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Cielle.Cielle

Different First Name on Passport/GC

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I'm wondering if anyone else has been in a similar situation where their first name varies slightly between Passport and Green Card, and if this caused any problems?

I married my US husband last year and have just received notification that my 2-year GC has been approved. I've also just realized that my NZ passport will need to be renewed in the next few months.

When I got married, I changed my name a little differently than most - I took his surname, took my maiden surname as my new middle name and hyphenated my first/middle name. For example, my maiden name was Sarah Jane Smith, my husband's surname is Jones. After getting married, my name became Sarah-Jane Smith Jones.

My name has legally been changed in my home country, and I have a new birth certificate/driver license there as Sarah-Jane. When we submitted my I-400 we did use Sarah-Jane but all the paperwork USCIS returned had Sarah Jane, no hyphen. It didn't bother me at the time, I just figured I would update it when applying for naturaliztion.

However, I've realize that when I renew my passport, my name will be Sarah-Jane Smith Jones on my passport, and Sarah Jane Smith Jones on my GC. I'm wondering if this could cause problems when flying or needing to present ID. It's such a small difference, I am hoping that by presenting my NZ birth certificate (with Sarah-Jane) when I travel that will be sufficient to pass through immigration/customs/airline counter checks.

I'm reluctant to pay to change my name in the US if I can wait until naturalization, plus having to pay for and wait for a new Green Card. I did find this page here that says:

Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR): LPR's who change their name due to marriage or because of any other circumstance may travel using your LPR Card (US Green Card; I551) in your prior name provided you bring proof of your name progression such as; a marriage certificate, a divorce decree or court documents showing a legal name change.

... but I'm still a little anxious.

I've found plenty of information on having a different surname on your passport/GC, and but not first. Has anyone else been in this situation?

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I do not foresee this being a problem and think that you will be fine. I myself have a complicated name and am still traveling with my passport showing my maiden name and I haven't had any problems. I do bring my marriage certificate with me when traveling internationally just in case anyone should say anything.

They are not going to make a big to do about the hyphen. The names are correct and that is what matters most.


K1 Visa AOS ROC
04-26-2012 - I-129F Sent 11-19-12 - AOS packet sent in 12-29-2014 - I-751 Sent
05-03-2012 - I-129F NOA1 12-07-12 - NOA for all 3 packets received via email 12-31-2014 - I-751 NOA 1
08-02-2012 - I-129F NOA2 01-03-13 - Bio Appt 03-04-2015 - Biometrics
08-06-2012 - NVC Received 02-20-13 - Interview and Approval 05-26-2015 - Approved
08-10-2012 - Left NVC 03-02-13 Greencard received
08-17-2012 - Consulate Received
09-06-2012 - Packet 3 Received
09-27-2012 - Interview Date APPROVED!!!!!
10-04-2012 - Visa Received
10-05-2012 - US Entry
10-29-2012 - Marriage

-Don't ever let fear hold you back.-

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