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Married or Single Last Name on AOS forms?

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3 hours ago, LarryHickman said:

Yes that’s my understanding. Once you have green card then change your name with social security Administration, drivers license etc. I can’t think of a single thing, need or necessity that you can’t get, obtain or accomplished being married but still use your birth name for the short time period during filing AOS and greencard.

No, never ever do that. If you want to change o your spouse's name the that's  the name you use on your AOS application. Changing the name on the greencard later on will cost over $500. 

 

You always use your legal name. If you want to use your spouse's name after the wedding, then that's your legal name no matter if it's  on the actually marriage certificate or not.


K-1: 12-22-2015 - 09-07-2016 (260 days)

AP: 12-20-2016 - 04-07-2017 (108 days)

EAD: 01-18-2017 - 05-30-2017 (132 days)

AOS: 12-20-2016 - 07-26-2017 (217 days)

 

ROC:

04-19-2019 - Earliest filing date

04-22-2019 - I-751 sent with USPS (AZ lockbox)

04-24-2019 - Delivered/Received date

04-30-2019 - Check cashed

04-30-2019 - NOA1 text/email (WAC)

05-03-2019 - NOA1 hardcopy/extension letter

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8 hours ago, K1visaHopeful said:

Some states do not issue MCs in any other name than the maiden name. BUT your surname name (as the husband) is listed on it, correct?

Your surname does not have to be listed on the MC as attached to your wife's name in any way. Your surname being listed on the MC means she can elect to use your surname as her new married surname.

The same would apply if you, as the husband decided to take on your wife's surname as your new married name. You could because her surname is listed on the MC.

The same would apply if you both (or one of you) decided to hyphenate your surnames. Both your surname and her surname are listed on the MC so you could both (or one of you) choose to elect to use both of your surnames but hyphenate them simply because both names appear on the MC.

What it comes down to is this: If the name appears on the MC, either one of you can elect to use that name as your married name. A Marriage Certificate gives you the legal option to elect to use any name listed on it as your new married surname. 

Say if your MC says:

John Vanderfran

Mary Smith 

...with her maiden name being Smith.

She can elect to be called Mary Vanderfran or she can elect to still be called Mary Smith.

You can elect to be called John Smith.

And both or one of you can choose to be known as Vanderfran-Smith and the other Smith-Vanderfran. Her new surname does not have to already appear on the MC as her name. Those names being ON the MC mean she can do whatever she likes.

 

As for changing the name, it is much different for immigrants that what you have been taught. Immigrants cant simply update documents in their new name. They first need legal immigrant status.

The official "changing of the name" occurs first through immigration for immigrants. You do so by applying for I485, I765 and I131 in the name you have elected to take. Once your first immigrant benefit is approved (whichever comes first out of EAD or GC) you will then have official immigrant status in the married name and you can update everything else. 

 

My husband and I both hyphenated our names. I strongly disagree with your last paragraph.

I changed my name after filing for the I751 and never changed my name with USCIS, but changed it with the SSA, DL, everything else, including my passport, without ever changing it with USCIS because I didn't want to pay to get a new GC with my new legal name. Never had an issue and just applied for N-400.

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40 minutes ago, Mollie09 said:

 

My husband and I both hyphenated our names. I strongly disagree with your last paragraph.

I changed my name after filing for the I751 and never changed my name with USCIS, but changed it with the SSA, DL, everything else, including my passport, without ever changing it with USCIS because I didn't want to pay to get a new GC with my new legal name. Never had an issue and just applied for N-400.

SSA- would depend on the agent who helped you and their knowledge that your SSN name needs to match the name DHS has on record for you. As well, your GC name should match your SSN name in order for SSA to collect the correct data for you and your employer should verify the same for the same reason.

https://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/ss5doc.htm

(Adult, corrected, non citizen)

 

DDS/DMV- the policy of each state will vary. In my state (GA) I cannot get a DL unless my immigration document and SSN have the same name. That is quite common.

