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dvensel1

HELP - marriage certificate snafu.

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We need some serious help from someone who would know how to handle this.

We went to the local USCIS office today for the second time because my wife's prints weren't accepted by the FBI. The lady there would not process her because the marriage certificate was wrong because it indicated that my wife would keep her maiden name. EVERYTHING since we got married is now in my surname from her SSN, insurance cards, bank account, the official Philippine marriage registration and the CR1 visa application to the USCIS (form I-485). The officer at the USCIS office said they could process it right then and there if we stuck to her maiden name. But then we'd have to deal with all the other things mentioned and underlined above.

The USCIS office said all we need to do is have the town clerk where we got married 'uncheck' the box that indicates my wife would keep her maiden name, type in my last name, and then re-issue the certificate. Is this right? If not, what do we need to do? Do we have to remarry? If so, how will this effect the 3 month time span between her landing in the USA and our marriage as dictated by the K1 visa? We were married weill within that 3 months but now do we have to do it again?

Good GOD I hope someone with superior knowledge can help us out. I'm beside myself over this.

By the way, our local is in St. Albans Vermont and not Albany as this site reported.

Edited by dvensel1

"Remember, I'm pullin' for ya. We're all in this together". Red Green.

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We need some serious help from someone who would know how to handle this.

We went to the local USCIS office today for the second time because my wife's prints weren't accepted by the FBI. The lady there would not process her because the marriage certificate was wrong because it indicated that my wife would keep her maiden name. EVERYTHING since we got married is now in my surname from her SSN, insurance cards, bank account, the official Philippine marriage registration and the CR1 visa application to the USCIS (form I-485). The officer at the USCIS office said they could process it right then and there if we stuck to her maiden name. But then we'd have to deal with all the other things mentioned and underlined above.

The USCIS office said all we need to do is have the town clerk where we got married 'uncheck' the box that indicates my wife would keep her maiden name, type in my last name, and then re-issue the certificate. Is this right? If not, what do we need to do? Do we have to remarry? If so, how will this effect the 3 month time span between her landing in the USA and our marriage as dictated by the K1 visa? We were married weill within that 3 months but now do we have to do it again?

Good GOD I hope someone with superior knowledge can help us out. I'm beside myself over this.

By the way, our local is in St. Albans Vermont and not Albany as this site reported.

Have you tried to do what they suggested? Sounds like they told you what to do. The only you could remarry is if you divorced.... I'm assuming you're K1? Edited by Shauneg

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It should not be a problem to first try to correct at the clerk office. Bring EVERYTHING that has her name as evidence.

However, it seems to me that it may be her right to change her name after marriage with 'common law' use (depending upon the state), regardless of what is recorded at the clerks office.

But anyway, if the clerk will not make the change, and USCIS will not accept documents as they are, the other option would be a legal name change.

http://www.wikihow.com/Legally-Change-Your-Name

Check that this would also be accepted by USCIS and that the processing time will match your requirements.

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Here is some information specific to Vermont.

http://women.vermont.gov/sites/women/files/pdf/Chapter%209%20Name%20Changes.pdf

It does not explain about your situation, however, you might contact the Probate Division of the Vermont Superior Cour​t

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I can not make heads or tail out of your post, you mention a K1 and then you mention CR1 ? Are you talking about her adjustment of status and they

wouldn't accept her finger prints at the biometrics ?
You married here and she can keep her maiden name if she wants to, she does not have to have your last name, this is bizarre unless I am too tired and

don't understand what you are talking about. Go back ask for a Supervisor.

Please fill out your timeline to better understand what you are filing.


Spoiler

 

I-129F Sent : 3-31-2014, NOA2: 4-6-2014

NVC Received : some dinkelsberry yehoo in the house of clingons send our petition to the wrong consulate.

Consulate Received : July 30,2014 Transfer to right embassy complete.

Interview Date : Oct 22, 2014

Interview Result : AP , requesting another PC (not expired) and certified divorce decree (was submitted)Stokes interview via phone for petitioner 4 hrs after interview.

Oct 23 email notification visa approved.
Visa Received : Nov. 3 , 2014 VISA IN HAND.

