Translation Services in Christchurch

Helpful information about translation services in this area.

As one of New Zealand’s largest cities, Christchurch attracts thousands of travellers and migrant workers from around the world each year. For many, translating non-English documents becomes an essential step in the visa application process.

If you’re gearing up for your application and need your documents translated to English, finding a trusted Christchurch translation services is paramount. In this article, we look at the relevant requirements for translating documents, and where you can get them done.

Certified Translations in Christchurch for Visa Applications

In the process of applying with Immigration NZ, certain requirements regarding certified translations must be met. If the supporting documents for an application are not written in English, a certified English translation is necessary.

Document in Vietnamese language needing translation
Document in Vietnamese language needing translation

There could be a wide range of documents that might need to be translated, but some of the more common types of documents that need to be translated include:

  • Police clearance certificate
  • Birth certificate
  • Death certificate
  • Name change certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce certificate
  • Overseas aualification documents such as diploma, degree, academic transcript

Certification by Immigration Lawyer in Christchurch

In instances where Immigration New Zealand has asked you to provide a certified copy of the translated document and the original document, you will be able to get them certified with the help of an immigration lawyer Christchurch.

A certified copy means the lawyer will need to sight the original document and the photocopy, and when satisfied that they are the same document, the lawyer will stamp and sign as a certified copy.

Translation by Immigration Officers

Officers who has the necessary language expertise may themselves translate supporting documents submitted in support of temporary applications. Such translations are applicable to personal documents other than criminal record translation and medical certificates.

We don’t recommend presenting documents that haven’t been translated into English to Immigration New Zealand, as the likelihood of being assigned an officer who is proficient in your language might be low. To avoid unnecessary delays, try to find companies who provide accurate translation services.

Specific Requirements to Ensure Accurate Translations

When obtaining translations, certain criteria must be met to be considered as acceptable translation documents.

  • Ensure that the translations are not prepared by the applicant, family members, or any immigration adviser assisting with the application.
  • Certified translations should be accompanied by either original or certified copies.
  • The translation itself must be certified as accurate by an individual familiar with both languages and competent in translation work.
  • The professional translator’s stamp or signature, as well as the translation business’s stamp, signature, or official letterhead if applicable, should be present on the translation.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to cover the cost of translation.

Professional Translation Services in Christchurch

There are several authorised entities in Canterbury that can prepare professional services for translating documents for visa applications.

  • Translations accepted by immigration include the Translation Service of the Department of Internal Affairs,
  • reputable private individuals within the community known for accurate translations,
  • embassies or high commissions (with the endorsement of their seal), and
  • private translation companies.

With embassies, you may be able to provide your own translation and have the embassy certify it as to accuracy. And depending on the situation, it may be the most affordable translation service, but the service may be slow especially if there is no embassy in your town.

We usually recommend clients to obtain them from proper translation companies, because if they do not seem professional or reliable, Immigration New Zealand could ask for a different one from a qualified translator and that could create delays with your application.

Often such companies will have access to professional translators with degree in translation studies, who will be able to produce quality translations. They often undertake translation projects from the New Zealand government departments such as Waka Kotahi (NZ Transport Agency), Citizenship Office, NZQA, etc. It might indicate that they have a better quality standard.

Some certified translation services specialise in specific languages only, so you will need to ask around to see if they provide translation and interpreting services in your own language.

Document in Japanese language needing translation
Document in Japanese language needing translation

For example, languages like Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean might be eaiser to find, whereas it may be more difficult to find service providers who professionally work on languages like Tamil, Finnish, Romanian, Farsi, Bulgarian, etc.

All of the companies listed on this page have their own websites, so you can contact them and ask for a free quote.

Additional Translation Requests and Original Documents

In certain cases, the officers may request specific translations. These requests could involve translating the complete document or a selective translation, meaning specific parts of it. If the initial translation does not satisfy the officer, a different specified translation service may be requested.

It’s important to note that if uncertified copies of original documents are provided with translations, officers may require the presentation of the original before approving the application.

ALTS Translation Services

Excel Translation Services

  • Opening hours: Monday - Thursday 9:00am - 6:00pm / Friday 9:00am - 3:00pm
  • Address: 93 William Brittan Avenue, Halswell, Christchurch 8025
  • Phone: 021 254 4914
  • Email:
  • Website: Excel Translation Services
  • Google Map: Excel Translation Services

MLT Translation Centre

  • Opening hours: Opening hours: Monday - Friday 8:30am - 5:00pm
  • Address: Unit 9/21 Bealey Avenue, Merivale, Christchurch 8014
  • Phone: 03 377 1227
  • Email:
  • Website: MLT Translation Centre
  • Google Map: MLT Translation Centre

TransNational Translations

Translation Service, Department of Internal Affairs

author headshot Michael Yoon
Last modified on 26 April 2024 by
Michael Yoon
Michael has been working as a lawyer in New Zealand since 2006. Over the years, he has successfully helped thousands of clients to get their desired outcome. Clients find Michael knowledgeable, approachable and professional — a trusted expert.

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