 

Foreign Passport - it will depend on the country as well. I cannot change my name on my Canadian Passport until I have government photo ID in my new name. So because I am unable to get a DL in my married name because I don't have an SSN in my married name because I don't have an immigration document in my married name, I cannot change my passport name.

 

An immigrant name change, more often than not, comes with the issuance of the immigrant's first immigration benefit in the married name. In some cases, you may get lucky with an agent not following the policy or not knowing the policy or by your state having policy that benefits immigrants due to a large immigrant population but more often that is not the case. 

 

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1 minute ago, K1visaHopeful said:

SSA- would depend on the agent who helped you and their knowledge that your SSN name needs to match the name DHS has on record for you. As well, your GC name should match your SSN name in order for SSA to collect the correct data for you and your employer should verify the same for the same reason.

https://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/ss5doc.htm

(Adult, corrected, non citizen)

 

DDS/DMV- the policy of each state will vary. In my state (GA) I cannot get a DL unless my immigration document and SSN have the same name. That is quite common.

 

Foreign Passport - it will depend on the country as well. I cannot change my name on my Canadian Passport until I have government photo ID in my new name. So because I am unable to get a DL in my married name because I don't have an SSN in my married name because I don't have an immigration document in my married name, I cannot change my passport name.

 

An immigrant name change, more often than not, comes with the issuance of the immigrant's first immigration benefit in the married name. In some cases, you may get lucky with an agent not following the policy or not knowing the policy or by your state having policy that benefits immigrants due to a large immigrant population but more often that is not the case. 

 

SSA policy on name changes doesn't mention the DHS.

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21 minutes ago, Mollie09 said:

SSA policy on name changes doesn't mention the DHS.

I agree with you wholefully and heartfully as I have scoured the internets for moooooonnnnths. 

However that leaves us with no explanation as to how K1s with 30 days or even 60 days left in validity on their I94s are denied for a marriage based name change on the SSN. SSA will explain it exactly as I have for those of us who were denied. "The names must match. You will have to wait for you immigration name to be updated". 

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1 minute ago, K1visaHopeful said:

I agree with you wholefully and heartfully as I have scoured the internets for moooooonnnnths. 

However that leaves us with no explanation as to how K1s with 30 days or even 60 days left in validity on their I94s are denied for a marriage based name change on the SSN. SSA will explain it exactly as I have for those of us who were denied. "The names must match. You will have to wait for you immigration name to be updated". 

I think that's more about being "allowed" a SSN than about name changes, especially so close to immigrating.

Afterwards, there is nothing preventing you from doing a name change according to their own policies. I had to print out their own manual to show them.

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3 minutes ago, K1visaHopeful said:

SSA- would depend on the agent who helped you and their knowledge that your SSN name needs to match the name DHS has on record for you.

I heard this line from all 3 SSA employees when my wife tried to get the SS card re-issued in her married name. So they were not unfamiliar with the typical process. However, the POMS indicates no such requirement. The employee confirmed that a re-issued card due to a legal name change has no such requirement and the legal name is the correct name to use. He was able to then successfully submit the application.

The employee was definitely much more experienced than the 2 others we encountered (easily by at least a decade longer of working there). This was definitely not a case of the employee not knowing or following policy.

 

Relevant POMS sections:

https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0110212001

"B. Evidence of legal name...

2. Foreign born individual...

A foreign-born person’s legal name is the name shown on his or her immigration document (includes hyphens and apostrophes).

The only time you may process an SSN application in a name that does not agree with the name shown on the immigration document is if the person legally changed his or her name after the immigration document is issued. In these situations, the legal name is the name shown on the evidence of the name change. For information on evidence of a name change, see RM 10212.010."

https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0110212010 -> https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0110212025

https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0110212055

https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0110211420

 

3 minutes ago, K1visaHopeful said:

An immigrant name change, more often than not, comes with the issuance of the immigrant's first immigration benefit in the married name.

A name change comes with a legal name change document, nothing more.


Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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32 minutes ago, geowrian said:

I heard this line from all 3 SSA employees when my wife tried to get the SS card re-issued in her married name. So they were not unfamiliar with the typical process. However, the POMS indicates no such requirement. The employee confirmed that a re-issued card due to a legal name change has no such requirement and the legal name is the correct name to use. He was able to then successfully submit the application.

