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Name change after marriage if FI and I are from different countries?

My fiance (an American) and I currently reside in the US, though I am originally from Singapore.  I would like to change my surname after marriage, but am feeling a bit intimidated by all the paperwork I'll have to go through considering the need to update both my Singapore and US accounts. 

I have a Singapore passport (with my maiden name) and will be applying for a green card after marriage... to those who have done this before, did you use your maiden name or married name when applying for a green card?  I am wondering if I will face obstacles down the line if I change all my US documents to my married name, but don't change my Singapore documents for another year or so.  Is traveling difficult, or do you just carry around your marriage license?

I would love to hear from any other nesties in this similar situation.  Did you find it worth it to change your name in the end?

Thank you in advance!!Smile

Re: Name change after marriage if FI and I are from different countries?

  • I'm really glad you asked this because I've got this dilemma coming up after I get married in May. 

    My plan was to do the I-130 in my name, sort all the paperwork in my maiden name, get my green card in my maiden name and then change it after the paperwork is done. I don't even know how you go about changing the name of a foreign passport in the US....? I guess you can...??

    xjcx 

  • While my situation is a bit different (I'm American living in Germany) I am still living under 2 names, because I haven't changed it to one and this is 3.5 years later. 

    I didn't change it initially because I was traveling on an open ended ticket (always had a return home for visits) and that would have conflicted with my passport name. I would have had to get a new passport and I didn't want to wait on that. 

    I'm no longer doing that, however I have to be cautious to always book flights under my passport and carry my passport when I'm traveling in the US. I assume I will get a new one once it expires. So far it's still too much of a hassle, because we travel quite frequently. 

    The only other issues to be aware of is it's supposed to be a major pain to travel with children if your names don't match for obvious reasons. I'm sure there are more issues that I'm not aware of, but it is do-able. 


  • I would call the immigration hotline on this one. They ask for both your maiden and married names on the form, and considering it is typical for an American woman to change her name at marriage, my assumption is they will start processing with your passport in your maiden name with the full knowledge you intend on changing it ASAP. I doubt they expect you to have a new passport in your new name within days of marriage, and they do have time limits on applying for that marriage visa (at least when I applied they did). Once done, you can change your passport to your married name as well.

    I would opt to start off with the married name rather than maiden name and change it later. It's so much more expensive to have to redo everything.

    But call that hotline or check online to be sure. 

    image oOoOoOoOo:

    The only other issues to be aware of is it's supposed to be a major pain to travel with children if your names don't match for obvious reasons. I'm sure there are more issues that I'm not aware of, but it is do-able. 

    Considering the divorce rate is at 50%, remarriage rate at 44%, and some countries not allowing you to change your name at marriage (like where I live) There must be millions of women traveling internationally with children of different last names. I don't think it is ever going to be a major pain.

  • Hi jazzycazy,

    I don't think it's possible to have my name changed in my passport without going back to Singapore first.  (May be different for your country, though?)  That's why I am wondering if this will pose problems having my married name in the US but my maiden name on my passport, since it might be another year or so before I get around to going back to Singapore and changing my passport.

    I was also considering getting the green card in my maiden name, but I read somewhere that when you're still a conditional PR (for the first 2 years), you won't be able to change your name on the green card.  So I think only after you get the conditions removed will you be able to change it to your married name...?  What a pain!

  • I would think as long as you change your name on everything in the US to your married name, then you could apply in the US with that name, regardless of your other passport. As long as you have your marriage certificate as proof of name change, then it doesn't really matter. I got a new US passport not long after we got married just to simplify the visa process for me in the UK (because at the time my UK visa was in my US passport - so the names had to match, and to change it later costs $$$)

    I'd call US immigration to check on this though!

  • I am an American who married my Australian husband 3 months ago and am living in Oz with him now. My "resident visa" (similar to green card) is still in process here. In spite of the fact that I have taken my husband's name, my driver's license is in my married name, my bank card is in my married name etc., I did not have time to change the name on my passport before filing the immigration paperwork.

    The Immigration department here in Australia requires that your paperwork be filed under the name on your passport. My paperwork is being processed in my maiden name. Once it has been completed I will update my passport with my current name (you can do this by mail from here) and will have the immigration department notified of the name change.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic IN July 2011 Siggy Challenge - What I miss most: Panera Cinnamon Crunch Bagel!
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