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Changing to married name - any trouble with foreign marriage certificate?

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My husband and I were married last month and I want to change my last name on my credit cards, SS card, etc. We were married both in a traditional Hindu ceremony and legally. If I show my Nepali legal marriage certificate (which is notorized and written in both Nepali and English) will it be a problem or do we need to register our marriage in the US first?



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I used my Egyptian marriage cert. (both the Arabic and translated copy) to legally change my name. I didn't have our marriage registered here.

You should take the marriage cert. (original and translated) to the DMV (or whatever your state calls it) to change your name on the driver's license then take that over to the SS office (you'll need to show the marriage cert and the changed driver's license) to change your name there. In Michigan I had to wait to get the new driver's license before the SS office would change my name.

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I used my Egyptian marriage cert. (both the Arabic and translated copy) to legally change my name. I didn't have our marriage registered here.

You should take the marriage cert. (original and translated) to the DMV (or whatever your state calls it) to change your name on the driver's license then take that over to the SS office (you'll need to show the marriage cert and the changed driver's license) to change your name there. In Michigan I had to wait to get the new driver's license before the SS office would change my name.

Interesting - thanks for the advice. I was thinking I would change the SS first but will go to DMV first to change my NY State ID card(I am a typical non-driving NYer) :)



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I was told by the DMV that I had to go to SS first because they access the SS data... >.>

So it might be different in every state. In NC when we got married they said the first thing was to go to SS (which we can't anyway until we have the EAD... but that's an other story).

Call your local SS office.


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Did any of the ladies reading this message not change their name right away? Do you think that if I have all the other evidence of a bonafide marriage but have just not officially changed my name just yet that it will have an effect on my petition?

I am applying to the slowest consulate in the world so I have a couple of years (give or take) before my interview but do you think that not changing it right away will have any bearing on my I130 and I129F being approved? Thanks!!


Pister & LaRhonda

Our Timeline:

Sent I-130: 07/19/07 (Priority Mail/Return receipt)

NOA1 Received: 08/04/07 (NOA dated 07/31/07)

NOA2 Approved: 10/25/07

Sent I-129F: 08/06/07 (Express overnight mail)

NOA1 Received: 08/20/07 (NOA dated 08/15/07)

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I got married to a US citizen last year but haven't changed my last name yet. Since my last name in my home country hasn't changed and I haven't even registered my marriage in my home country, I'm thinking of not changing my last name for a while. I went to Infopass and asked an immigration officer directly about changing last name, and he said if you want to change your last name after getting green card, you will have to pay about 400 dollars. He said last name does not affect green card application and I hear many people choose not to change their last name these days. Since my green card will be conditional green card, I'm probably going to change my last name around the time I get my unconditional green card in two years. That way the immigration officer said I won't have to pay to change my last name on my green card.

Did any of the ladies reading this message not change their name right away? Do you think that if I have all the other evidence of a bonafide marriage but have just not officially changed my name just yet that it will have an effect on my petition?

I am applying to the slowest consulate in the world so I have a couple of years (give or take) before my interview but do you think that not changing it right away will have any bearing on my I130 and I129F being approved? Thanks!!

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I got married to a US citizen last year but haven't changed my last name yet. Since my last name in my home country hasn't changed and I haven't even registered my marriage in my home country, I'm thinking of not changing my last name for a while. I went to Infopass and asked an immigration officer directly about changing last name, and he said if you want to change your last name after getting green card, you will have to pay about 400 dollars. He said last name does not affect green card application and I hear many people choose not to change their last name these days. Since my green card will be conditional green card, I'm probably going to change my last name around the time I get my unconditional green card in two years. That way the immigration officer said I won't have to pay to change my last name on my green card.

You're also limited by what the laws and the rules of your state. If you wait too long, you may be required to petition the court for a name change. Our state was easy, We have the before and after names right on the license and it is reflected on the marriage certificate after. If you don't do the change then, you have to petition the court here which will cost as much as changing the green card if you know how and do it yourself.


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Arrival : 2011-09-08
Married : 2011-10-15
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Date Card Received : 2012-07-13
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Date Card Received : 2012-02-04

Sent ROC : 4-1-2014
Noa1 : 4-2-2014
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Approved : 6-24-2014

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Bio Complete 3-14-2016
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i didn't know that. Thank you so much for the information!

You're also limited by what the laws and the rules of your state. If you wait too long, you may be required to petition the court for a name change. Our state was easy, We have the before and after names right on the license and it is reflected on the marriage certificate after. If you don't do the change then, you have to petition the court here which will cost as much as changing the green card if you know how and do it yourself.

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