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Supporting documents for UK visa applications must be in English or Welsh

The key facts

All your supporting documents for UK visa applications, including the Skilled Worker Visa and visas for your dependants, must be in English or Welsh. If they are in another language, you must get a certified translation.

Supporting documents for the company’s Certificate of Sponsorship must also be in English or Welsh and will need a certified translation if they are in another language.

Certified translations are done by members of the ATC, ITI, or CIOL. We are registered with all three and we can help.

We have created a simple infographic to guide you through the process – scroll to the bottom of this page to access.

New UK Immigration rules for workers and companies

Part of Brexit meant the end of freedom of movement of people between the UK and EU. This means immigration rules for EU workers and their dependants entering the UK changed.

The transition period ended on 30 June 2021 and the new processes came into place on 1 July 2021.

The new rules also apply to people entering the UK from countries outside the EU, and replace previous processes involving Tier systems and Resident Market Labour Tests. This means companies already hiring from overseas have to update their processes and make sure they are aware of the current advice for their prospective employees.

Certificate of Sponsorship

Employers need to apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship, which effectively adds them to a Home Office approved list of companies that can hire foreign workers. This is either defined to a specific skilled worker or undefined (see here for more info).

The company will need to submit paperwork to prove eligibility, which must all be in either English or Welsh. If it is in any other language, they will need a certified translation. This means an official translation done by a company registered with the ATC or ITI, or a freelance professional registered with either the ITI or CIOL.

Skilled Worker Visa Application

Employees applying to enter the UK from the EU and elsewhere overseas as a Skilled Worker need to quote the company’s Certificate of Sponsorship number on their visa application.

To gain enough points to be granted the visa, workers need to prove their job offer and salary, their qualifications and English-language skills, and their (lack of) criminality. All supporting documents must be in English or Welsh, or have a certified translation.

Some of that information will be proved by the sponsoring company, as part of their certificate of sponsorship. For the rest, the worker will have to provide the supporting documents and translations.


If the skilled worker wants to bring their partner or children into the UK as a dependant, they also have to prove they are eligible, using documents in English or Welsh.

The criteria involves proving financial income, (lack of) criminality and each person’s connection with the skilled worker who they are entering the country with.

Again, some of this information, like proof of income, will be covered by the company’s certificate of sponsorship, which will show the skilled worker’s expected salary. For the rest, dependants will need to provide supporting documents.

Non-English supporting documents will need a certified translation

Sponsor Company Representatives:

  • Criminal Record check
  • Proof of employment

Skilled Worker:

  • Qualification certificates
  • Proof of English-language competency
  • Criminal Record check

Partner and Children:

  • Proof of financial income or savings
  • Birth/adoption certificates
  • Marriage certificate
  • Criminal Record check
Plan ahead for translations

Certified translations generally take from between 2 days – 2 weeks to be completed and are charged for by the page or a set fee per bundle.

If you are planning on applying for jobs in the UK and your supporting documents are not in English or Welsh, prepare them in advance so you can be ready in good time to apply for your visa.

Bear in mind that although the translation will be valid indefinitely, some original documents like criminal record checks, are only valid for 3 months, so you will need to gather your documents at the right time.

Our certified translations

We are an Accredited Member of the Association of Translation Companies (ATC) and we provide certified translations from ten main languages into English for UK visa purposes. We would be happy to help you.

For any languages we don’t provide, we recommend you check the ITI, CIOL or ATC for approved suppliers.

Access our free infographic

Follow this easy visual guide summarising the steps to applying for a UK skilled worker visa.

Enter your details here to access:

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