If you are a U.S. Permanent Resident, and have changed your name, whether you have done so due to marriage, divorce, or other reasons, you need to update your green card. The documents required for a green card name change may vary depending on the reason for the new name, but you will typically need to fill out Form I-90 from the USCIS website in any case. Of course, you will also need to update other government entities with your new name, such as the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Social Security office. If you do not update your green card soon after changing your name, you may experience difficulty when it comes to proving your identity and legal status in the country.
A green card name change due to marriage usually requires that you make a certified copy of your marriage certificate by going to a notary public. Note that if your marriage certificate is in a language other than English, you will need to have an authorized translator create a translation that you can turn in to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS. If the reason for your changing the name on your green card is divorce, you should submit a certified copy of the divorce decree showing an order to restore your birth name.
The next step in the green card name change process is to formally change your name with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Social Security office near you. This typically requires that you bring your current Social Security card, green card, and a certified copy of your marriage certificate or divorce decree. Obtaining a driver's license and Social Security card with the new name will help keep all your documents consistent, which will be helpful in getting and using your updated green card.
Regardless of the reason for the green card name change, you will need to go to the USCIS website and download Form I-90, which is called the Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. There is a fee that goes along with this application, which you need to submit via check or money order. Part of the fee goes toward payment for biometrics, which means that you will need to be fingerprinted at the application support center near you. You will also need to send in a copy of the green card that has your old name on it, the certified marriage certificate copy or divorce decree if applicable, and a copy of a document that features your new name, such as your updated driver's license.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does one change their name on their Green Card?
To change the name on your Green Card, you must alter your official immigration document, the Permanent Resident Card or Form I-551, issued by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You must receive a new card bearing your new legal name if it has changed. To do so, you must complete the required form, submit supporting documentation, and pay the applicable fees.
What documents are necessary to alter the name on a Green Card?
The USCIS demands a variety of supporting documents for a Green Card name change application. Evidence of a legal name change, such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order; a copy of your current Green Card; and proof of identity, such as a valid passport, driver's license, or state-issued ID, are frequently required. Depending on the reason for the name change, additional paperwork may be necessary.
When a Green Card applicant changes their name throughout the application process, how long does it take for the new name to be included in the application?
The time it takes to change your name on your Green Card can vary widely based on a variety of factors, including the complexity of your application and the current volume of Green Card name changes at the USCIS. It usually takes the USCIS between three and six months to process an application once it has been submitted. You can call the USCIS Customer Service Line or check the online status of your application if you have access to the internet.
If my application to alter my name on my Green Card is refused, what should I do next?
If your request to change your name on your Green Card is denied, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will send you a Notice of Denial explaining the decision and outlining your appeals options. This notification will be sent if your request to change your name on your Green Card was declined. If the reasons for the rejection permit it, you may be able to submit a request to USCIS to have the decision reconsidered or a petition to the competent court to have the decision reviewed. Yet, this would rely on the particular grounds for the denial.
Is there a cost associated with changing one's name on a Green Card application?
The application to change a Green Card holder's name incurs a $455 fee, which must be paid in full at the time the application is submitted. Even if your application is denied, you will still be required to pay this charge because it covers application processing costs. In addition, a fee of up to $85 may be charged for biometric services.