US Entry : Nov. 21, 2014

Marriage : Dec 27, 2014

AOS send : May 12, 2015, received May 14, 2015 USPS priority

Email &text : May 18, 2015, check cashed May 19,2015, return receipt May 21, 2015 stamped USCIS Lockbox, NOA1 (3x) May 22,2015

Biometrics : June 1, 2015 letter received for appointment June 8, 2015, successful walk-in June 1, 2015

RFE : June 12, 2015 for income not meeting guideline. Income does ( ! ) exceed guideline.

RFE response : June 26, 2015 returned with a boat load full of financial evidence.

UPDATE: July 5, 2015 updated on all 3 cases, RFE received June 30, 2015.

Service request : Aug 12, 2015, letter received that it will be processed within 90 days from receipt of RFE.

UPDATE: Aug 24, 2015, EAD card being produced/ordered. ( 102 days from AOS receipt day and 55 days from RFE response received.) Thank you Jesus !

Emails : Aug 24, 2015, EAD approved, EAD card ordered.

I-797 EAD/AP approval notice received : Aug 27, 2015

EAD/AP combo card mailed : Aug 27, 2015, EAD/AP combo card received: Aug 31, 2015

Renewal application send for EAD/AP : May 31,2016 (AOS pending over 1 year). Received June 2, 2016,Notice date June7, 2016, emails,texts, NOA1 hard copy

Service request for pending AOS April 21, 2016, case not assigned yet.
Service request for pending AOS June 14, 2016, tier 2 said performing background checks.
Expedite request for EAD/AP Aug 3, 2016, Aug10 notification >request was received, assigned, completed. RFE letter requesting evidence for expedite, docs faxed Aug18

*Service request for I-485 Aug 3, 2016, Aug11 notification> request was assigned. Service request Dec 2, 2016.
AOS Interview letter received Aug 12, 2016

AOS Interview September 21, 2016.

Second Biometrics appointment letters received for EAD and AOS on Aug 15, 2016 for Aug 17 ( 2 day notice).

Second Biometrics completed Aug 17, 2016

Third Biometrics appointment letter received Aug 19, 2016 for Sept. 1, 2016. WTH ?!

EAD/AP (renewal) approval Aug 22, 2016, NOA2 received Aug 25, 2016

Renewal EAD in production notification text and online, expedite successful 4 days after RFE request response was faxed, Aug25mailed,Aug29received.

Sept. 21 Interview, 2 hour interview, we were separated and asked about 50 questions each for an hour each. IO was firm but professional, some smiles.
Several service requests made, contacted Senator and Ombudsman. Background checks still pending.
July 21, 2017 HOME VISIT.  Went well. Topic thread in AOS forum.
Waiting to skip ROC and get 10 yr GC due to over 2 year while pending AOS
AOS APPROVED Oct. 4, 2017 * Green card in hand Oct 13, 2017 !!!!!

First K1 denied after 16 month of AP. Refiled. We are a couple since 2009. Not a sprint but a matter of endurance.

 

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Have you tried to do what they suggested? Sounds like they told you what to do. The only you could remarry is if you divorced.... I'm assuming you're K1?

Hi...

Yes, we just came from there now. They are looking into it. We went to the local court house too to check on a legal name change as well and were told that we have to fill out the paperwork online and then submit it to the court clerk's office for submittal to the proper authorities. Thus far I'm unable to find the right papers to fill out on the NY web site. It keeps taking me to the NY city part of it and I'm 500 miles north of NY city in Malone NY.

The sad part about all this is that it's passed all the scrutiny of every single phase of this, right up to yesterday when a lady in St. Albans Vt. stopped the process because of this. I understand her resistance to procede but now we're in a quandry on what to do. Keep in mind that this is only the USCIS office we report to. We were married in NY state in Malone NY.

My wife began using my last name once we were married and this name is on all of her current paperwork from the 485 petition, her medical card, social security card, my pension fund, and even the Philippine consulate in NY city where she had to register the marriage for their NSO.

The clerk suggested changing her name legally by filing the paperwork but I have no idea where to turn for this. The bank account is suffering and the cost of a lawyer to do this will bust our bank at thsi point. Does anyone know where I can find the actual paperwork to change names and NOT on some legal or lawyer's web site that wants more money that all the links point you to?

