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Brian121957

Yet another name change question.

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All the AOS papers were filed with wifes married name (First name, Maiden last name, Husband last name) as per Philippine tradition. The appointment later came with name as we filed. At the biometric appointment yesterday the immigration officer said that in the USA the middle name does not change. The only way they would change her middle name was with a court order. When I asked for the law, rule or statute they used to make this decision they could not or would not.

The agent did confide that what they do at the biometrics regarding the name had little affect. It would be the agent at the interview who makes the final decision.

Previously I had already contacted an attorney about changing her name and was told the US courts do not have authority to order the legal name change of a non us citizen.

I don't know exact numbers but it looks like 90% or more Filipina get their name change this way and do it with out incident.

What I am looking for is the law, rule or statute that specifically says you can or can't change the middle name due to marriage. I want to have all facts lined up in case there is a problem at the interview.

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There is no rule or statute that I am aware of. FIRST name, yes, need a court order. Middle name no. Can depend on your state though.

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I wanted to do the same and filed it, like you did. also all my paperwork came back to me in the name I filed. BUT at the interview the office told me, that I won't be able to keep my maiden name as my middle name. I had to choose between my maiden name as my last name or my married name. sorry.

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We (RK&Inday), too, are interested in finding same explicit law(s), rule(s), statute(s) in regards to name changes. Getting frustrated with non-acceptance of maiden-name-as-middle husband-surname-as-last which Inday has chosen. Agree with Caryh in another thread/post

(See http://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/368417-maiden-name-on-2-year-green-card/page__p__5382895__fromsearch__1#entry5382895)

that hindrance is often due to personal opinion of officials and the perception that traditional U.S. post-married name of wife to merely drop maiden name and take on husband surname is sole option. However, there are many other options: hyphenated last names, both parties keeping their pre-marriage names in full, I can even think of female public figures and acquaintances who have preserved maiden name as middle name, I know individuals who kept their full maiden name in professional circles yet choose an alternate method in personal/social matters, more. The ability/acceptance of name change seems to vary with opinion combined with laws under various jurisdictions. Have seen previous posts here on VJ where marriage certificate allowed/indicated new married name. In our (Inday & RK) case, the marriage certificate specifically requires that maiden name only appear. Furthermore, in county and state in which we were married, the county & state explicitly recognize the legal right for a name change after getting married and no time limit in which a name change must be accomplished. However, there is explicit recognition [by the county/state] that accomplishing "non-traditional" [husband name as surname] may require working with each individual agency {USCIS, SS, DMV] to determine their requirements. So now have gone full circle where, again, in the loop are officials who often supply opinion. We thought, at first, was an immigration issue but finding U.S. citizen female friends of ours who are having problems with name change with certain agencies/institutions, even traditional, even with presentation of marriage certificate. Seems like a roll of the dice depending on whom one is interacting with. Thus the reason we too are interested in any unequivocale, explicit and authoritative laws/rules/statutes.

-RK & Inday

Edited by RK_and_Inday

K-1
May 4, 2006 - We first meet in Singapore
[March 2008 to October 2011] - RK visits Inday in Philippines; multiple visits
April 11, 2010 - RK proposes on Palawan Island; Inday says "Yes! Yes!"
Apr 4, 2011 - I-129F mailed
Apr 11, 2011 - petition received, NOA1, application routed to VSC
Aug 3, 2011 - NOA2! I-129F petition approved!! Yahoo!!!
Aug 10, 2011 - NVC forwards petition to Manila
Aug 17, 2011 - Petition arrives Manila
October 4, 2011 - Medical passed; thank you for answered prayer!
October 12, 2011 - K-1 Visa approved!! Thank you for more prayers anwswered!!
November 24, 2011 - POE! (Thanksgiving Day) Prayers answered!!!! Many Thanks!!!!
Feb 5, 2012 - Wedding Ceremony!

AOS
June 14, 2012 - AOS filed (EAD & AP concurrently filed also); sent via FedEx courier
June 19, 2012 - text notification indicating receipt AOS package
June 25, 2012 - hardcopy AOS, EAD, AP "NOA1"s (I-797C) received
June 29, 2012 - appointment letter for biometrics received (appointment: mid-July)
July 14, 2012 - Biometrics appointment: complete
July 18, 2012 - Case transferred to California Service Center notice received
August 27, 2012 - Combo EAD & AP card received

April 25, 2012 - Permanent Resident card (conditional) received; Yahoo!!! (no interview)

REMOVAL OF CONDITONS
March 28, 2015 - I-751 filed; sent via USPS priority mail, signature upon delivery requested

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Our interview date is coming up. I still have not found any official law or regulation about name changes after marriage. Just checking to see if anybody has new info I can take to the interview.

Unfortunately it just depends on the state where you live and what the marriage certificate says. In some states, the marriage certificate can automatically change only the last name to the new married name. In other states, you have to write on your marriage license or certificate what you want your new name to be.

Not sure about the circumstances of your lawyer's advice. If she was outside of the U.S. or not a resident at the time, it's probably true that no U.S. court could change her name. If she's living here now, I would expect you to be able to get a court ordered name change for her, if that's what she wants. Please try to understand that names and name changes are determined by state law, not federal law, so the rules are just going to vary depending on where you are. You'll be going to state courts to request the name change.

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Our interview date is coming up. I still have not found any official law or regulation about name changes after marriage. Just checking to see if anybody has new info I can take to the interview.

