The Refugee Translation Project provides free, professional translation services for refugees seeking asylum in the United States, as well as for refugees living in camps and other precarious situations in Turkey. We offer English translations of asylum statements and supporting documents originally written in Arabic, Dari, French, German, Greek, Kurdish, Pashto, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, and Urdu. We can also translate from these languages into English. Our list of languages continues to expand in order to accommodate needs as they arise.
Our clients have fled war and persecution in Afghanistan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Guatemala, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, 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 New York area 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.
We provide fast, professional translations fo 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 10+ 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.
Refugee Translator Hiring Program
RTP employs refugees who already have sufficient language skills to work as professional translators and provides them with guidance and training. Our program enables participants to transform their language competency into a marketable professional skill, which they can use to build their portfolio and resume. The program also offers participants a source of income at a fair and competitive rate, empowering them to help others in their community or situation. Their lived experiences mean increased familiarity and competency with the materials we are translating, which contributes to the overall effectiveness of our organization. Having additional trained translators with first-hand experience in our network builds our capacity to serve more clients in need.
Since we began in May 2017, we have helped over 220 families and individuals from Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Egypt, Tunisia, Cameroon, Sudan, Eritrea, Central African Republic, and Democratic Republic of the Congo.
So far at least 25 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. To date, we have assisted IRAP with at least 30 successful cases of exceptional medical vulnerability, which have resulted in the resettlement of over 90 individuals.
The Refugee Translation Project is fiscally sponsored by Angels for Angels.