Why did we do this? Well, to begin with, she decided she wanted to keep her maiden name. We went up to the clerks office prior to our marriage and the option on the licens was changed. It was explained to us at that point that we could then decide later to assume my name or keep her maiden name. The clerk changed it on the spot for us. Naturally we figured we had the option since this is what is exactly stated on the back of the license!

On the back of the license it clearly states that AFTER the marriage she has the option to assume either name. The marriage certificate came through with her maiden name on it. We evidently lost this option in transition. We never saw the check mark in the little box on this certificate because it was skewed and not easily caught with an eye.

Now we're wondering if it would simply be easier to change everything else, but then we run into the same problem with the last name. I.E.: we'd need to provide proof of the name change. hence my request for some sor5t of direction to change her hame to mine.

Can you guide us? Even a little bit??


"Remember, I'm pullin' for ya. We're all in this together". Red Green.

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UPDATE:

I just spoke with the USCIS customer helpline and the guy on the other end asked me why the USCIS office we went to (St. Albans Vt.) even asked for the marriage certificate to begin with. He stated clearly it is not required nor is it on the 797C form to supply it. He's right too. It isn't. He further stated that since we were married in NY state, my wife can keep her maiden name for the visa but use her married name (my name) on everything else. It's perfectly legal in NY state to do so. Upon checking NY state law (and my lawyer) we found this to be true. He went on to say that there was no reason at for them to refuse her. He suggested we go right back in immediately and ask for someone else to do her bios and to continue the process. He also said that we could process the I-485 form with her maiden name and this would only effect her visa and nothing else. We could continue to use her married name on everything else like social security card, bank accounts, etc.. He was even surprised at the fact that the first time we went, everything was fine and they did her biometrics then. Had it not been for the girl screwing them up the first time, we never would have been made to go back. So off we go tomorrow for another adventure. What's anyone's opinion on this? I'd love to hear.


"Remember, I'm pullin' for ya. We're all in this together". Red Green.

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Get an immigration attorney with experience. He can answer your question in 3 minutes. Just try to explain it in a more concise manner so he can understand what the problem is. It's kind of foggy. We used 3 different attorneys for 50 - 300 bucks a pop and it was well worth it each time. An immigration attorney will know the answer right off the top and you may only need him for 1/2 hour. And, he can fix any other problems you see coming down the road. Don't stress - fix it.

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I hope you're right. Here it is a little clearer:

1) Went to appointment in St. Albans USCIS office for my wife's biometrics.

2) 2 weeks later we received a letter and a new 767C Notice of Action form stating that the finger prints were not accepted by the FBI. The letter set another appointment date for doing them over.

3) We went to the appointment on July 29th and were met with a different lady.

4) She requested to see our marriage certificate.

5) She stated that she could not and would not do the prints over because my wife's maiden name was on the Mar. Certificate but the I-485 petition was in her married name. They did not match.

6) Upon returning home I did research and found out that this is in fact acceptable by USCIS. I called them and they verified this fact.

7) The USCIS


"Remember, I'm pullin' for ya. We're all in this together". Red Green.

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I would just keep calling the USCIS. Ask for a supervisor, because the customer service people admittedly don't know anything. Then keep asking polite questions until you get an answer. Stay calm and polite, but don't hang up. They will not hang up on you. Just take your time and keep talking it through. Stay polite no matter what. Remember, all their business is a life and death crises, so you are not the first one to blow a gasket.

Maybe try calling again later in the day or the next day, because they can look this up. If you are correct, find out the source or proof of your correction from your research, (what is it?) and present it to the USCIS, either by phone or in person. You can always make an appointment to go in there. But remember you have to keep standing there and talking because they are good at hinting you need to leave now. If there are no open slots in the future, you can re-look up the schedule each morning and grab someone else's cancellation.

Sometimes one problem can cascade to another. Actually, to avoid a can of worms, I would spend $100 on an immigration attorney. They usually have offices in the same building as the USCIS and take walk in business. To save money, email your concise problem description to a few immigration attorneys. One of them might tell you the answer for free.

Stay Calm but keep moving

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No attorney is needed, OP received clarification from infopass that the person not accepting the name was wrong. I agree.

OP, go and demand to speak to the supervisor, that woman doesn't know what she is talking about.

