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Taking an English Name

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My fiance is currently in China. She speaks English rather well and her is learning it in school (he's 6 years old). They both want an English name when they come to America. Do I just put the English name they want on the paperwork since their real names are written in Mandarin Chinese? Or is there some other form to fill out? Any ideas?

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My fiance is currently in China. She speaks English rather well and her is learning it in school (he's 6 years old). They both want an English name when they come to America. Do I just put the English name they want on the paperwork since their real names are written in Mandarin Chinese? Or is there some other form to fill out? Any ideas?

They will need to pay for a legal name change. You have a couple of options. First they need to get the K1 in their legal name now, not the made up english names.

Then depending on your state requirements, they could change their names BEFORE you marry (which I wouldn't advise in case it takes too long) or they could change it AFTER you're married. Your fiancee's last name will change with marriage, but to change her first name she'll need a court order.

The child probably couldn't change his/her name without permission from the father (unless the father doesn't exist.. you'll need to check state laws). Anyway, no, you can't just write a whole new name on the forms, the last name to yours is fine, but the first name will need a court order. If you need more time you COULD file the AOS paperwork (when she arrives in the US) in her married name (with current first and middle name) and then when she gets to ROC (2 years minus 90 days after getting the GC) they can change their name.

It's totally possible to change their name. Court order is the way to go though for first name (and middle in some states too).

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My fiance is currently in China. She speaks English rather well and her is learning it in school (he's 6 years old). They both want an English name when they come to America. Do I just put the English name they want on the paperwork since their real names are written in Mandarin Chinese? Or is there some other form to fill out? Any ideas?

You can give any English names as they want! BUT

The names on your application should be their names on their passports, which are both in Mandarin and Pinyin!! You fill their names in Pinyin on your paperwork (some forms may require their names in Madarin)!!

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My fiance is currently in China. She speaks English rather well and her is learning it in school (he's 6 years old). They both want an English name when they come to America. Do I just put the English name they want on the paperwork since their real names are written in Mandarin Chinese? Or is there some other form to fill out? Any ideas?

I am confused. I can't tell who is who.

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First, "Names" do not change themselves and name changes are not "automatic" with marriage. If your fiancee would like to take your last name as her own once you're married, she may choose to do so by using that name on the Adjustment of Status documentation. That will get her AP, EAD and Green card issued in the new name.

Taking an English name is an entirely different issue. Name changes require applications and court orders.

Your wife and son's "names" will appear on their passports in both Simplified Chinese characters and "Pinyin". Pinyin is the Mainland Chinese way of writing Chinese using the Roman alphabet. It is NOT English. Remember that whether their names use two OR three Chinese characters, they do NOT have middle names. If the given name has two syllables, requiring two characters, it's still just a one word given name in Pinyin. For instance it is not "LI, Hao Yang". It's LI, Haoyang, with LI being the family name. When you look at their passports the "first" name you'll see is their family name and the second is the given name.

For the forms, interpret questions literally and answer accurately. Making up new names is NOT answering accurately. As a practical matter, when Chinese immigrate to the USA, what they usually mean by "taking an English name" is simply to use an English name as a given name to be called in casual conversation. Seldom do they actually change their names legally but they certainly can.

For example LI, Seng, if female might chose to be called "Lisa" or LI, Haoyang, might simply choose to go by "Billy". You see, they'll be traveling internationally on Chinese Passports for at least several years, so changing the name in those passports will be a whole other matter again, if you choose to do so.

Get them here with the names they have now and worry about the rest later.

Edited by pushbrk

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Thanks everyone. I forgot about the pinyin on the passport. I was hoping there was an easier way to do this but considering the government loves paperwork at all levels, I'm not surprised. Whatever happened to Ellis Island, where you received and American name on the way in? Ah well!

Thanks again!

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Thanks everyone. I forgot about the pinyin on the passport. I was hoping there was an easier way to do this but considering the government loves paperwork at all levels, I'm not surprised. Whatever happened to Ellis Island, where you received and American name on the way in? Ah well!

Thanks again!

The Pinyin in the passports isn't what would kill you plan. Consular officers know Chinese people don't HAVE any of the English names that might come to your or their minds.

They're making it a museum. Usually the "American Name" at Ellis Island was a result of government workers asking illiterate immigrants their names. When they couldn't write or spell them themselves, the government worker would simply do the best they could to put a name on their paperwork. An "American Name" was not the intent, just the result.

Edited by pushbrk

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A Warning to Green Card Holders About Voting

http://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/606646-a-warning-to-green-card-holders-about-voting/

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ya, suggest you 'get it done' when filing for AOS. (ya file for AOS after being married in USA, since she's coming in on a K-1 visa)


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