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Trouble Getting Name Change From Social Security

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I am looking for any suggestions or possibly someone who has encountered this problem in the past and has a solution. The problem is, the Social Security Administration will not issue my wife’s name change. So here’s the background…

My wife (fiancé at the time) came over on a K1 visa on Dec. 23rd. She obtained a SSN before we married. So she had her number and card in her possession before the marriage. We married on Feb. 27th. On that same day, we went to the local Social Security Administration office to apply for her name change.

We were told there that there was a mistake on her electronic I-94 form. I am not sure why this was just coming up now after having obtaining a SSN. We were told that her birthday was entered incorrectly. We were told it would take a few extra days to get that corrected, but that we should still receive her new name and card in about 10 days.

About 25 days pass and I call the local SSA office. I explain that we are waiting for the card with the name change. The person on the phone seemed to be confused. She kept referring to obtaining a SSN and I had to continually correct her and state we are just waiting for a name change and already had a SSN. After about 20 minutes, she said she needs to speak with the person who processed the name change application and would call us back. Three days pass without a call, so I call back and start the process over.

This time, I am told that they cannot process the name change because the information they use to verify her identity has expired. I asked them what information had expired and she apparently had no idea. She was not able to tell me anything. Grasping at straws, I suggested that maybe she was referring to the K1 visa, which had just passed the 90 day mark one or two days ago, but well after we applied for the name change a month ago.

She was not able to offer any information or help with anything at all. She said we would have to wait until my wife receives her green card before they would update her name. I asked if she could legally begin using her new name and was told, “no.” I explained that will take months and she seemed to no longer have any interest in our conversation.

I contacted the USCIS and the person on the phone was as confused as I was about the situation. She was very understanding and tried her best to offer advice. She also spoke with her supervisor for advice, but in the end, the USCIS said that this was a problem for the SSA. However, before ending the conversation with the USCIS, she put a service alert on my wife’s application referring to the problem we are having. She suggested that maybe someone else would come across her application and be able help. I was also informed that the current expected processing time for I-485 is 8-9 months.

Would anyone have any suggestions on how to fix this situation so my wife can have her legal name change this year? TIA.

Mark

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You can use the EAD/AP to change the name on the SSN. That takes 60-90 days to receive.

~ Moved from K-1 Process to Social Security Numbers - topic about SSN~


Link to K-1 instructions for Ciudad Juarez, Mexico > http://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/K1/CDJ%20-%20Ciudad%20Juarez.pdf

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We tried that too, but no avail. All we heard was "Oh for some reason it didn't go through".

Finally we contract our Congress Member's office. I guess it is OK to name him since he is a public figure and was eminently helpful. We are talking about Peter King.

Mr King got us results in under two weeks. My wife got added onto my checknig account yesterday and is going to Motor Vehicle Office today for her driving permit. Both of these things were denied to her for months while SS Office yanked our chains.

Thank you Mr. King.

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This situation seems just crazy. It's like it is set up to fail. Once a K1 applicant marries, the visa has expired; therefore, based on what the SSA is telling me, no K1 applicant can get a name change until a green card is in hand. I have to assume if my wife did not get her SSN before we married, she would not allowed to have a number until after the green card as well. This just does not make any sense.

The EAD will be more helpful as far as waiting goes, I suppose. I guess we will just have her open her accounts in her name and go through the fun process and changing all of those individually when the SSA decides they will update her name.

Might try the public official route, but at the moment, I'm not sure which one to start with.

Thanks for the suggestions!

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The K-1 became null and void once it was used to enter the US. Getting married had nothing to do with the K-1 visa's validity. A K-1 entrant is classified as an alien allowed to work, and therefore they are eligible for an SSN. The I-94 can be used, married yet or not, up until the time it has 2 weeks left before it expires. After that, you would need to wait for the EAD or green card. https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0110211530

Some SSA workers will allow you to change it with the marriage certificate, as they should, but others will tell you that you need your EAD/AP in your new married name first. They want the official government ID to show the married name. SSA workers are quite inconsistent in what they do and ask for, mainly because a lot of them do not know their own requirements and procedures for the SSN.


