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HaruBK

Question after K1 entry

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Hello VisaJourney members,

 

My wife entered the US via K-1 visa on 3/1/19 and we got married on 3/27/19.

We applied for her SSN card before our marriage in hope to get her driver's license as soon as possible.

Her SSN card (in her maiden name) came in mail on 3/30/19.

Because we now have the marriage certificate (Not certified, but 1 of 3 copies given back to us) we wanted to apply the license with the married last name.

However, the agent at secretary of state told us that we can only apply with the last name on SSN card (maiden name) and that we should go the social security administration to change to married name.

This was all good until we visited SSA again which a non-friendly lady told us that marriage certificate will do no good and that they need to see in system my wife's new name and legal status.

We told her that my wife came through K-1 and that we just got married last week.  She kept ranting on that our next step is for her to apply for EAD and only then that SSA can adjust the last name.

I explained to her in a calm way that we will be submitting for AOS I-485, but she will not apply for EAD as she does not need to work.

The lady kept mentioning that EAD is the next step and that I should stop arguing with her about American law (hmm....)

 

Anyways here are my questions:

My wife got her SSN with her maiden last name but we now have marriage certificate with married last name.

   1. In all forms to USCIS (I-485, 131, 765) do we use the married last name?

   2. Can she request to change last name to married name for SSN card at SSA?  Without waiting for NOA for I-485?

   3. Can she apply for driver's license with married last name at secretary of state? 

 

Thank you for the time in reading this thread and hope everyone has a blessed week.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, HaruBK said:

Hello VisaJourney members,

 

My wife entered the US via K-1 visa on 3/1/19 and we got married on 3/27/19.

We applied for her SSN card before our marriage in hope to get her driver's license as soon as possible.

Her SSN card (in her maiden name) came in mail on 3/30/19.

Because we now have the marriage certificate (Not certified, but 1 of 3 copies given back to us) we wanted to apply the license with the married last name.

However, the agent at secretary of state told us that we can only apply with the last name on SSN card (maiden name) and that we should go the social security administration to change to married name.

This was all good until we visited SSA again which a non-friendly lady told us that marriage certificate will do no good and that they need to see in system my wife's new name and legal status.

We told her that my wife came through K-1 and that we just got married last week.  She kept ranting on that our next step is for her to apply for EAD and only then that SSA can adjust the last name.

I explained to her in a calm way that we will be submitting for AOS I-485, but she will not apply for EAD as she does not need to work.

The lady kept mentioning that EAD is the next step and that I should stop arguing with her about American law (hmm....)

 

Anyways here are my questions:

My wife got her SSN with her maiden last name but we now have marriage certificate with married last name.

   1. In all forms to USCIS (I-485, 131, 765) do we use the married last name?

Yes! The MC entitles her to apply for AOS in her new married name.

 

   2. Can she request to change last name to married name for SSN card at SSA?  Without waiting for NOA for I-485?

 

No. The name DHS has on file for her wont be updated to her married name until her EAD or GC is APPROVED AND ISSUED (whichever comes first). An I485 Receipt notice proves that you applied only. SSAs policy is to only issue SSNs for immigrants in the name that DHS has on file. For immigrants, showing an MC wont work. Sometimes SSA will break the rules (because the individual agent doesn't know them) and issue an SSN in the married name but they are not supposed to issue an SSN in the married name until DHS has that name on file for the immigrant. That will come much later after the EAD or GC is approved.

 

   3. Can she apply for driver's license with married last name at secretary of state? 

 

DLs rules vary state to state. Most states will not issue a DL in any other name than what is on the SSN. And because you cant get an SSN in her married name you are SOL. MOST states won't even issue a DL until an EAD or GC has been issued so you're lucky to get one at all. If she can get a DL in her maiden name, be grateful for that.

 

Thank you for the time in reading this thread and hope everyone has a blessed week.

The fact is that K1s are essentially ID-less in the new married name and cannot drive until EAD or the GC is approved. It's nothing new. Just a shortcoming of the K1 process.

Edited by K1visaHopeful

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, HaruBK said:

In all forms to USCIS (I-485, 131, 765) do we use the married last name?

Yes, use married name.

15 minutes ago, HaruBK said:

Can she request to change last name to married name for SSN card at SSA?  Without waiting for NOA for I-485?

SSA lady is correct. Wait until she receives either the EAD or GC with married name.

15 minutes ago, HaruBK said:

Can she apply for driver's license with married last name at secretary of state?

No. She can apply with the maiden name now. When she gets either the EAD or GC and SSA has the married name she can change the license to married name.

Edited by accumbyte

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50 minutes ago, HaruBK said:

Hello VisaJourney members,

 

My wife entered the US via K-1 visa on 3/1/19 and we got married on 3/27/19.

We applied for her SSN card before our marriage in hope to get her driver's license as soon as possible.

Her SSN card (in her maiden name) came in mail on 3/30/19.

Because we now have the marriage certificate (Not certified, but 1 of 3 copies given back to us) we wanted to apply the license with the married last name.

However, the agent at secretary of state told us that we can only apply with the last name on SSN card (maiden name) and that we should go the social security administration to change to married name.

This was all good until we visited SSA again which a non-friendly lady told us that marriage certificate will do no good and that they need to see in system my wife's new name and legal status.

We told her that my wife came through K-1 and that we just got married last week.  She kept ranting on that our next step is for her to apply for EAD and only then that SSA can adjust the last name.

I explained to her in a calm way that we will be submitting for AOS I-485, but she will not apply for EAD as she does not need to work.

The lady kept mentioning that EAD is the next step and that I should stop arguing with her about American law (hmm....)

 

Anyways here are my questions:

My wife got her SSN with her maiden last name but we now have marriage certificate with married last name.

   1. In all forms to USCIS (I-485, 131, 765) do we use the married last name?

   2. Can she request to change last name to married name for SSN card at SSA?  Without waiting for NOA for I-485?

   3. Can she apply for driver's license with married last name at secretary of state? 

 

Thank you for the time in reading this thread and hope everyone has a blessed week.

So weird, me and some other people I know (all in different states) changed our last name before we got our EAD. MC should be enough. But apparently more people run into this issue.

 

You can use her married name on all the forms. 

DL in PA goes by last name on the NOA from the USCIS. So if you file in her married name it shouldn't be a problem. But your state might work different, check with your local DMV

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