Does it help to change your name to petition an immigration application for a spouse? 3 Answers as of February 21, 2011

Is it necessary or preferable to change my last name to petition for my spouse?

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William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
No, it will not help.
Answer Applies to: Tennessee
Replied: 2/21/2011
Theresa E. Tilton, Attorney at Law
Theresa E. Tilton, Attorney at Law | Theresa E. Tilton
Changing your family name is a matter of state law; immigration is federal law. There is no necessity nor preference to change your family name for purposes of immigration.

If you are a woman, changing your last name to your husband's is a personal preference and a matter of custom. You prove the name change with your marriage certificate. The law does not require a woman to use her husband's last name nor does the law prefer it. Many American women keep their birth names after marriage, as has always been customary in some countries. (Cambodia, Iceland, Scotland.)

In any other case for either men or women, if you would like to change your family name, you apply at your local state court.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 2/16/2011
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law | Linda Liang
No, it is not necessary.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 2/16/2011
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