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Name Change Dilemma

Discussion in 'US Citizenship' started by memme, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. memme

    memme Registered Users (C)

    I intend to change my name and it is not based on marriage or anything. I just don't like my last name (let's say).

    I have been doing some reading and kind of stuck. To summarize, I guess there are 2 possibilities:

    1. Submit a petition to the local court for name change with ~$300 fee. Submit the N-400 with the intention to change the name. Obtain the court order prior to the interview.

    2. Submit the N-400 with the intention to change the name. Wait until the oath day and hope that Naturalization Certificate will have the new name. Take that to the SSN office to get a new SSN card. Take the new SSN card to get the new DL. Take all obtained so far, to apply for the passport.

    I like the approach number 2. However, I am not sure if that is even possible. Please advise. I just want the process to be easy and still legal and if I can do away with the extra work and the court fee of $300, why not?
  2. Jackolantern

    Jackolantern Registered Users (C)

    Name change is a built-in option of the naturalization process itself, and there is no extra charge for it. If you do the name change as a separate court process while your naturalization is in progress, you could create significant delays and mixups with your naturalization.

    If you're going to do the name change as an independent court process, do it entirely before applying for naturalization, or after you complete naturalization. Otherwise, use the name change option of naturalization by specifying your new desired name on the N-400, and they will do the name change for free and the natz certificate will have the new name.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2009
  3. Huracan

    Huracan Registered Users (C)

    San Jose doesn't do judicial oaths and cannot do name changes as part of naturalization. So, you'll have to spend the money on a court name change.

    I would say do it before sending the N-400 or after that. I am not sure how that submitting N-400 with intention to change the name will work, in particular around name check processing. It is probably better if you do it earlier, that way your naturalization certificate will be issued with the new name and will be less paperwork to apply for passport and other documents, as the spelling on the certificate will match the spelling you want on the other documents.
  4. memme

    memme Registered Users (C)

    Jackolantern, thanks for the information. Correct or not, I wan to believe that this will work. However, just for the sake of sharing and discussing all we know, here is the text from the "Guide to Naturalization - http://www.uscis.gov/files/article/M-476.pdf"

    FAQ 18. Can I change my name when I naturalize?
    Congress did not give USCIS legal authority to change a person’s name when that person naturalizes. Therefore, there are only two ways that USCIS can issue your Certificate of Naturalization under a new name:

    1. If you present proof that you have already changed your name according to the legal requirements that apply to persons living in your State, USCIS can issue the Certificate of Naturalization with your new name. Such proof might include a marriage certificate or divorce decree showing that you changed your name when you married or divorced. It might also include some other State court order establishing that you changed your name.

    2. If you are going to take the Oath of Allegiance at a Naturalization Ceremony that is held in Court, you may ask the Court to change your name. If the Court grants your request, your new name will appear on your Certificate of Naturalization.

    Huracan, I am no longer in San Jose. I live in Phoenix and will be taking oath in a Phoenix location. I still have to figure out if that will be a court or some other USICS facility. Anyone knows?
  5. Jackolantern

    Jackolantern Registered Users (C)

    If you're doing a name change mixed in with the naturalization process, you don't directly deal with the court to arrange the name change. You simply request the name change on the N-400, then USCIS will file some papers with the court to set up the name change. Then your oath ceremony will be done as a judicial oath, which would either be in court itself, or at another venue with a judge present.
  6. NovaCitizen

    NovaCitizen Registered Users (C)

    Do we get new SSN number with name ?
  7. Jackolantern

    Jackolantern Registered Users (C)

    No. You need to go to the SS office to request a new card with the new name, but it will have the same old number.
  8. NovaCitizen

    NovaCitizen Registered Users (C)

    thank u!!!!

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