Can You Change Your Name After Getting a Green Card?

By Ava Daniel

A United States green card, also known as an Alien Registration Receipt Card, is a document issued by the office of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services that certifies that you are a permanent resident of the United States. Sometimes, you may need or want to legally change your name after acquiring your green card. Under federal law, a permanent resident is legally allowed to change his name. However, there are certain steps you should follow to ensure that your name change does not interfere with your immigration status.

A United States green card, also known as an Alien Registration Receipt Card, is a document issued by the office of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services that certifies that you are a permanent resident of the United States. Sometimes, you may need or want to legally change your name after acquiring your green card. Under federal law, a permanent resident is legally allowed to change his name. However, there are certain steps you should follow to ensure that your name change does not interfere with your immigration status.

Legally Change Your Name

The first step is to legally change your name under applicable state law. Many states do not require specific information regarding your immigration status when you apply to change your name. For example, in California, Florida and Georgia, the legal process for changing your name is the same whether you are a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident. Contact your local court to begin the process of legally changing your name. If you legally change your name because of marriage or divorce, make sure to procure a copy of the marriage certificate or divorce decree.

Get help changing your legal name. Learn More

Replace Your Green Card

Once you have changed your name under state law, you can replace your old green card with a new green card that reflects your new name. Although you are not legally required to replace your green card if you change your name, the USCIS urges permanent residents to request a new green card if you have legally changed your name. As a permanent resident, it is best to replace your green card if your biographical information changes, because this helps to avoid any problems proving your permanent resident status.

Complete USCIS Form I-90

Fill out USCIS form I-90: Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card to begin the process of replacing your green card. In addition to filing out the application, you must include copies of any legal documents issued to you by the state indicating that you have legally changed your name, such as a court order or marriage certificate. There are certain fees associated with filing an I-90 form to replace your green card due to a name change. At the time of publication, the fee for replacing your green card due to a legal name change, was $450. The form is available online. You can submit the Form I-90 via mail or online at the USCIS website. Once you submit your application, the USCIS will review your request. You can check the status of your application online or by calling the USCIS customer service online. If your application is approved, the USCIS will mail your new green card to you. If your application is denied, you will receive a notice explaining why it was denied.

Final Tips

In some instances, the USCIS may require more information or evidence from you before they approve your application to replace your green card. You may be required to appear at a USCIS office for an interview or to submit the original of the applicable legal document as evidence of your name change under state law. Make sure to keep your original documents in a safe place to avoid any issues. In addition to replacing your green card, you should take any steps necessary to update your driver's license, Social Security card and banking information to reflect your legal name change.

Get help changing your legal name. Learn More
Do I Need to Change the Name on My Green Card If I Get Married?

References

Resources

Related articles

What if Your Visa Is a Green Card and You Want a Divorce?

If you received a green card because you married a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident, divorcing your spouse may affect your ability to keep that green card, depending on when the divorce took place. If you married and divorced your spouse within two years of when the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued you a green card, the USCIS will presume that your marriage was a sham. As a result, it is likely that you will be deported, unless you can prove that you entered into your marriage in good faith.

The Law for Resuming Your Maiden Name in Ohio

In Ohio, you do not have to change your name when you marry, but if you do change it, the married name becomes your legal name. Ohio law allows you to change your name back at the time of your divorce or by using Ohio’s standard name change process, which includes formally changing your name in court or simply assuming a new name.

Legal Name Change Options

There are a number of reasons people change their name, including unifying a family, getting married or starting fresh with a new self image. It is illegal to change your name to avoid debt collectors or evade arrest, and many states have laws prohibiting sex offenders and other convicted felons from changing their names. The reason for your name change can affect the process of changing your name, and once your name is legally changed, you must change your name on financial documents to avoid confusion and maintain access to your money and bills.

Doing the right thing has never been easier.

Related articles

How to Change a Name After Marriage in Colorado

Colorado state law is based on English common law, which allows anyone to change his name without legal process. ...

How to Legally Change Your Name in Arizona?

In Arizona it is a fairly simple process to change your name. If you do not like the name you were born with, or you ...

How to Change Your Name After You Remarry

The process to change your name after you remarry is the same after the second wedding as it was following the first. ...

How to Change a Name After Marriage in North Carolina

Many women traditionally assume the surname of their husbands after marriage. If you reside in North Carolina, the ...

Browse by category