Link to K-1 instructions for Ciudad Juarez, Mexico > http://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/K1/CDJ%20-%20Ciudad%20Juarez.pdf

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The K-1 became null and void once it was used to enter the US. Getting married had nothing to do with the K-1 visa's validity. A K-1 entrant is classified as an alien allowed to work, and therefore they are eligible for an SSN. The I-94 can be used, married yet or not, up until the time it has 2 weeks left before it expires. After that, you would need to wait for the EAD or green card. https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0110211530

Some SSA workers will allow you to change it with the marriage certificate, as they should, but others will tell you that you need your EAD/AP in your new married name first. They want the official government ID to show the married name. SSA workers are quite inconsistent in what they do and ask for, mainly because a lot of them do not know their own requirements and procedures for the SSN.

Thanks for the information. On a related note, the SSA told me that her new married name cannot be used until she receives her updated social security card. Then I read elsewhere that the marriage certificate is the legal document of the name change. Can my wife open accounts in her married name or does she need to continue using her unmarried name?

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I wrote about this few times. Yes, SSA office workers are inconsistent

and many are not properly trained...or...lack the knowledge of their own process.

Here is a quick recap of our SSA experience...

1) Few days after my fiancee's POE, we applied and received the SS card in 5 days. - 1st visit

2) After we got married, we went back to change her last name. - 2nd visit

3) Few weeks later, we get a letter to bring in certified marriage certificate, so we did. - 3rd visit

And they can't find our application, so we submit a new one again.

4) After another 6 weeks or so, we return to SSA office to learn that her application is not in the system. - 4th visit

We received no denial letter. After some complaint, the clerk explained that, when they send our

application to California to do security checks, it would fail because they have no record of

her file with the married name. Therefore, such applications will get rejected,

so we have to come back after getting the EAD or Green Card.

So some clerks know this, so they tell you upfront, you can't change the last name until you get

EAD or GC, but some clerks will try to process it through, and it'll fail and cause confusion.

5) After we receive EAD card, we go back to change the last name, and it came in 12 days. - 5th visit.

Bottom line is...wait for EAD, which you will receive in 2 to 3 months after you file,

and then go back to the SS office, and everything will be OK.

However, if your I-94 record is wrong, go visit your local deferred inspection office

and get that corrected...be sure to bring necessary documents and evidence.


10-04-2013 We met online
11-21-2013 We met in person in Shanghai for 2 weeks

12-13-2013 I-129F packet sent via express

12-19-2013 USCIS NOA #1 (text and email) received

12-24-2013 USCIS assigns Alien Registration Number
12-31-2013 USCIS NOA #1 hard copy received
06-02-2014 USCIS web site shows NOA #2 approval
06-06-2014 USCIS web site shows case sent to NVC

06-xx-2014 Fiancee acquired birth, marriage, and police certificates from local police station (wrong)

06-16-2014 NVC creates case with GUZ### number

06-19-2014 NVC sends case sent to Guangzhou, China
06-24-2014 Received packet 3 express mail from embassy
06-25-2014 Completed DS-160 and paid K1 visa fee

06-26-2014 Mailed packet 3 response back to Embassy

06-26-2014 Requested police certificate from Russian embassy

07-08-2014 Received packet 4 email from Embassy

07-17-2014 Picked up Russian police certificate

07-25-2014 Fiancee medical exam (received MMR & Varicella, but they missed required TD shot)

07-31-2014 Picked up medical exam reports

08-01-2014 Request (correct) birth, marriage, and police certificates from Notarial Service (GongZhengChu)

08-06-2014 Picked up birth, marriage, and police certificates from Notarial Service

