August 21

Certified Translation Services in Singapore – an overview

Singapore is a modern international hub. Its phenomenon growth over the past few decades has made Singapore a very attractive location for many foreigners to visit, work and live here. With its business-friendly environment, Singapore is a popular choice for Asia-pacific HQ for many global businesses. With its affluence and tech-savvy population, Singapore is a testbed of choice for many inventive business ideas before their global launch.

With professionals, entrepreneurs, and MNC businesses from around the world settling in this little red dot, we see a continuous and steady growth of a huge multinational community here in Singapore. They bring many interesting international perspectives, food, cultures, way of life and most importantly, their language.

It is a requirement that personal documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and educational qualifications such as degrees and diplomas must be submitted when applying for a visa to stay or work in Singapore. These documents must be translated into English. As these documents originate from foreign countries, often, they are written in their different native languages.

Translation of documents, therefore, is an important activity in Singapore. Not all translation agencies can provide certified translation services in Singapore. As such, they may not be aware of the stringent translation requirements from government agencies in Singapore. Before you think about hiring a translation agency for your work, you must know their field of expertise.

For example, suppose you are applying for Permanent residency or citizenship in Singapore from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA). In that case, there are specific requirements for documents to be submitted and translated. There is also a mandatory requirement for the translation to be certified, notarized and authenticated. If the translation agency is unfamiliar with this process, your submission will most likely be rejected. Freelance translators are also not equipped to provide an official certified translation that the authorities would accept.  

The rule of thumb is that if the documents are not in the English language, they need to be translated. If you wish to know more information, you can visit the following link:

To give you an overview of what to take note of when looking for certified translation services in Singapore, we have listed a few pointers below.

New Requirements for Certified Translation Submission

Since October 2019, for the submission of documents for visa to stay or to work in Singapore, for PR or citizenship application, and the general submission of translated documents to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), you will require your translation to be done by a certified translation agency. The agency will be able to provide you with a Certificate of Translation Accuracy.

The translated document and the Certificate of Translation Accuracy will need to be Notarized by a Notary public and then authenticated by the Singapore Academy of law (SAL). With Singapore becoming the regional hub and expatriates relocating for career options, getting PR or citizenship is paramount. 

It is important that the translation agency you use is familiar with the translated document submission process and can provide certified translation services in Singapore. The importance of knowing the submission requirements is paramount. One can understand the importance of translation service providers who are experts in translating the supporting documents furnished by clients. Their access to legal partners familiar with the notarization and authentication process of the document also minimizes the chances of the documents being rejected by the authorities.

Certified translation services include:

  • Identity Cards
  • Marriage Certificates
  • Death certificates
  • Birth certificates
  • Divorce certificates
  • Christening certificate
  • Last wills and testaments
  • Immigration documents
  • Power of attorney
  • Police Clearance Report
  • Family registration booklets
  • Deed poll
  • Education Certificates
  • Academic Transcripts
  • Payslips
  • Bank transactions
  • Driver’s License
  • Medical Report
  • Any other official document required by Singapore Government

Some major languages translated frequently in Singapore are Chinese, Malay, Japanese, Korean, English, Tamil, Portuguese, and French-German, among others.

Get your request for translation online

You can get your documents translated from the comfort of your own home. To make it convenient and seamless for new arrivals to get their documents translated, you can use the online services available by translation agencies like Lingua Technologies International

You can fill up their online inquiry form, and one of their consultants will contact you to advise you on the requirements and processes. To make it simpler for you, all you need to do is to scan or take a picture of the documents to be translated and email it to them. After receiving the documents by email, the translation agency will verify them and provide you with a quotation. The charges are usually based on the number of words to be translated, and it is also dependent on the language requested. Please note that in many cases, there may be minimum charges incurred.

Once you are agreeable to the fees, the translation process will commence. A reliable translation agency will also work with their legal partners to help you with the Notarization and Authentication process. These two processes are mandatory and must be handled by a Notary Public, and fees for notarization and authentication are charged separately by the Notary Public.

Once the translation, certification, notarization and authentication have been done, you can choose to have the documents delivered to your home or collect them at the translation agency or the Notary Public’s office. Please note that a delivery fee is applicable.

Accredited and Certified Translation Service Only

Translation from accredited certified translation services in Singapore is accepted by government agencies such as HDB, ICA, IRAS, MoM, ACRA, etc., and all legal and official documents are accepted if they are certified. Universities, schools, and other educational institutes also require certified translated documents.

Although these government agencies and authorities do not publicly endorse translation agencies or individuals, the chances of rejection will be minimized if you work with a translation agency accredited with a globally recognized standard like ISO 17100 certification.


Certified translation provides a Certification of Translation Accuracy backed by ISO 17100 standard declaring that the contents of the documents are translated accurately and faithful to the source document. It is a true representation of the document in the original language. This can only be done with a professional translation agency with the backing of a solid, globally recognized translation standard.

 Price may be a huge consideration for many, but when your submissions are rejected, again and again, you waste precious time achieving your goal of working and staying in Singapore. Your standing with the authorities might also be eroded significantly as well. Make the right choice today.

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