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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawK-3 Visas: When Should I Change My Name?

K-3 Visas: When Should I Change My Name?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the K-3 Visas and a common question that is posed to me in the context of most marriage visas, the K-3 included, is, "When should I change my name?" 

Before I get into this topic specifically, I want to go ahead and preface this by saying K-3 Visas, I do videos about them because a lot of people colloquially will refer to Marriage Visas as a K-3 Visa but as a practical matter we don't see a lot of these being processed here anymore mostly due to the fact that the reason for their existence has largely been kind of phased out. K-3 Visas were created under the Life Act in the Clinton Administration. They were created at a time when the standard marriage visa petitions were processing at a much slower rate than they currently are and the K-1 for whatever reason was processing rather quickly so as sort of an expedient stop gap under the Life Act, they created the K-3 and the K-4 category which basically were marriage visas to American citizens whereby they could then go ahead and use a faster track if you will by going ahead and processing in a similar way to K-1s.  As a practical matter, a lot of these K-3s are now being Administratively Closed. 

That being said I don't think my advice would change very much when comparing my advice on name change with respect to a K-3 as opposed to an IR-1 or CR-1 Visa and that advice is this.  If you are already married and you have yet to go ahead and file for Immigration benefits and you want to change your name, change it before you even start the process. Once you get started on it, it is not a good idea to do a bunch of name changes because it requires further documentation; probably will require further translated documentation; definitely will require a change in a passport. Various other documentation may have to change as a result of the name change. This can add increasing layers of complexity to an already complex process. Couple this in a K-3's case, with the fact that K-3s have to adjust status in a similar manner to K-1 fiancée visas and you have a recipe for difficulty. 

So I would say that with respect to the K-3, much like a CR-1 or IR-1, you are going to want to go ahead and change your name before you even get the process moving because to do it midstream if you will, will add increasing complexity to a process that is already difficult enough to deal with.