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If you ever thought your birth certificate was not very important, then the story of British mother of five, Kim Walmsley, may change your mind. It will certainly mean that you will decide to check out your own birth certificate very carefully before getting it translated by a German English translator.

Mrs Walmsley didn’t need to have her birth certificate translated at all – it was in English. The only problem was that it contained a mistake. The certificate was issued to her parents after she was born, but she was recorded as a male, not a female! This has led to her marriage certificate not being recognized as legal in Australia – and that means no Australian visa extension.

Apparently, she did know about the error on her certificate but dismissed it as an unimportant silly mistake. She even thought that the error was funny until she told the British High Commission about it when applying for a new British passport in Canberra. One thing led to another and her marriage certificate to her husband of 23 years was deemed illegal by Australian immigration authorities because the birth certificate showed that she was a “male”.

Mrs Walmsley’s situation is unusual but then how many people really check their birth certificates carefully? If you were born overseas and your birth certificate is in German, then you should check the certificate very carefully before submitting it to a German translation service as any mistake in German will be translated as a mistake into English and you could find yourself in a difficult situation, like poor Mrs Walmsey, later on.

Birth certificates are important legal documents and are vital when applying for visas, passports and Australian citizenship. All German birth certificates need to be translated by an officially recognised German translator Brisbane or other NAATI translator and should be checked for accuracy before translation so that the certificate can be correctly translated into English.