If the supervisor also says she can't do anything because of the name change then consult an attorney but I believe if you are assertive

with the supervisor you will be ok, they are not immigration officers there but just contractors to take the biometrics.


Spoiler

 

I-129F Sent : 3-31-2014, NOA2: 4-6-2014

NVC Received : some dinkelsberry yehoo in the house of clingons send our petition to the wrong consulate.

Consulate Received : July 30,2014 Transfer to right embassy complete.

Interview Date : Oct 22, 2014

Interview Result : AP , requesting another PC (not expired) and certified divorce decree (was submitted)Stokes interview via phone for petitioner 4 hrs after interview.

Oct 23 email notification visa approved.
Visa Received : Nov. 3 , 2014 VISA IN HAND.

US Entry : Nov. 21, 2014

Marriage : Dec 27, 2014

AOS send : May 12, 2015, received May 14, 2015 USPS priority

Email &text : May 18, 2015, check cashed May 19,2015, return receipt May 21, 2015 stamped USCIS Lockbox, NOA1 (3x) May 22,2015

Biometrics : June 1, 2015 letter received for appointment June 8, 2015, successful walk-in June 1, 2015

RFE : June 12, 2015 for income not meeting guideline. Income does ( ! ) exceed guideline.

RFE response : June 26, 2015 returned with a boat load full of financial evidence.

UPDATE: July 5, 2015 updated on all 3 cases, RFE received June 30, 2015.

Service request : Aug 12, 2015, letter received that it will be processed within 90 days from receipt of RFE.

UPDATE: Aug 24, 2015, EAD card being produced/ordered. ( 102 days from AOS receipt day and 55 days from RFE response received.) Thank you Jesus !

Emails : Aug 24, 2015, EAD approved, EAD card ordered.

I-797 EAD/AP approval notice received : Aug 27, 2015

EAD/AP combo card mailed : Aug 27, 2015, EAD/AP combo card received: Aug 31, 2015

Renewal application send for EAD/AP : May 31,2016 (AOS pending over 1 year). Received June 2, 2016,Notice date June7, 2016, emails,texts, NOA1 hard copy

Service request for pending AOS April 21, 2016, case not assigned yet.
Service request for pending AOS June 14, 2016, tier 2 said performing background checks.
Expedite request for EAD/AP Aug 3, 2016, Aug10 notification >request was received, assigned, completed. RFE letter requesting evidence for expedite, docs faxed Aug18

*Service request for I-485 Aug 3, 2016, Aug11 notification> request was assigned. Service request Dec 2, 2016.
AOS Interview letter received Aug 12, 2016

AOS Interview September 21, 2016.

Second Biometrics appointment letters received for EAD and AOS on Aug 15, 2016 for Aug 17 ( 2 day notice).

Second Biometrics completed Aug 17, 2016

Third Biometrics appointment letter received Aug 19, 2016 for Sept. 1, 2016. WTH ?!

EAD/AP (renewal) approval Aug 22, 2016, NOA2 received Aug 25, 2016

Renewal EAD in production notification text and online, expedite successful 4 days after RFE request response was faxed, Aug25mailed,Aug29received.

Sept. 21 Interview, 2 hour interview, we were separated and asked about 50 questions each for an hour each. IO was firm but professional, some smiles.
Several service requests made, contacted Senator and Ombudsman. Background checks still pending.
July 21, 2017 HOME VISIT.  Went well. Topic thread in AOS forum.
Waiting to skip ROC and get 10 yr GC due to over 2 year while pending AOS
AOS APPROVED Oct. 4, 2017 * Green card in hand Oct 13, 2017 !!!!!

First K1 denied after 16 month of AP. Refiled. We are a couple since 2009. Not a sprint but a matter of endurance.

 

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UPDATE 7/31/15:

We returned to St. Albans and spoke again with the same woman. The conversation took on a much better quality. Here's what she advised us to do to keep it simple all around and to also help change my wife's name for future use.

1) She had us continue the process under my wife's maiden name. After checking several legal sources we found out that changing a marriage license can not be done in NY state. We can "amend" it, but not change it. However, this is very involved. We'll speak to a lawyer about this first of course. As a result of this decision, my wife's petition bios are now done.

