If I have my green card and want to get married, do I use my maiden name or married name when filing for citizenship?

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If I have my green card and want to get married, do I use my maiden name or married name when filing for citizenship?

I just want to know in what order I would need to do this. I have had my green card for almost 10 years now and I was going to apply for US citizenship and then I got engaged to an American. I figured I should wait until after the wedding so that I don’t have to complicate the name change process. I tried doing a google search but it really didn’t help me. I guess my main question is if I change my name do I do it normally and then apply for citizenship with that name? Will that affect my green card if I change my name without requesting a new green card if I’m already applying for citizenship? My green card doesn’t expire for about another 21 months so I definitely have some time but I’m getting married in 7 months and I don’t want to do something wrong.

Asked on February 21, 2015 under Immigration Law, Washington

Answers:

SB Member California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It is up to you what name you use on the naturalization application.  However, if you really want to change your name then this is an opportunity to do this officially and essentially without doing anything else.  Typically, however, once you are married, you can just start using your married name and there is no court process to change your name.  However, depending on whether you get married before you become a citizen and how you want your certificate of citizenship to look, you can start using the new name on the application.


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