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Passport in maiden name, green card in Married name

Saint Paul, MN |

My wife and I are waiting for her green card interview. Her birth and our marriage certificates are with her maiden name. Would changing her green card name to her married name cause issues in terms of traveling (different name on passport and green card)? Her home country is really hard on changing last names.
My other question is, is it possible to ask NVC at the interview time to issue her green card in her maiden name rather than coming to the US and then applying for a name change? Thank you.

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Attorney answers 3


First of all ... of course the birth and marriage documents would have the maiden name ... they always will.

As for the greencard, what name did you put on the I-485? To some extent, you've locked her into that name .. The NVC and Consul don't like changing names ... they expect you to have thought this through BEFORE you filed the I-130.

Yes, fixing the passport name would be a good idea ... as is meeting with an attorney.

PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Also, keep in mind that this is an INTERNET BLOG. You should not rely on anything you read here to make decisions which impact on your life. Meet with an attorney, via Skype, or in person, to obtain competent personal and professional guidance.


Changing the name at the interview is up to the officer who conducts your interview. Some officers are amenable to making the change on the computer right there. Others like to make your life more complicated.
The name difference on the passport and green card is common for those who marry. If you wife carries her Birth Certificate and Marriage License when she travels she should have no problem.
Which ever name your wife chooses as her legal name, she needs to have that name on her green card, SS Card and Driver License. The next time she renews her passport - or becomes a USC - she needs to have that name on her NATZ Certificate and Passport.


I agree with my colleagues. Generally the name you put on the I-485 is the name that will be placed on the green card. As mentioned by colleague this is a frequent situation and it is best to have your spouse carry her birth certificate and marriage certificate with her when you travel. As always it is best to consult an immigration attorney.

Alexus P. Sham (917) 498-9009. The above information is only general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. It does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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