2) The lady suggested that in about 1½ years my wife will be applying for her AOS to get her permanent (10 year) green card. The lady suggested taking whatever route necessary to get her name legally changed to mine or to amend the marriage certificate during this 1½ year wait. She then said that when we go back there for the AOS when the time comes, we simply bring her the legal paperwork from the name change or mar. certificate amendment and she would personally change everything around for us for a fee to USCIS at that time. This would totally line up everything. Again, my lawyer can handle either one for us for a small fee.

I understand where she's coming from. But it was such a small oversight that no one caught it. She's actually right.

It all started because we had the town clerk reinstate our option to select my wife's new last name by changing the license. All she did was cross out my name and initial it. As she explained it, this gave us back the option of using either name when we made up our minds. It was a surprise to see that the very same clerk clicked the checkbox on the actual mar. certificate indicating my wife would retain her maiden name. We never noticed and neither did anyone else apparently. The lady was correct in that my wife's name legally is her maiden name. It was recorded as such. USCIS has no other way of doing this because this mar. certicficate is the only evidence there is to verify the marriage. She was really quite helpful this time around. Maybe she fetl sorry for us? Doing a legal name change will also allow my wife to change her middle name to her maiden name as is the tradition in the Philippines I understand. We were considering it anyway so she could do this later on.

Now the big question is: if we get her name changed before the AOS is filed, what name do we put on the AOS application? I assume it's her old name so it lines up with the temp. visa she would have at that time?

Opinions on how we did will be appreciated. And maybe even some more help or direction from some of you seasoned vets out there.


"Remember, I'm pullin' for ya. We're all in this together". Red Green.

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She is applying for AOS now. This is not a visa. Visas are used to enter the US and she already used one to enter. She is adjusting her status to permanent residency (AOS=adjustment of status). She will receive a green card when approved. If you are married less than 2 years at the time of approval, then the green card will only be valid for 2 years (conditional green card). Within 90 days of that green card expiring, you will need to file for removal of conditions (ROC). When the ROC is approved, she will receive a 10 year green card.

If her marriage certificate shows her name is still legally her maiden, then you will need to get the court-ordered name change/amended marriage certificate before applying, if you want the green card in her married name. If you don't want to wait, then file in her maiden name now and get the name changed later, before applying for ROC. Her 2 year card will come in her maiden name, and then you can file for ROC in the new, changed married name when it is time and get the 10 year card.


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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She is applying for AOS now. This is not a visa. Visas are used to enter the US and she already used one to enter. She is adjusting her status to permanent residency (AOS=adjustment of status). She will receive a green card when approved. If you are married less than 2 years at the time of approval, then the green card will only be valid for 2 years (conditional green card). Within 90 days of that green card expiring, you will need to file for removal of conditions (ROC). When the ROC is approved, she will receive a 10 year green card.

If her marriage certificate shows her name is still legally her maiden, then you will need to get the court-ordered name change/amended marriage certificate before applying, if you want the green card in her married name. If you don't want to wait, then file in her maiden name now and get the name changed later, before applying for ROC. Her 2 year card will come in her maiden name, and then you can file for ROC in the new, changed married name when it is time and get the 10 year card.

OMG! We just talked to a lawyer prior to reading your response. You are right on the money on this! How wonderful. We processed her temp. green card under her maiden name so it would get done. After we receive it, we will then pursue the marriage cert. amendment if it's allowed or a legal name change. Whichever one we're able to do will be done befroe we apply for her ROC when the time comes. This way when we apply, we'll have the n ames lined up properly and legallly

I have one question though and I hope you don't find it sounding ignorant. When the time approaches to file for my wife's ROC, what name do we put on this when we sumit it? Do we submit it with the same name used on her 2 year green card (her maiden name) so it aligns these papers to her? Or do we submit it with the NEW name printed on it and provide the "name change papers" with it then to back it up? My wife thinks she heard the lady at the local USCIS office tell her to submit it (the ROC) with her maiden name and then when we go to the local USCIS folks, we would simply bring the official "name change papers" with us then and they would handle it for a fee of $400 then.

I sure do appreciate you knowledge in this. It's been very confusing to us and we've tried to do it properly but this one screwup sure did make things complicated in the end. And just when we're almost through the enitre process too.

Bless you!

I hope you can advise us on this last question.

Doug and Ana


"Remember, I'm pullin' for ya. We're all in this together". Red Green.

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