08-14-2014 Passed Interview Guangzhou embassy

09-01-2014 Received passport, visa, & sealed envelope

09-13-2014 POE

09-17-2014 Went to CBP office to get (US entry) I-94 updated correctly

09-18-2014 Applied for Social Security Card
09-19-2014 Applied for Marriage License (via online)
09-25-2014 Received Social Security Card
09-30-2014 Picked up Marriage License
10-09-2014 Marriage by Justice of Peace
10-09-2014 Got Certified Marriage Certificate Copies
10-17-2014 Received a letter from SS office that they need the marriage license
10-09-2014 Applied to change the social security card name
10-24-2014 Went back to SS office to provide the marriage certificate documents again!!!
12-09-2014 Submitted AOS, EAD, and AP
12-16-2014 Received 16 emails and 16 text NOA messages
01-05-2015 Received Biometrics appointment letter for (01-12-2015)
01-12-2015 Had Biometrics (fingerprint & picture) - Required Marriage Certificate!!!
02-17-2015 EAD and AP is approved
02-23-2015 Received AP is approval letter
02-25-2015 Received EAD/AP combo card (expires 02/16/2016)
02-27-2015 Applied for SS card name change (they took her SS card)
02-27-2015 Driver's learner permit test was denied since the SS card was given to SS office for name change
03-17-2015 Received SS card with married name
03-17-2015 Started to change all her accounts to married name
03-23-2015 Received potential interview waiver letter
03-27-2015 DMV rejects learner's permit due to "legal status=pending" and vision test failure
04-05-2015 Vision test for learner's permit
04-06-2015 DPS sent us letter that DHS cleared my wife's status to acquire driver's license.
04-10-2015 Passed Driver Learner's Permit
04-22-2015 Received Driver Learner's Permit ID card (expires 02/16/2016)
08-27-2015 Green Card approved
08-31-2015 Received Green Card "Welcome Notice Was Mailed" letter
09-05-2015 Received Green card
10-26-2015 Passed Driver's License Road Test (on 3rd attempt)
11-03-2015 Received Driver's License (expires 02/16/2022)
11-06-2015 Applied to remove conditional work remark on SS card
11-23-2015 Received updated Social Security Card.
- - - - - - - - - - Pending Future Processing - - - - - - - - - -
05-27-2017 File 10 Year Green Card
08-27-2017 2 Year Green Card Expires
05-27-2018 File USC

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Thanks for the information. On a related note, the SSA told me that her new married name cannot be used until she receives her updated social security card. Then I read elsewhere that the marriage certificate is the legal document of the name change. Can my wife open accounts in her married name or does she need to continue using her unmarried name?

That SSA worker was wrong. You can begin using the new married name as soon as you marry. The marriage certificate is the legal name change document used when changing name through marriage. The SSN does not control the name, and cannot even be used as an ID. You will apply for AOS/EAD/AP in the married name, and the USCIS will accept the copy of your marriage certificate as the name change document. The EAD in the married name can be used to change the name on the SSN.

Yes, you should be able to show the marriage certificate to open accounts in the new married name. If they also want ID in married name first then you will need to wait for the EAD for that too.

Changing the name with the SSA does not make a name change 'official'. The name needs to match on the SSN and IDs used for work and taxes. That was the purpose of the SSN, for recording your earnings. You will need the name changed on the SSN to match the name on the EAD for employment and drivers license/state ID.

"The card was never intended to serve as a personal identification document—that is, it does not establish that the person presenting the card is actually the person whose name and SSN appear on the card. Although SSA has made the card counterfeit-resistant, the card does not contain information that would allow it to be used as proof of identity. However, the simplicity and efficiency of using a unique number that most people already possess has encouraged widespread use of the SSN by both government agencies and private enterprises, especially as they have adapted their recordkeeping and business systems to automated data processing. Use of the SSN as a convenient means of identifying people in large systems of records has increased over the years and its expanded use appears to be an enduring trend."

You can read all about "How did the SSN come to be, and why has it become an unofficial national identifier?" here > http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v69n2/v69n2p55.html


Link to K-1 instructions for Ciudad Juarez, Mexico > http://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/K1/CDJ%20-%20Ciudad%20Juarez.pdf

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I agree with KayDeeCee.

I applied for my SSN, 17 days after POE and 3 days after marriage.

I brought with me my completed SS-5, I-94, passport and original Certified copy of the Marriage Certificate. In 3 working days, I got my card in my married name.

