The Refugee Translation Project provides free, professional translation services for people seeking asylum and other immigration relief. We offer English translations of asylum statements and supporting documents originally written in Arabic, Chinese, Dari, French, German, Greek, Kurdish, Pashto, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, and Urdu. We also translate from English into these languages. Our list of languages continues to expand in order to accommodate needs as they arise.

The Refugee Translation Project also partners with other nonprofits and law firms to ensure their clients’ translation needs are met. We work with these organizations on a fee-for-service model, the fees from which support our translators and help subsidize our pro-bono clients.

Our clients have fled war and persecution in Afghanistan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Guatemala, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, Russia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey.  Many of them are in need of medical attention, including small children. All of them deserve to live in peace and safety. 

Unfortunately, most of the people we serve have lost almost everything they own and cannot afford to pay for the speedy translation of important documents such as medical records, identity papers, personal statements, and other documents supporting their cases for asylum and relocation. 

Those who make it to the US and wish to stay here must apply for asylum, which involves convincing the court that they are being persecuted in their home country and cannot be sent back for fear of further persecution or death.

One of the most important factors for asylum seekers is that they can fully convey their stories to their lawyers and to the courts. These stories, written as statements, and the material evidence to back them up, are crucial to the refugees’ success. Both the statements and the evidence, which could be anything from identification papers, medical reports, and court documents, to threatening letters, tax penalty notices, bank statements, and newspaper articles, need to be translated.

The Refugee Translation Project is fiscally sponsored by Angels for Angels.

Our Services

We provide fast, professional translations of documents related to asylum and other immigration cases to clients and partners remotely. We translate medical records, identity papers, personal statements, court records, proof of threats and harassment, and other evidence necessary to win asylum and resettlement cases. RTP also offers in-person interpretation in select languages in the NY metro area, and interpretation services by phone or video conference remotely and internationally.

RTP collaborates with nonprofit service providers to provide translation services to their clients. We make our services easy to use and save our partners time and resources by offering access to 13+ languages, many of which are underserved, via one point of contact, responding to requests within hours, completing projects ahead of deadline, and billing at a previously agreed upon rate.

Individuals in need of our services can contact us directly via email to receive our services at no charge and get access to a built-in network for trusted referrals should the refugee need further legal or social services. Our innovative funding model optimizes available resources to ensure no asylum applicant RTP works with ever has to pay for any part of translation.

We Value Hiring Refugees as Translators

Refugees often have dual language skills and relevant professional experience, as well as lived experience, making them uniquely qualified, yet they lack access to professional pathways to develop their careers. RTP steps in at this juncture to provide employment, supervision of translations, and capacity building to help multilingual refugees build their careers.  Their skills and lived experience mean increased familiarity and competency with the materials we are translating, which contributes to the overall effectiveness of our organization. Our fair and competitive rate provides a source of income while empowering refugees to help others in their community or situation.

Our Impact

Since we began in May 2017, we have helped over 240 families and individuals from Afghanistan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Guatemala, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, Russia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey by translating documents related to their asylum application or resettlement process.

So far at least 30 families and individuals we supported have been granted asylum in the United States. The asylum process is a long and arduous one that can take up to a year or longer. We expect to hear more success stories as the project continues.

We work with IRAP (International Refugee Assistance Project) to connect with and assist refugees still living in refugee camps and other precarious situations. IRAP uses the medical reports and legal documents we translate to determine refugees’ eligibility for various resettlement pathways.