Is it possible to change my last name to my husband's while he is in process for residency in the US? 1 Answers as of September 24, 2017

I am an American who lives in Panama and my husband is Panamanian. We are currently at the point in his residency process where we have approval from USCIS and our packet is also approved at NVC but are just waiting for his extended birth certificate. I am going on a trip in a week to the US and I wanted, during that time, to go to the Social Security Administration to legally change my last name. Is this something that I can do while his residency is in process and it won't affect it? Should I wait till his residency is complete before changing my name?

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I've done quite a few name changes. It?s not a fast process. Typically, when I do a name change for a US Citizen, I go through a court proceeding, which takes a few months to complete. You can start the process, but it?s not likely to finish quickly. (In Texas, the court will require a fingerprint card, FBI background check and a state background check + one hearing in front of a judge.) In your case, since you have pending applications, I'd recommend waiting, and doing the name changes later. There's no need to introduce another moving part into the equation unless necessary. At very least, you can file now, process everything, and wait to go to court until after everything else in your process completes.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 9/24/2017
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