The Free Translating Service can be used by most permanent and some temporary residents.
Holders of one of the following visa subclasses are generally allowed to access the service and obtain free translations:
100, 101, 102, 103, 105, 106, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 124, 126, 132, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 143, 151, 175, 176, 186, 187, 189, 190, 200, 201, 202, 203, 204, 300, 309, 405, 410, 445, 449, 476, 485, 500, 491, 494, 785, 786, 790, 800, 801, 802, 804, 808, 820, 834, 835, 836, 837, 838, 846, 851, 852, 855, 856, 857, 858, 859, 861, 862, 863, 864, 866, 880, 881, 882, 883, 885, 886, 887, 888, 890, 891, 892, 893
In addition, you must meet the following conditions:
All other visa subclasses including bridging visas, tourist visas, and working holiday visas are ineligible for the Free Translating Service. Australian citizens are also ineligible.
Certain visa subclasses may have additional eligibility requirements, details of which can be verified during the application process.
Holders of a visa of subclasses 105, 106, 118, 119, 120, 121, 126, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 175, 176, 834, 846, 855, 856, 857, 859, 861, 862, 863, 880, 881, 882, 883, 885, or 886 are only eligible if their visa grant date is before 5 September 2019 and at the same time it was granted within the previous two years
If you don’t speak English well, or at all, you can call TIS National on 131 450, request the language interpreter you need, and ask to be put through to The Migration Translators on 02 8776 3383. You will not be charged for the interpreter but you will be charged for the cost of the call to TIS National.
You have two (2) years from the date of your visa grant to access the service.
In order to complete the application form, you have to upload the following files:
You can help someone else apply for the Free Translating Service but the application needs to be made in the name of the person you are helping. For example, if your family requires translation of birth records, then each family member needs their own individual application for the Free Translating Service. This is so we can check the individual eligibility for each person that needs documents translated.
Please contact our helpdesk via email by submitting the contact form. We will respond to your enquiry within one business day.
You can also call on us 1800 962 100 between 9am and 5pm Sydney time, Monday to Friday (except for public holidays). If all team members are busy, then you do not have to wait: An operator will take your details, and we will call you back within a few hours.
Your visa grant notice was issued to you, or to someone acting on your behalf, by the Department of Home Affairs. The grant notice includes the date when your visa was granted and other information about your visa, including visa conditions and entitlements such as work and/or study rights.
You can check your visa status and your entitlements by using the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system, or the myVEVO mobile app. You can access VEVO on the Department of Home Affairs website or by downloading the myVEVO app via your mobile app store.
You must have your visa grant notice or your VEVO entitlement check to complete the Free Translating Service application form.
Your visa subclass number is on your visa grant notice or your VEVO entitlement check.
Your visa grant number is on your visa grant notice or your VEVO entitlement check.
Yes, photos or scans are all we need. Make sure that the photos are clear and that nothing is cut off around the edges.
The following documents are eligible to be translated for free, but you can only have up to ten documents translated. You cannot get the same document translated twice. Some documents are translated in full, and some as extracts. See “What will the translation look like?” for details.
Academic transcripts (see note below)
Change of name certificates
Civil partnership certificates
Driver licences (see note below)
Household registration documents
Police clearance certificates
Note: An academic transcript is a document that records the subject name and the 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 also not accepted for translation.
International driver licences are not accepted for free translation. The licence must be a proper national driver licence of any one country.
You can get up to ten (10) eligible documents translated.
See “What documents can I get translated?” for a list of eligible documents.
Wherever possible, the documents will be translated by a translator credentialed by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). If a NAATI translator is not available in the source language, the documents will be translated by a professional translator from the Migration Translators’ panel.
The translation will be deemed certified and suitable for many official purposes in Australia.
All translations appear on an official letterhead and with an official stamp. The translations will be provided on a template and will be in extract summary format (up to 100 words), except in the following circumstances:
Note: If you can supply reasonable evidence that you need a complete, word-for-word translation of an academic transcript, then we will translate the entire document. Reasonable evidence could include an email, a letter or a link to the official website of an education provider or a skills assessment provider stating that a word-for-word translation is required. If a word-for-word translation is provided, then the first five pages will count as one document, the next five as the second document, and so on. You cannot have more than ten documents translated under the Free Translating Service.