The employee was definitely much more experienced than the 2 others we encountered (easily by at least a decade longer of working there). This was definitely not a case of the employee not knowing or following policy.

 

Relevant POMS sections:

https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0110212001

"B. Evidence of legal name...

2. Foreign born individual...

A foreign-born person’s legal name is the name shown on his or her immigration document (includes hyphens and apostrophes).

The only time you may process an SSN application in a name that does not agree with the name shown on the immigration document is if the person legally changed his or her name after the immigration document is issued. In these situations, the legal name is the name shown on the evidence of the name change. For information on evidence of a name change, see RM 10212.010."

https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0110212010 -> https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0110212025

https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0110212055

https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0110211420

 

A name change comes with a legal name change document, nothing more.

Trust that I've read all of this. And I agree with you. There is no such policy other than unofficially what has been told to us by incompetent agents.

But we are setting others up for failure if we send them to SSA with the expectation that they are guaranteed an SSN in the married name while their DHS record is still in the maiden name by simply providing a legal name change document. In spite of what the policy states, evidence shows that so many of us have tried with 30 or more days left on the I94 without any luck.

A name change does come with a legal name change document however most wont equate their name being changed until they have official identification in that name. The process for immigrants obtaining ID is more complicated than that of USCs. 

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3 minutes ago, K1visaHopeful said:

Trust that I've read all of this. And I agree with you. There is no such policy other than unofficially what has been told to us by incompetent agents.

But we are setting others up for failure if we send them to SSA with the expectation that they are guaranteed an SSN in the married name while their DHS record is still in the maiden name by simply providing a legal name change document. In spite of what the policy states, evidence shows that so many of us have tried with 30 or more days left on the I94 without any luck.

A name change does come with a legal name change document however most wont equate their name being changed until they have official identification in that name. The process for immigrants obtaining ID is more complicated than that of USCs. 

I think you're confusing two things. Yes, there are issues getting a SSC right after you arrive because you need to be "in the system" before they can issue you a card/number. That's the problem K1s usually have.

Name changes in general don't have this issue, if you are already in the system, you can change your name regardless of what they have you as. If they disagree, show them their own policy manual or ask for a supervisor.

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2 minutes ago, Mollie09 said:

I think you're confusing two things. Yes, there are issues getting a SSC right after you arrive because you need to be "in the system" before they can issue you a card/number. That's the problem K1s usually have.

Name changes in general don't have this issue, if you are already in the system, you can change your name regardless of what they have you as. If they disagree, show them their own policy manual or ask for a supervisor.

No I'm not confusing anything. I have helped numerous ppl one on one who have gone to local SSAs and attempted to update their original maiden name SS cards after marriage with their more than 30 days valid I94, their marriage certificate, passport and BC.

We've brought the non-citizen name change POMs. We've provided the Visa Type POMS to explain that we are still entitled as a K1 visa holder to apply with a valid I94. We've attended numerous offices individually and nationwide, spoke to supervisors and the like and have been handed the same excuse consistantly. 

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15 hours ago, VanDerFran said:

Hello guys,

 

In the State of Florida a Marriage Certificate does not print the name the spouse or spouses wish to change to,  it is up to each person to change where they want and when they want. like SSA, DMV, etc...
 

So this make me question what Last Name to use on AOS, AP and EA forms (i.485, i.131, i.864 and i.765)?

 

Any Florida filler and other state with similar situation ?

Thanks

 

Hello,

We got married in Florida and my certificate states my maiden name also. I filed all my forms with my married name, as I intend to take my husband name. I wanted all my official documents to have my married name. Also I’ve heard changing after is  costly. 

 

The forms ask you to write any previous names you have been associated with, so that’s when you can write your maiden name. 

 

Good luck with it all !! 


