TN 98 (08-23)

GN 00301.445 Translating Types of Evidence

A. Introduction to translating types of evidence

We require translation for types of foreign documents frequently submitted to SSA as evidence. This section includes descriptions of some of the types of documents we may receive.

B. Procedure for translating types of evidence

1. Certificates issued by the International Refugee Organization (IRO) and religious missions in Germany

The IRO, formed in 1948, was a continuation of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), which started in 1943. The Office of the United Nations' High Commissioner for Refugees superseded the IRO in 1951.

IRO issued two basic types of documents to refugees:

  • photocopies of originals from IRO files; and

  • certificates based on the testimony of other refugees.

Generally, German religious missions issue certificates based on the testimony of other refugees as proof of age or marital status.

  • Translate the same information we require for age or marriage, depending upon the type of proof.

  • Include identifying information given about the witnesses and the basis for their knowledge. Such information can be important in evaluating their testimony.

2. Affidavits or other statements

When translating affidavits or other statements, show:

  • all identifying information about the informant;

  • the fact(s) to which they are testifying; and

  • the basis of the knowledge.

Do not assume an official's certification of, or witness to, a signature is an endorsement of authenticity of the contents of the statement.

3. “Laissez-Passer” (travel permit)

Aliens who reside in a foreign country and cannot obtain a passport from their own country may obtain a “Laissez-Passer” from the country in which they reside in order to travel. Often, the country’s immigration authorities issue them.

Translate all identifying information about the claimant, including citizenship, if shown.

CAUTION: The translator must be careful not to show the laissez-passer as a passport.

4. Procedure for translating passports

When translating passports, show:

  • citizenship;

  • all identifying information about the claimant; and the

  • issue date.

    NOTE: Do not show the issue date as the recordation date.

Some passports contain pages for entries after issuance. Translate entries that show marriage, birth, baptism, death, divorce, or other pertinent events.

5. Procedure for identification cards

Translate all identifying information about the claimant.

Include information on marital status and birth of children, if shown.

6. Information regarding negative searches

Translate certificates completely. Include the data supplied by the person requesting the search and the extent of the search. Information as to the actual records checked and under what name(s) helps the claims adjudicator to determine the probative value of such evidence.

7. Information regarding school certificates or records

When translating school records, show the:

  • individual's age, year or date of birth; and

  • grade or school year.

8. Related policy for translating documents

For information on items to include when translating most documents, see GN 00301.430.

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GN 00301.445 - Translating Types of Evidence - 08/08/2023
Batch run: 08/08/2023