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Want to apply for US Citizenship

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  • Want to apply for US Citizenship

    I have been here legally since 1981. Green card was issued in 1984. Became widowed in 1998 and recently remarried. My deceased Husband, good as he was, was not in favor of changing nationalities. He was British and I am South African. I had forgotton all about this untill my recent husband brought up the subject. He is Texan born and raised and wants me to file for US Citizenship. And, I want to and I agree with him whole heartedly. My drivers licence and social security card already reflect my new married name. Do I need to get my green card changed into my new married name also before filing for US Citizenship or not? Is this a much involved process and would it becostly?

  • #2
    I have been here legally since 1981. Green card was issued in 1984. Became widowed in 1998 and recently remarried. My deceased Husband, good as he was, was not in favor of changing nationalities. He was British and I am South African. I had forgotton all about this untill my recent husband brought up the subject. He is Texan born and raised and wants me to file for US Citizenship. And, I want to and I agree with him whole heartedly. My drivers licence and social security card already reflect my new married name. Do I need to get my green card changed into my new married name also before filing for US Citizenship or not? Is this a much involved process and would it becostly?

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    • #3
      No, you do not have to change your name on your GC. You can file for citizenship and bring proof of your change of name to the interview. You just file you N-400 (forms available on USCIS website - free). It costs $390.00 and all the information you need is included on the form. Depending on where you live it will take anywhere from 4 months to a year.

      Good Luck

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      • #4
        Thanks for your reponse Dragonlady. You wouldn't happen to know what the difference is between a N-400 and N-600 would you? Also, would it make any difference traveling on my Green Card which will still be in my old name, when my SA Passport is now in my newly married name?

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        • #5
          If you try to enter the U.S. with a green card and a passport that contain two different names, you can count on being placed in secondary inspection. This is a place where officers will ask you a bunch of questions and probably make you miss your connecting flight.

          Consider yourself warned

          sug

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          • #6
            Thanks for the reply Sugarpuff ... so would I be correct to then first apply to have my green card changed into my newly married name to match that of my S.A passport which will match my drivers and SS Cards? Actually, my husband did suggest I apply for a name change to my green card ... he also mentioned the fact that I would more than likely loose the benefit of a green card that does not expire. But then, if I am applying for US Naturlisation, what would it matter? Also, once my applicaiton is pending for US Citizenship, can I still travel abroad? Thanks for replies inadvance.

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            • #7
              please, call me sug

              Change what ever is easiest (the passport or the green card). Check with your embassy to see how long and how expensive it is to change the passport. Changing a green card is not impossible but like everything else with USCIS it can be a pain in the rear.

              You can travel while your citizenship is pending as long as you have a valid green card and a passsport.

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              • #8
                Sugarpuff would love to give you a ring, but where to. I tried to send you a private message but alas, I don't know how to access 'my space'... which is apparantly is the requirement. Being a rookie at discussion boards sure has it's disadvantages ... he he heee

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                • #9
                  Actually, my passport and my green card have different names on the each. I have never had a problem. You (as a female) do not have to change your name - you can maintain your maiden name and all your married names. You will lose your GC that does not expire if you change the name on your GC. I use my passport when I travel to another country and my GC to enter the US. You can also just use your passport to get into the US - that will not harm you status. The info on your GC is on the computer and so immigration can look it up at the border(s). In 35 years, I have never been detained and I have travelled al over the world.

                  Just apply for naturalization - it is arel hassel to apply for all sorts of other documents. Make sure you have divorce decrees and marriage certificates and you will be fine. Immigration is not stupid and they know that if you have been here since at least 1984 - you probabaly were not a nun. I got my GC in 1966 (one of those that never expire-lucky me)and the last time I went to immigration - they joked and said it was about time I became a citizen. I showed them my decree - and I was on my way. They deal with this all the time.

                  It is very different to have first hand experience and know the ropes than it is to 'go by the book'. USCIS is not a horrible monster.

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                  • #10
                    Stay away from 'MySpace'. There are warnings all over the news about myspace. They are trying it have it shut down because of predators.

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                    • #11
                      I know a woman who has been married twice and still uses the same greencard she got when she was 15 years old. It doesn't have an expiration date and it's cute because she's in her 40's now. She told me she's never had any problems.
                      Have a nice day

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                      • #12
                        Doesn't mean she wont or Happy won't have a problem.

                        New officers at the POE's mean a lot of dumb questions and a lot of 'doing things by the book' Having the documents match will lessen your chance of running into a problem.

                        When it comes to immigration the worst source of advice are people who have gone through it already. Immigration is in a constant state of change. What worked a few years ago may not work today.

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                        • #13
                          Some of us are still going through it for various reasons. And those GCs were a special issue and did not expire. (Actually permanent residence never does expire but they like you to renew the cards). Immigration is not above the law and a woman may or may not change her name as she wishes. Many women go back to their maiden names after a divorce but the children retain their father' name - immigration understands this. Some women get married and change their names and their children have different names. They also understand this. Immigration officers also may be married multiple times and they understand this.

                          The best place to access the inforamtion is at the source. Try the USCIS website.

                          Happy - apply for your citizenship and don't waste your time on trivia. You have nothng to be afraid of - really.

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                          • #14
                            Immigration is not above the law and a woman may or may not change her name as she wishes.


                            HA HA HA. Tell that to an officer at the POE after he has just inspected 200 people.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Legally a woman may retain her maiden name if she marries - as she wishes - She may change her maiden or married name if she divorces or re-marries - if she wishes. She may hyphenate her name if she wishes. She may maintain a married name and hyphenate a second married name - if she wishes.

                              She can use her married name in the community and have her maiden name on her credit cards - or any of the above options. If she so wishes - it is all legal.

                              A woman's maiden name is her legal name as are her married names. And if you don't like it - talk to Germaine Greer.

                              Names on academic degees cannot be changed. This means the names on a woman's academic record and degrees may be different than on other documents. Her degrees are still valid.


                              Immigration officers understand all of the above.

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