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My newly married wife is from Shanghai, China on a student visa how do I legally change her name and the process.

San Gabriel, CA |

My wife is 30 years old on a I-20 as a student from Shanghai, China Im an American citizen Im 47

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Attorney answers 4


Based on her mariage to you she can file for adjustment of status. You can consult with an attorney to make sure that your filing is accomplished with the least amount of difficulty.

Samuel Ouya Maina, Esq. Law Offices of S. Ouya Maina, PC 332 Pine Street, Suite 707 San Francisco, CA 94104 415.391.6612


You should file an adjustment of status application for your wife so that she can receive a conditional green card. An experienced attorney can help you fill out the paperwork and help you gather evidence that your marriage is in good faith. For a series of articles about adjustment of status, see the link below: - Disclaimer: This a general answer to your legal question. Unless you have a signed engagement letter with me, you should not consider this information to be legal advice.


She could have changed her name when you applied for the California marriage license and certificate. When she applies for the greencard, she can use the new name. Otherwise, she should change her name through the court, or wait until she can naturalize (get US citizenship), and change her name concurrently.

DISCLAIMER: The information appearing here is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice to any individual or entity. We urge you to contact us at (310) 988-5092 or or consult with your own legal advisor before taking any action based on information appearing here.


Your question is a little confusing as to exactly what you need. If you are planning to petition your wife for permanent residency, you will need to file an I-130 and I-485. Please be aware that although the age difference should not be a problem, it does raise red flags with USCIS. So you have to be sure that you have all of the necessary documentation to prove the validity of your marriage. She can change her name at the time that the petition is filed.

If you are asking about just changing your wife's name, she would need to file a petition with the court.

If you wish to discuss your options, our office provides free consultations. We are located in Alhambra, CA and you can reach us at (626) 308-9936

Legal disclaimer: The answer provided is general in nature and because not all facts are known, it should not be construed as legal advice. The answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. You should speak to an attorney for further information.