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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.

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Attorney answers 3


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.


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

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I agree with my colleagues.

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