Our journey so far:🙂

03 /12/19- Sent I-130, I-485, I-131 & I-765 (via USPS)
03/14/19 - Arrived at Chicago lock box
03/19/19- NOA1 via text (all petitions NBC)
03/22/19- Biometrics notice
03/25/19 - NOA1 via mail for AOSEAD & AP 
03/30/19- NOA1 for scheduled biometrics appointment (via mail)
04/12/19- Biometrics appointment completed 

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7 minutes ago, K1visaHopeful said:

But we are setting others up for failure if we send them to SSA with the expectation that they are guaranteed an SSN in the married name while their DHS record is still in the maiden name by simply providing a legal name change document. In spite of what the policy states, evidence shows that so many of us have tried with 30 or more days left on the I94 without any luck.

Agreed.

I would point out that no attempt was made to set or imply those expectations. I think it was fairly clear that it is possible to do so but often very difficult in practice and ultimately may not be possible in the limited timeframe available to do so.

I would submit that setting the expectation that it is not possible (barring a mistake by the SSA employee) isn't accurate either.

 

Whether the potential effort is worth it is dependent on one's circumstances. In my wife's case, getting the SS card updated was needed to extend her driver's license to cover her period of authorized stay. They refused to do so with just the I-485's NOA1 as that was in her married name, which didn't match her SS card as they required. That's their rules.

We ended up with 3 visits to the SSA and at least as many to the DMV (post-initial license issued). But the end result was my wife was able to drive from K-1 status onward, which opened up the path for going to the mall, going to job interviews, getting groceries, etc. This made the wait pre-EAD much more bearable. In our case, the hassle was still worth it.

For somebody who doesn't plan to work, can walk to the store, etc., it probably would be a much different story.


Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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14 hours ago, VanDerFran said:

The only confusing part is that I do not have a document to show the name change,  and as I mention before the Marriage Certificate does not have the surname we wish change to.

The marriage certificate IS that document.  The fact that you are now married means that if you want to change your name, you simply present your marriage certificate when (and if) asked to prove your name has changed. 

 

Unless you mean that you're married but now wish to change to an entirely unrelated 3rd name which is neither your husband's last name nor your own maiden name.

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13 minutes ago, geowrian said:

Agreed.

I would point out that no attempt was made to set or imply those expectations. I think it was fairly clear that it is possible to do so but often very difficult in practice and ultimately may not be possible in the limited timeframe available to do so.

I would submit that setting the expectation that it is not possible (barring a mistake by the SSA employee) isn't accurate either.

Agreed. 

I think my argument comes from my experience (and those of many others) being invalidated as per something I/we did wrong which could lead to others reading thinking that I/we indeed did.

As you stated, for some ppl the necessity for an updated SS card is great so for those who were lucky and experienced being able to change it, it may not be understood that the process may be complicated for some, if by no fault of their own. 

It's much easier to say "I could get it" and have readers believe they can too when the chance is great that they cant and then not understand why they might not have been able to.

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Just to clarify, the marriage certificate is a legal name change document allowing either party to adopt the family name of the other party regardless as to how it is structured.  It does not allow anyone to change their given name(s).

 

To the OP, Michigan is the same way, there is no specific section showing a family name change, but my wife filed all her AOS forms using my family name as she chose to adopt it, there was no issues.

 

As to the SSA, we tried to get my wife’s card in her married name, but like many others, we had no luck.  We decided that it wasn’t worth the fight since the SSN was already issued and we could change it once the GC was issued which is what we did.


Visa Received : 2014-04-04 (K1 - see timeline for details)

US Entry : 2014-09-12

POE: Detroit

Marriage : 2014-09-27

I-765 Approved: 2015-01-09

I-485 Interview: 2015-03-11

I-485 Approved: 2015-03-13

Green Card Received: 2015-03-24 Yeah!!!

I-751 ROC Submitted: 2016-12-20

I-751 NOA Received:  2016-12-29

I-751 Biometrics Appt.:  2017-01-26

I-751 Interview:  2018-04-10

I-751 Approved:  2018-05-04

N400 Filed:  2018-01-13

N400 Biometrics:  2018-02-22

N400 Interview:  2018-04-10

N400 Approved:  2018-04-10

Oath Ceremony:  2018-06-11 - DONE!!!!!!!

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