You need to contact your local county/state court and ask them if you can legally change a middle name through marriage. There are states that will not allow you to change the first or middle names, only the last.


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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Unfortunately it just depends on the state where you live and what the marriage certificate says. In some states, the marriage certificate can automatically change only the last name to the new married name. In other states, you have to write on your marriage license or certificate what you want your new name to be.

Indiana, No marriage certificate. You get a certified copy of the executed marriage license. It has only un married names.

The license referees to what your legal name was when you entered in to the marriage. The court clerk said as far as the marriage goes they do not care what you call your self after the marriage.

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Not sure about the circumstances of your lawyer's advice. If she was outside of the U.S. or not a resident at the time, it's probably true that no U.S. court could change her name. If she's living here now, I would expect you to be able to get a court ordered name change for her, if that's what she wants. Please try to understand that names and name changes are determined by state law, not federal law, so the rules are just going to vary depending on where you are. You'll be going to state courts to request the name change.

I did not request a copy of the law or statute from the attorney because it did not say how we could, it said how we could not.

He did say it was not a matter of where you live or where your residents was. It was a matter of citizenship. A US or Indiana State court can not change the name of a Philippine citizen.

In fact we will eventually have to have her Passport updated. It is very likely the Philippine government will consider it to be an illegal name change request if we don't change her middle name.

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I did not request a copy of the law or statute from the attorney because it did not say how we could, it said how we could not.

He did say it was not a matter of where you live or where your residents was. It was a matter of citizenship. A US or Indiana State court can not change the name of a Philippine citizen.

In fact we will eventually have to have her Passport updated. It is very likely the Philippine government will consider it to be an illegal name change request if we don't change her middle name.

I am 95% sure that both the lawyer and the biometrics officer are wrong. As to the lawyer, state courts cannot deny most benefits to residents just because they do not yet have U.S. citizenship. The right to change your name is not reserved for U.S. citizens (like voting or serving on a jury are). Here is the Indiana statute governing name change request, and it does not mention proof of citizenship: http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/code/title34/ar28/ch2.html The court could require that the person be residing in the state.

Likewise, it's extremely doubtful that the biometrics officer is well-versed in law governing name change, or USCIS procedures about what name goes on a green card. I would just wait until the interview--as long as she isn't changing her name to something that's not on the certificate, it should be sufficient proof of whatever name you want to adopt.

As for Philippine law, I don't know anything about that.

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I am 95% sure that both the lawyer and the biometrics officer are wrong. As to the lawyer, state courts cannot deny most benefits to residents just because they do not yet have U.S. citizenship. The right to change your name is not reserved for U.S. citizens (like voting or serving on a jury are). Here is the Indiana statute governing name change request, and it does not mention proof of citizenship: http://www.in.gov/le...4/ar28/ch2.html The court could require that the person be residing in the state.

Likewise, it's extremely doubtful that the biometrics officer is well-versed in law governing name change, or USCIS procedures about what name goes on a green card. I would just wait until the interview--as long as she isn't changing her name to something that's not on the certificate, it should be sufficient proof of whatever name you want to adopt.

As for Philippine law, I don't know anything about that.

IC 34-28-2-2.5

Contents of petition

Sec. 2.5. (a) If a person petitioning for a change of name under this chapter is at least seventeen (17) years of age, the person's petition must include at least the following information:

(1) The person's date of birth.

(2) The person's current:

(A) residence address; and

(B) if different than the person's residence address, mailing

address.

(3) The person's valid:

(A) Indiana driver's license number; or

(B) Indiana identification card (as described in IC 9-24-16) number.

(4) A list of all previous names used by the person.

(5) Proof that the person is a United States citizen.

(6) A statement concerning whether the person holds a valid United States passport.

(7) A description of all judgments of criminal conviction of a felony under the laws of any state or the United States that have been entered against the person.

(b) A petition under subsection (a) is subject to Indiana Rules of Court Administrative Rule 9.

As added by P.L.61-2010, SEC.2.

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Some good news,

We just received her EAD and AP card today. It has her married name as we wanted it to be, (Philippine style). So now we have at least one official government document with the name show as we want it to be. We can use it as evidence during the interview if we need to.

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IC 34-28-2-2.5

Contents of petition

Sec. 2.5. (a) If a person petitioning for a change of name under this chapter is at least seventeen (17) years of age, the person's petition must include at least the following information:

(1) The person's date of birth.

(2) The person's current:

(A) residence address; and

(B) if different than the person's residence address, mailing

address.

(3) The person's valid:

(A) Indiana driver's license number; or

(B) Indiana identification card (as described in IC 9-24-16) number.

(4) A list of all previous names used by the person.

(5) Proof that the person is a United States citizen.

(6) A statement concerning whether the person holds a valid United States passport.

(7) A description of all judgments of criminal conviction of a felony under the laws of any state or the United States that have been entered against the person.

(b) A petition under subsection (a) is subject to Indiana Rules of Court Administrative Rule 9.

As added by P.L.61-2010, SEC.2.

I'm sorry I missed that! It's plainly unconstitutional. I wonder if anyone has ever challenged it.

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I'm sorry I missed that! It's plainly unconstitutional. I wonder if anyone has ever challenged it.

I am not sure if it is unconstitutional, but it is definitely annoying.

Seams to me for non US citizens they could require something that shows they are intending to make USA their home. Like something from the AOS process. This would filter out tourists, students visa holders and other temporary foreigners form using US courts to some how change their identity and hide from their home country.

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