It all depends how knowledgeable the staff is working on your file. :)


K1 VISA APPLICATION

10.28.14 - Package Sent

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12.10.14 - NVC Received

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01.24.15 - Packet 3 Sent

01.27.15 - Packet 4 Received

02.17.15 - Medicals

03.03.15 - Interview - Approved

03.14.15 - See you California. Thank you Lord.

03.28.15 - Civil Wedding 

05.12.15 - Church Wedding 

SOCIAL SECURITY CARD

04.02.15 - Applied (brought with me completed SS-5, I-94, passport and original marriage certificate)

04.07.15 - Card Received (under married name)

11.13.15 - SSA Requested Removal of Restriction

11.20.15 - New SS Card without Restriction Received

ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS & EAD

04.02.15 - Package Sent (EAD & AOS)

04.04.15 - Package Received (Chicago Lock box)

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REMOVAL OF CONDITIONS  (CSC)

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06.29.17 - NOA

07.10.17 - Biomentrics Notice (via Post mail)

07.17.17 - Biometrics schedule

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Three months later and no progress.

My wife received her EAD on June 6th. We went back to the SSA and applied for the new card with the name change again. We went through the same precedure as the first visit for the name change. We were told she would receive her new card within 10 days.
Two weeks passed and again, nothing. We went back to the SSA and by chance, met with the same person as our last visit. She remembered us and commented that she sees that nothing has progressed. Basically, she does not know why things are not moving forward.
We went over all the documents again. On this visit, my wife had just recently had her Japanese passport updated with her new name. The lady at the SSA looked at the passport and asked why it did not have her middle name printed (she took on a middle name at marriage). The lady commented that her EAD has a first, middle and last name, but her new passport only has a first and last name. She said this was a problem. We explained that Japan does not use middle names, therefore, it would be impossible to get her middle name on her Japanese passport.
So her name change was put back in the SSA computer again and we were told we should have a new card within 10 days. It is now past two weeks and still nothing.
My wife has been ready for months, to take her driving test and after about four trips to the MVA, we have concluded that the MVA will not allow her to take the test because her social security card has her old name printed on it.
Basically, we need the SSA to change her name so she can obtain her driving license so she can have transportation and begin working. The SSA is holding everything up.
I have many questions, but the two most important at the moment are...
1. Any ideas why my wife cannot get her name changed with SSA?
2. Are we going to have to wait for her to receive her green card to make the name change?
2. Her EAD has her new name and her social security has her old name. Can she legally work?

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everyone has a boss.

Suggest you talk with the boss at that SSA office. soonish, next, nowish, face to face. Bring your wife.


Sometimes my language usage seems confusing - please feel free to 'read it twice', just in case !
Ya know, you can find the answer to your question with the advanced search tool, when using a PC? Ditch the handphone, come back later on a PC, and try again.

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The name change game continues. Social Security told us today that there is a problem at the USCIS level and we should contact them. So we contacted the national USCIS center and they said there we no problems and the application is processing. So we explained that the Social Security Administration won't make the name change due to a problem with the USCIS. They suggested we meet with the local USCIS office and go over everything.

Infopass is the only way to schedule and meeting with the local USCIS. Currently, the local USCIS office is not accepting appointments. We called back to the national USCIS and that person just confirmed things by saying, "yes, they are booked for at least two weeks and they are not accepting any new appointments."

My wife had a job offer that she is going to have to decline on because she can't get a driver's license because the SSA won't change her name.

Just looks like we will have to wait for the green card (USCIS told us they were 3 months behind in processing) so we can change her name with the SSA and then finally she can get her driver's license. So hopefully by next March, my wife can begin looking for a job.

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she has EAD and ssn in matching names? if yes, she can work. not need a drivers license ! [please study the i-9 document, soonish]


Sometimes my language usage seems confusing - please feel free to 'read it twice', just in case !
Ya know, you can find the answer to your question with the advanced search tool, when using a PC? Ditch the handphone, come back later on a PC, and try again.

-=-=-=-=-=R E A D ! ! !=-=-=-=-=-

Whoa Nelly ! Want NVC Info? see http://www.visajourney.com/wiki/index.php/NVC_Process

Congratulations on your approval ! We All Applaud your accomplishment with Most Wonderful Kissies !

2mzcunl.gif

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