The rule also states how to demonstrate a record is not available. Examples of secondary evidence of birth are an adoption decree, a school record, a baptismal certificate, notarized affidavit from a close relative (parent, close relative, friend or neighbor who was present at the time of birth). The person making the affidavit must state how he/she knows the facts of your birth and how he/she knows your family. The secondary evidence must contain the applicants name, date of birth, place of birth, both parents’ names and seal of the issuing office.
Chinese to English certified translation services that we provide.
At The Certified Translation our teams of professional Standard Chinese to English language translators specialize in documents that are required by the United States government and other US based public and private organizations. Since we have vast experience in translating documents for US organizations like the USCIS, colleges, schools, courts, etc, we create certified translations of birth certificates in the format that is mandated by these organizations. The US government certification requirements are documented in Federal Regulations (8 CFR 103.2(b)(2)) which relates to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Immigration Regulations/Powers and Duties – Availability of Records.
As per USCIS requirements, our Chinese translators will certify that the Chinese to English translation of the birth certificate is both accurate and complete. Our translators will also certify that they are competent to translate from Chinese and any of the other Chinese languages.
Birth certificate format required by the USCIS.
The US State department’s Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) lays down the format of the birth certificate translation which applicants who want to immigrate to the USA must provide. FAM specifies the documents required and available from each country All the below information must be included in the birth certificate.
- Applicant's full name, including first, middle and last names
- Applicant’s date of birth (Month, Day and Year)
- Place of birth (City, Province/State/District/Region , Country)
- Mother’s full name (first name, middle name, last name). No initials
- Father’s full name (first name, middle name, last name). No initials
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