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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawK-1 Fiancee Visas: When Should I Change My Name?

K-1 Fiancee Visas: When Should I Change My Name?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing K-1 visas and a specific question that often comes up with respect to the K-1 or folks that are using a K-1 fiancée visa to go to the United States in order to get married and seek a green card therein is, ”When should we change my wife's (usually in our practice it's usually a wife in question) when should my wife change her name?” 

Generally speaking, my personal opinion on this especially in the K-1 context, you are already kind of midway through the process once you have entered the United States and you are going ahead and adjusting your status, it is probably a good idea to just go ahead and wait to change one's name maybe until naturalization to US citizenship. 

Why I bring this up is because in the naturalization process a name change is relatively straightforward. It is basically a plenary function of naturalizing. You can kind of go ahead and pick whatever name you want and it just occurs simultaneously with the naturalization. So for those who are in the K-1 process, they are in the United States and they have gotten the K-1. Now they are married in the US, and they are seeking to adjust. I often get the question, ”When should I change my name?"  I don't think it is a good idea to change midstream because you are going through processing. Name changes can result in further documentation requirements, possibly further translation requirements. You probably have to change your passport, various documentation needs to be changed. It can add layers of complexity to an already complex process. For this reason especially in a K-1 context, I usually advise clients to go ahead and wait until down the road until at least the Green Card has been issued but really if you are coming in on a K-1 and you are adjusting status Stateside, it is probably most pertinent to go ahead and wait, especially if you plan to naturalize. Wait until naturalization is occurring and then go ahead and change your name as part of that process.