Skip to main content

What is my legal name while filling out N-400 application for citizenship?

Somerset, NJ |

I'm filling out the N-400 application and am a bit confused about my legal name. On my passport, birth certificate, and social security card, my first name is in my native language. However, on my green card, my first name is in English. I also file my taxes with the English translation of my first name. On the document checklist it says that if your legal name differs from the one on the green card, to provide documentation that legally changed your name. The card was issued to me as a child, and always had the English translation on it, but there was never a formal request to change it from my native language to English. What should I do? Thanks.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Name issues can be very tricky. there is not necessarily a right and wrong answer. Particularly if your are from certain countries, the name discrepancy can be a problem on the security check. You should be able to straighten the mess out with the naturalization process, but I strongly recommend consulting with a lawyer to determine which name should be listed, what should be an aka and what explanation/documentation needs to be provided.


  2. This is going to be very fact specific. I would suggest sitting down with an immigration lawyer to discuss this matter in depth.

    IMPORTANT: Mr. Murray's response is NOT legal advice and does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. You should NOT rely on this response. Mr. Murray's response was generated without conducting a full inquiry as would occur during an attorney-client consultation. It is likely that the response above may be made less accurate, or become entirely inaccurate, as you, i.e. the questioner, disclose additional facts that should only be discussed during a private attorney-client consultation. I strongly recommend that you consult an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state (or, in the case of immigration law, an attorney in ANY state), whereupon all relevant facts will be discussed. All responses posted by Mr. Murray on Avvo.com are intended as general information for the education of the public, and not for any specific individual. For persons located in New Jersey: To the extent that Mr. Murray's profile can be considered an advertisement in New Jersey, which is denied, be advised that NO ASPECT OF THIS ADVERTISEMENT HAS BEEN APPROVED BY THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY. Furthermore, the selection methodology for the SuperLawyers' "Rising Stars" awards is set forth at length at this website: http://www.superlawyers.com/about/selection_process.html.


  3. I agree with my colleagues.

    Free Consultation Anywhere in USA | 626-399-4194 |ICannHelpYouNow.com | John1Davidson@gmail.com

Immigration topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics