Free Translating Service

The Department of Social Services provides a free translating service for people settling permanently in Australia. The purpose of the Free Translating Service is to support participation in employment, education and community engagement.

Permanent residents and select temporary or provisional visa holders are able to have up to ten eligible documents translated, into English, within the first two years of their eligible visa grant date.

Applications for the Free Translating Service are made at translating.dss.gov.au

Frequently Asked Questions for clients are available to assist with lodging and application for the Service.

Free Translating Service Helpdesk

For enquiries about eligibility, information about the service, or assistance in lodging an application, please contact the Free Translating Service helpdesk:

Email: fts@migrationtranslators.com.au   

Online: Using the ‘Contact us’ form available at translating.dss.gov.au.

Phone: 1800 962 100

With an interpreter: Call TIS National on 131 450, state the language interpreter that you require, then ask to be connected the Migration Translators on 1800 962 100.

Eligible persons

All permanent residents (except return resident visa holders) are eligible for the Free Translating Service.

People holding one of the below temporary or provisional visas are also eligible to access the Free Translating Service:

  • Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300);
  • Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309);
  • Dependent Child visa (subclass 445);
  • Partner (Temporary) visa (subclass 820);
  • Humanitarian Stay (temporary) visa (subclass 449);
  • Temporary Humanitarian Concern visa (subclass 786);
  • Temporary Protection visa (subclass 785); and
  • Safe Haven Enterprise visa (subclass 790).

All other temporary or provisional visa holders are ineligible for the Free Translating Service.

Please note: People on visa subclasses 100, 786, 801, and 820 are only eligible to access the Free Translating Service if they have not accessed the service on their previously eligible visa subclass. Clients holding these visas can contact the Free Translating Service helpdesk for assistance in determining their eligibility for the service.

Returning Australian citizens are no longer eligible to access the Free Translating Service.

Eligibility period

Access to the Free Translating Service lasts for two years from the eligible visa grant date.

Documents eligible for translation

The Free Translating Service is available for translating documents into English. Personal documents intended for settlement purposes are accepted for free translation. Personal documents required for a visa application are not accepted. There are four broad groups of documents eligible for the Free Translating Service:

Identity and relationship documents

  • Identity documents including birth certificate, baptism certificate, identity certificate, family register book, household registration document, certificate of change of name
  • Marriage certificates or other acceptable alternatives such as a household registration document or a family registration book
  • Divorce documents or affidavits
  • Death certificates
  • Custody documents.

Facilitation documents

  • Driver’s licences or motorcycle licences
    Note: International drivers’ licences are not accepted for free translation.
  • Police clearances/Penal certificates
  • Medical documents including medical reports and medical certificates issued outside of Australia and required for medical treatment in Australia, including medical reports and medical certificates. Vaccination records.

Educational documents

  • Primary school certificates
  • Secondary school
  • Vocational training certificates
  • Tertiary certificates
  • Academic transcripts
    Note: An academic transcript is a document that records subject name and mark awarded.  Documents that include lengthy course descriptions or comments on student performance are not accepted as academic transcripts. University syllabi or similar documents are not accepted for translation.

Employment-related documents

  • Professional and trade certificates
  • Employment certificates
  • Employment references
  • Letters of appointment/Employment contracts

You are able to have up to ten eligible documents translated. Most translations are provided as an ‘extract’ summary however there is provision for word-for-word translations, where required. More information about document length is available on the ‘About this service’ page on the Free Translating Service website: translating.dss.gov.au.

All translations are completed by translators credentialed by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI), where available.

More information

More information about the Free Translating Service is available at translating.dss.gov.au

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