How to Change My Last Name in My Citizenship Papers

By Christine Funk, J.D.

How to Change My Last Name in My Citizenship Papers

By Christine Funk, J.D.

If your last name has changed, whether due to a marriage or a court order such as a divorce, you should change your citizenship papers to match your legal last name. This can be done by filling out the Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document (Form N-565) from the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Follow these steps to do so.

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1. Gather the materials you need.

When applying to change your last name in your citizenship papers, you first need a copy of Form N-565. You may fill out and file this form online. However, if you are filling it out by hand, you need a black pen with which to complete the document.

Additionally, you must have two identical color passport style photographs of yourself taken within the last 30 days. The background of the photos must be either white or off-white. You also need your original USCIS document. Finally, you need a certified copy of your marriage certificate or court order documenting your name change.

2. Fill out the form.

Make certain to fill out Form N-565 in its entirety. If a question does not apply, insert the letters N/A, for "not applicable." Do not leave any spaces blank. Be certain to provide complete information. Finally, you must sign the document. A stamped or typewritten name in the signature box is not considered an acceptable signature unless you are filing the form online.

Then, make a copy of the completed document for your own records. You may need to review your copy at a later time.

3. Pay the filing fee or request a fee waiver.

The fee for filing is $555, as of May 2019, but this is subject to change. You can pay the fee online if you are applying online. If you are mailing your application for a name change, you must include a check or money order payable in U.S. currency drawn on a bank or other financial institution located in the U.S. Make the check or money order payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Do not send cash.

You may be eligible for a fee waiver. If you wish to be considered for a fee waiver based on your inability to pay the filing fee, you must fill out a Request for Fee Waiver (Form I-912). The basis for your request can be one or more of the following circumstances:

  • You, your spouse, or the head of the household is currently receiving a means-tested benefit.
  • Your household income is at or below 150% of the U.S. Federal Poverty Guidelines.
  • You have a financial hardship.

For each circumstance that your base your request upon, you must provide documentation of your assertion.

4. Wait for a determination.

The government may reject your application if it is not signed or the fee is not paid, request more information to support your application, or make a decision based on your eligibility. Respond to their requests as appropriate.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.

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