Many languages do not use the Western "A to Z" alphabet. Examples are Arabic, Japanese, Russian, and Hindi. It is in the nature of these languages that so called "proper nouns" (names of people, places, and organisations) can be translated in more than one way. For example, the Arabic name محمد can be translated as Muhammad, Mohammad, Mohamed, Muhamad, and many more variations. There is no right or wrong – it is personal preference.
It is important that you as the client provide us with all preferred spellings before we start the translation. Without having all preferred spellings, the translator will only be able to guess the correct spelling, which might frustrate you and cause delays.
We are happy to implement your suggestions, but only within the legal framework in Australia. This means that preferences are limited to pronunciation issues. We are not allowed to change the order of name components, change a name significantly, omit a name or part of a name, or add a name or part of a name.
The regulations on identity fraud in Australia are strict. Our accredited NAATI translators translate what is on the document — no more and no less. We do not "fix" documents. If you think that the outcome of the translation might not satisfy you because the information on the original document is incorrect, please discuss this with us before lodging your application.
Once you have lodged your application, you will receive an instant acknowledgement email with your application number. Your application will then be assessed against the eligibility criteria within one to two business days, and you will be notified by email of the outcome.
We will email you the completed translation within 30 calendar days of its approval.
There is no priority or rush option available; however, the actual processing time might be significantly less than 30 days.
Upon delivery of the translations by email, you can also request paper originals to be posted to you by normal, untracked mail free of charge.
You can request a correction for a period of six (6) months from the original translation application submission date. Please send an email to email@example.com or use the contact form on the website. We will then investigate your request and, where necessary, provide an updated translation at no cost.
You can also call us on 1800 962 100 if you want to request a paper correction request form over the phone.
If your translated document has become lost or damaged, you can request a replacement within twelve (12) months of the original translation application submission date.
If there is a problem with your application we will contact you.
If you are not eligible to access the Free Translating Service, we will send you an email that explains why and let you know if there is anything you can do to access the service.
There are a number of commercial translating providers that you can access. The National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) is the national standards and accreditation body for translators and interpreters in Australia.
We recommend that you confirm with the institution that needs your translation the specific translation requirements prior to engaging a translator.
For example, if you are applying for an Australian driver licence in New South Wales (NSW), you need to have your translation completed by Multicultural NSW Language Services. You can call them on 1300 651 500, or visit one of their NSW Service Centres. More information is available on their website. If you are eligible to get your driver license translated through the Free Translating Service, then you can use it to apply for a driver license in New South Wales (and all other states and territories). The information above is only relevant if you are NOT eligible to use the Free Translating Service.
This website uses a range of security tools to ensure that the data you enter and the files you upload are secure. The underlying platform is certified to meet government standards. Your information will only be used for the translation process and will not be shared with any third party.
An online application is the easiest and fastest option, but you can also lodge applications by post. If this is what you want to do, please submit the contact form or call 1800 962 100 with your details so that we can provide you with the paper application form.
Please contact us initially through the contact form. We will respond to your enquiry within one business day.
You can also call us on 1800 962 100 between 9 am and 5 pm Sydney time, Monday to Friday (except for gazetted public holidays). If all team members are busy, then you will not have to wait – an operator will take your details, and we will call you back within a few hours.
If you need an interpreter, call TIS National on 131 450 and ask to be put through to The Migration Translators on 02 8776 3383.
For any feedback or suggestions regarding the Free Translating Service Policy (e.g., eligibility criteria or approved documents) contact the Global Feedback Unit of the Department of Home Affairs:
13 31 77 between 9 am and 5 pm AEST (except Victorian public holidays)
Department of Home Affairs
GPO Box 241
Melbourne VIC 3001
More information about providing feedback to the Department of Home Affairs can be found here.
© 2019 Department of Home Affairs