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Name Change Question

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Hi there,

My wife and I got married in May and filed an I-130 via DCF in June. At the time, we chose not to change our names (hyphenated version of our last names) because we were afraid of the delay having to change our passports, IDs, etc might cause in our filing. So, once we reach the US, I will have to go through a legal name change through the courts (California).

My question is, has anyone done this and can you tell me a bit about the procedure? I've looked it up online but it's rather vague. Which office would I file with? Does anyone know the filing fees? Do I have to change my passport if my new name is a hyphenated version of my original? I am the US citizen.

Also, what's the procedure for my wife? Does she have to change her name here in Germany or do we go through the same procedure when we get to the US?

Thanks so much!

5/29/14 - Sent 129-f to Dallas Lockbox
6/2/14 - Recieved by USCIS
6/5/14 - Check Cashed
6/10/14 - NOA1
7/5/14 - NOA2
7/21/14 - Letter Stating Packet Sent to Consulate

7/30/14 - Letter from Consulate
10/29/14 - Extension Request to Consulate

4/15/15 - Letter from Consulate

6/22/15 - Cancelled 129-f

6/24/15 - Sent I-130 to Frankfurt

7/1/15 - Notice of Receipt Rec'd

8/15/15 - Notice of Approval Rec'd (Packet 3)

9/1/15 - Packet 3 sent to Consulate

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I was wondering the same. We got married last december and I kept my last name. But I want to change it as soon as I get to the US...


~~~ mrandmrsBRS Visa journey ~~~

Service Center: Vermont

Embassy: Frankfurt/Germany


Marriage: 2014-12-30

I-130 sent: 2015-1-5

I-130 Noa 1: 2015-1-12

I-130 approved: 2015-6-10

Your I-130 was approved in 149 days from your NOA 1 date.


NVC: 2015-7-8

AOS bill: 2015-8-4

AOS P.: 2015-9-22 (e-mail, PDF)

IV bill: 2015-9-15

IV P.: 2015-9-22 (e-mail, PDF)

Case Complete: 2015-10-12 (2015-12-07)

Supervisor Review 2015-11-02Called NVC 2015-12-07 (no longer under supervisor review, waiting for an Interview Date)


Medical: 2016-1-7

Interview Frankfurt: 2016-1-19 (called NVC 2015-12-14) APPROVED :dancing: :wub:

POE: 2016-2-9 ATL (Atlanta)

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Since you will be doing a hyphenated version of the names, you'll probably have to go through court: http://www.courts.ca.gov/1051.htm

After that, you would have to take the papers you receive after the court order to the Social Security Office and DMV to change your name and then onward for your banks, etc. But you need to the drivers license and social security number changed before changing stuff through your bank, etc.

As for your wife, she probably would have to start by making an Infopass appointment with USCIS since it would need to be reflected on her green card prior to changing her name on the social security card, etc.

Edited by Smelserjl

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No one has to go to court.

Under CA law, a marriage certificate alone allows a spouse to take the other spouse's last name including a hyphenated last name combining the spouses' last names.



OP - if you and your wife wants to use your hyphenated names, then simply change them on the documents and pay the appropriate fees. You will want your IDs to have the same name.

Best of luck

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For a wife it's likely easy to change her name (a new green card will run $450 however.) But often it's harder for a man to change their name.



You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss


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