Frequently Asked Questions

Certifications and Apostilles:

A sworn translator (Polish: tłumacz przysięgły) in Poland is a person who has passed a formal examination in translation and interpreting and has taken an oath before a representative of the Ministry of Justice. Sworn translators receive a special seal made by the Polish Mint to be affixed on every document they translate. They are also required to keep a log of translated documents called a repertorium.
A certified translation is a translation accompanied by the translator’s statement that he/she is competent to translate the document and that the translation is true and accurate.
The translator certifying the accuracy of the translation signs the certifying statement in front of a notary public, who notarizes the translator’s signature. It’s a misconception that the notary public is verifying the accuracy of the translation.
A certified copy is a copy of an original record that a court or government office has on file, usually signed and stamped, sometimes printed on special paper containing a raised or colored seal, or a watermark.
Apostilled document with an apostille attached to it. An apostille is an official certification verifying that a document was issued in the United States. It can only be attached to certified copies of official records (e.g. birth/marriage certificates) or notarized documents destined for use in a foreign country, which is a signatory to the 1961 Hague Convention.
Apostille services in Chicago are provided by the Illinois Secretary of State Index Department located at 17 N. State Street on the 10th floor.
The most common documents which need to be apostilled include vital records (birth/ marriage/death certificates), deeds, affidavits and power of attorney forms. Documents need to be originals with a proper notary statement.
No. The Illinois Secretary of State will only apostille documents issued in Illinois. A Wisconsin document has to be apostilled by the Wisconsin Secretary of State. Each state provides their own apostille certification services.
No. Federal documents must receive an apostille from the U.S. Department of State.

Polish Citizenship

Yes! If you can prove your blood relationship with your ancestors, you are a Polish citizen. The document verifying your Polish citizenship is a Polish passport.
If you were born in the US and claim that you have a Polish parent or grandparent, you must first apply to have your claim verified. Then you must register your birth abroad at the Office of Civil Registration in Poland and obtain a PESEL [Personal Identification] number. Your last step is to apply for a Polish passport.
Yes, the laws of US and Poland allow dual citizenship.
No, all paperwork can be mailed. No trips to Poland are necessary.
Yes. There is no Polish language test for people who claim their Polish citizenship after their parents or grandparents.
Yes. Name changes are quite common. Documents showing the name change must be attached to the application for Polish citizenship.
No. Polish citizenship is based on the jus sanguinis (the right of blood) principle and it does not extend to foreign-born spouses of Polish citizens. Spouses can acquire Polish citizenship through recognition (not confirmation), but it is required that they live in Poland for an extended period of time.
Before, Polish Consulates were able to issue passports to children born in the U.S. and no foreign-birth registration in Poland was required. However, the laws have changed now and people who want to renew their Polish passports need to officially register their birth in Poland and obtain a Polish birth certificate. If you are over 18, you also need to have your Polish citizenship confirmed. The same applies to marriage registration and passports issued in the married name of the applicant.

Translation and Interpreting

ATA is the largest professional association of translators and interpreters in the United States. For more information on the Association click here.
To become ATA-certified, a translator must successfully pass a certification examination in his/her language pair (e.g. from English into Polish). Certification is maintained through ongoing membership in ATA and participation in continuing education activities relevant to translation.
Yes. ATA-certified translators can use a special seal developed by ATA in 2011. The seal includes a member's name, unique certification number, and language combination. The seal also includes a link to an online ATA verification system that allows a client to confirm the member's certification.
Translators deal with written documents, whereas interpreters deal with spoken language.
No, ATA certification is for translators only. Certification for interpreters is usually field-specific. For example, court interpreters may be certified by NCSC (National Center for State Courts) by or by NAJIT (National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators), and medical interpreters may be certified by the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters.