Do I Need to Change the Name on My Green Card If I Get Married?

By Tom Streissguth

The United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) issues the Permanent Resident Card, or I-551, informally known as the "green card," to those immigrants holding resident status in the United States. The card carries vital information as well as a photograph; in the case of a name change due to marriage you must apply for a new card.

Change of Name after Marriage

U.S. law requires that your I-551 carry your current legal name. You do not have to replace the card if you do not change your name after the marriage. Federal law requires you to apply to the USCIS in order to effect the name change and replace the I-551.

Form I-90

In order to replace the I-551 bearing your former name, the USCIS requires you to fill out Form I-90, Application to Renew or Replace Green Card. The filing fee as of 2011 was $450, which includes both a $365 filing fee and a charge of $85 for the biometric data. You may e-file the application online at the USCIS website, or mail the paper form to USCIS, P.O. Box 21262, Phoenix, AZ 85036.

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Application Support Center

After filing the I-90, you will receive an appointment letter for an appearance at an Application Support Center. A government subcontractor operates this center, which will be located close to your home or in the nearest large city. You must bring a certified copy of the marriage certificate, or a court order, reflecting the name change.

Biometrics

The Application Support Center will take biometric data, including a fingerprint and a photograph, that will be present on the new green card. If the application is approved, your replacement I-551 will arrive in the mail within a few weeks. You must destroy the old I-551, which is no longer valid.

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Can You Change Your Name After Getting a Green Card?
 

References

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How to Change a Name After a Marriage in Illinois

Illinois state laws allow a person who has recently married to change his name without formally petitioning the courts; the marriage license from the state is proof of a valid reason for a name change. However, you must change your name on your Social Security card and Illinois driver's license in order to use your new name without running into problems.

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.

Does a Marriage Certificate Qualify as a Name Change for Passport Requirements?

If you formally change your name when you marry, you must notify all government agencies that have issued you documents, licenses and identification cards in your former name. These documents might include an updated Social Security card, driver's license and a passport, if you have one. Proof of marriage is required to change your name on a U.S. passport.

Doing the right thing has never been easier. Name Change

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