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effect of name change on spouse/legal docs (2 questions)

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Morocco

Ok, I was just curious - I heard that name changes at the time of naturalization are 'free'. But what if the husband is the one being naturalized, and makes changes to his 'last' name? Does/can his wife need to change hers too (if she took his original 'last' name), and does that happen then, or does it need to be done separately? We're thinking of adding a hyphen to his name since people tend to drop part of his name - I don't know if adding a hyphen would require an actual legal "name change" or not.

The reason (kind of OT) for adding the hyphen: Let's say my husband's name is Abdel El Ephant. He's often called "Abdel Ephant" - which was more of a problem at first, when we didn't know to say "look under Ephant if you can't find it" (and since his name isn't actually El E___, it's El H___, they don't ever happen to 'accidently' see it). We've gotten junk mail addressed to Abdel El, Ephant El, and of course Abdel Ephant. If we spell it without the space, we get Elephant instead of ElEphant. So we thought maybe El-Ephant would help clear up the confusion. I know it's not a big deal in the scheme of things, but it's getting old, having to 'fix' this all of the time.

Also, he's thinking of adding an American middle name. He's already been putting "A. Jim El Ephant" on his resume, job applications, etc. We really think it helped him finally get his job (if not, it's a big coincidence that as soon as he started using Jim, he got a job after MANY months of not a single call).

My second question is, with the addition of a middle name and/or hyphen, is it necessary to modify all our legal documents? We have the normal bank accounts, mortgage, car title, his driver license, Will, etc. Or is it easier (but still legal) to just leave his name exactly as it is (Abdel El Ephant) legally, and just use the Abdel Jim El-Ephant version anyway?

It's just funny - I used to wonder why some people from other countries varied their name sometimes instead of just picking a version and sticking with it. And now I'm doing the same! I'm Jane El Ephant, Jane El-Ephant, or even Jane ElEphant.


Edited by venusfire503

met online May 2006

visited him in Morocco July 2006

K-1 petition sent late September 2006 after second visit

December 2006 - third trip - went for his visa interview (stood outside all day)

visa approved! arrived here together right before Christmas 2006

married January 2007

AOS paperwork sent February 2007

RFE (yipee)

another RFE (yikes)

AOS approval July 2007

sent Removal of Conditions paperwork 01 May 2009

received I-751 NOA 14 May 2009

received ASC appt. notice 28 May 2009

biometrics appt. 12 June 2009

I-751 approval date 25 Sept 2009 (no updates on the system - still says 'received'/"initial review")

19 Oct 2009 - got text message "card production ordered"

24 Oct 2009 - actual card in the mail box!

sent his N-400 - 14 May 2010

check cashed 27 May 2010

NOA received 29 May 2010 (dated 24 May)

Biometrics Appointment Letter received 17 June 2010

Biometrics scheduled for 08 July 2010; walk-in successfully done in Philadelphia 07 July 2010

02 Oct 2010 - FINALLY got email saying the case was being transferred to the local office. Hoping to get his interview letter soon...

05 Oct 2010 - received interview letter!!!!

08 November 2010 - scheduled for N-400 interview

- went together for interview; file isn't there - need to wait to be rescheduled

Jan 2011 - went for Infopass

25 Feb 2011 - interview

19 April 2011 - Infopass

8 July 2011 - HE'S FINALLY A CITIZEN - WOO HOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

30 July 2011 - citizenship party

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