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Thread: Simple question.. her last name or mine?

  1. #1
    My wife and I got married 3 months ago and we're starting to work on filing all the paperwork for her to get a greencard.
    However I have a question as far as, do I put her last name on the paperwork or mine?
    She has not changed her passport to my name and her visa is also on her maiden name. But she wants to take my last name as her own.
    So i'm relly curious do i need to keep putting her maiden name on all the paperwork? or should she first change her maiden name to my name in the passport and visa and then file everything with my last name? or should we file everything with her maiden name then after everything is done, go about changing her last name to mine?
    simple question yet seems so confusing to me!

  2. #2
    My wife and I got married 3 months ago and we're starting to work on filing all the paperwork for her to get a greencard.
    However I have a question as far as, do I put her last name on the paperwork or mine?
    She has not changed her passport to my name and her visa is also on her maiden name. But she wants to take my last name as her own.
    So i'm relly curious do i need to keep putting her maiden name on all the paperwork? or should she first change her maiden name to my name in the passport and visa and then file everything with my last name? or should we file everything with her maiden name then after everything is done, go about changing her last name to mine?
    simple question yet seems so confusing to me!

  3. #3
    Either or. Since all the supporting document is still under her maiden name, I would be more inclined to file under that, and adjust afterward.

  4. #4
    Guest
    I was advised to use my maiden name when filling (to not to confuse USCIS with the different last name on supporting documents). Now I am very sorry I did it that way.

    It seems it is perfectly acceptable to put married name on forms even though all the documents show a different name. It is a marriage based petition and it is quite normal that one party changes last name. USCIS deals with this all the time, and I've never heard that they returned the petition because of this kind of discrepancy.

    Has your wife a SSN? With married or maiden last name?

  5. #5
    aneri, mind sharing why using the maiden name turned out to be the wrong choice for you?

  6. #6
    Guest
    Let's see, after submitting all the papers with my maiden name on them:

    - first, I received EAD, which I used to apply for SSN, got job and was employed under my maiden name
    - name matching the one on the SSN used for DL, bank accounts ..
    - had AP in maiden name
    - received GC
    - had some trips scheduled, so I did not want to send my passport to the embassy in the US for renewal/name change (it would took months). Did not dare to change passport while in my home country for short visit (wasn't sure how I'll get back to the US having a different name on GC).
    - called USCIS after a year of receiving GC, to find out how to change the name on GC: the answer was something like: you have to go to court and formaly request the name change, put an add in the newspaper?!, after that change the name on SSN .... I called SS office with the same question, they wanted a proof of my legal status or similar (GC or DL) with my "new" name on it first, DMV wanted to see either SSN or GC with "new" name before issuing new DL ... after a while I gave up.

    And all I wanted to do is to add my husband's name.

    Now I know different (how to dig up the information myself). Back then, I just relyed on what I was told ( USCIS help line).

    If one plans to change a name at some point, I believe it is best to do it asap; and get all the new documents in the wanted name from the get'go.

  7. #7
    Woah, sorry to hear about all of that misshaps. Can't help but got a little bit tickled with the way your describing it though

    Mormigan, IIRC the I-130 & biographic form has field to enter other known name. As long as you use it for the maiden name, I doubt there's gonna be a problem if the wife decided to use the married name.

  8. #8
    thanks for the info, this is exactly what i keep telling her. that using my name on the forms is acceptable, but she's under the impression that it will cause problems, and i'm the one telling her that not changing the name now (since she wants to take my name) will only make it more difficult later. probably the best time to change it afterwards would be when becoming a citizen :P

  9. #9
    Mormigan,
    Whichever last name you use for your wife, be sure that name can be supported. That means, if you are going to use your last name, be sure that it isn't just that you got married, but that you changed it formally with the commonly used supporting documents, such as a driver's license and your social security card.

    The first thing I changed once I got married was the name on my social security card and my driver's license. Now I also went to change my name on my U.S. passport, but that may not be so easy on your wife's foreign passport. It's not always the case that a country recognizes a change of name for a woman just because she got married.

    Also, on immigration forms, often it asks for the "Legal Name" and akas. You can clarify your wife's different names in these areas.

    I'd say, if she hasn't officially changed her name, and wants to, then change her name and apply. If time is of the essence, then use her maiden name and then use the aka box to give her married name. Then when she has changed it legally then before she gets her green card she can apply for a name change. Most often, for a woman living in the U.S> to change her name because of marriage she just shows a marriage certificate.

    Hope this helps.

  10. #10
    Aneri,
    What a mess! Interesting you got your EAD first and then got your Social Security. Most I know, including my husband, had to get the Social security card first.

    Anyway, as I know it, there are 3 ways for immigrant women to change her name. Change to married name and use marriage certificate as proof - no need for judgment and publication. If you want to change your name to something that is NOT your husband's, then you just get a court order and then publish the new name. If you are an immigrant you can change your name to ANTHING YOU WANT when you become a citizen. However, I hear the Department of Homeland Security isn't too keen on this method anymore.

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