Will getting a name change affect my green card? 5 Answers as of February 22, 2011

My boyfriend and I are planning on getting married- while I want to take on his last name, I also want to legally drop my first name and go by my second name. I am a resident- so will changing my legal name affect my green card? Also, how do I start with the proceeding?

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Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC
Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC | Lynne Feldman
When you are married you may assume the name of your husband. If you also want to change your first name I would recommend either going through the state process for name change or waiting until you apply to become a U.S. citizen when you can legally do a name change for free. You could still take your husband's last name when you marry and then file an I-90 to get a replacement green card for yourself, notify social security, DMV and other places normally notified of a name change.

After you are married you can start the process for his permanent residency. It is a multistep process and only the first step can be filed which does not give him the right to remain here if he is in the U.S. You begin by filing an I-130 petition for him; but he will be in the FB-2a category which has a backlog of visas. As recently as last fall though this category was working on an August 2010 Priority Date (It is now back to January 2008) so definitely file an I-130 for him to get him in the queue and file for your own U.S. citizenship at the soonest date you are eligible (4 years and 9 months after your PR was granted assuming you meet the physical presence and other eligibility requirements).

You may also want to look at other nonimmigrant options while they are waiting in the queue. If you would like a consultation on the facts of your specific case feel free to contact me as indicated below. I do charge for consultations but whatever you pay for the consultation would then be a credit toward the fees for your case if we are retained for services after the consultation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/22/2011
Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
No, changing your name should be irrelevant to your eligibility for lawful permanent residency.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 2/3/2011
Nicastro Piscopo, APLC
Nicastro Piscopo, APLC | Louis M. Piscopo
Changing your name will not affect your status. However, if you start using your marriage name of your passport, drivers license, social security card, etc. you will need to change your "Green Card" to you new name. You do so by filing Form I-90 along with a copy of your Green Card and a copy of your Marriage Certificate. You will then be issued a new Green Card under your married name. Form I-90 can be filed electronically by going to the USCIS website at USCIS.gov and clicking on FORMS. Then click on I-90 and follow the instructions for electronic filing. It can also be filed by mail.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/3/2011
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law | Linda Liang
The answer is no. Are you asking for the procedure for name change? Talk to your local courthouse. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 2/2/2011
441 Legal Group, Inc.
441 Legal Group, Inc. | Gareth H. Bullock
You will have to file a name change petition with the Court and then change your name on the green card.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 2/2/2011
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