Similar to anyone in the world, life changes can happen often. You might get married or divorced or want to change your name to a more western name as a U.S. citizen. No matter the reason for wishing to change your name on your green card, you will be able to easily.
There are a few requirements and other essential bits of information that you must know before starting the legal green card name change process. This article will tell you everything you need to know.
Green Card Name Change Reasons
As a U.S. green card holder, you generally are allowed to change your name on the document for any reason. Laws for a green card name change are typically regulated by each state but are likely allowed if you have a valid reason.
You will need to complete some paperwork, file some documents, and pay a small fee before being granted your name change. But, before we jump ahead, let’s look at some of the reasoning for changing your name on your green card.
Green Card Name Change After Marriage
You will need to change your name on your green card after marriage legally. If the marriage occurred after getting your green card, the process might be a bit more difficult and take some time, but you can still do it.
You will need to get your name changed after marriage for other documents in addition to changing it on your green card. These other legal documents include:
- Your Social Security card
- A driving license
- Your passport
- Bank accounts, loans, or work-related documents
Generally, if your name is legally changed on these documents first, changing your green card’s legal name would be easier. Just make sure that you will have a copy of your marriage certificate and any other supporting documents needed to change your green card name when you contact USCIS.
But is there a deadline for a name change after marriage? Typically there is not. As long as your marriage certificate isn’t expired, you can file for the last name change on your green card at your convenience.
Green Card Name Change After Divorce
You will need to change your legal name if you are experiencing a divorce or have recently undergone one. To change the name on your green card after a divorce, you must show proof of divorce throughout the process. When filing for a replacement green card, having a divorce certificate or legal documents exhibiting your name changed could be useful.
Green Card Name Change If Widowed
If for any reason, you become widowed, you can follow the process to get your green card replaced, and your name changed. Similar to any other reason for a name change, you will need to show proof of the recent death of your spouse, fill out the mandatory paperwork, and pay the requested fees.
Green Card Name Change For Personal Preference
For many who are new to the U.S., a name change to something more “westernized” is sometimes wanted. If you wish to change your name for personal reasons, you will be able to do so.
First, you must get your name legally changed on all other identification documents. Once you have done so, you must gather the proof of your name change and follow the process mandated by USCIS.
How to Change Your Name on a Green Card
Once you have a valid reason for requesting a name change, you must follow the green card name-changing application process. This process has a few steps, which are:
- Completing Form I-90
- Gathering and attaching the supporting documents
- Paying the listed fee
It’s important to note that the USCIS has a character limit on green cards and cannot accommodate names that are longer than 18 characters. Additionally, hyphenated names or periods cannot be approved either.
The above steps are very straightforward and will be gone over in more detail below.
Green Card Name Change Application Process
As stated above, three steps must be completed when applying for a green card name change.
File Form I-90
Once you have evidence of your legal name change, you will be able to fill out Form I-90. This form is known as the application to replace a permanent resident card.
On the sheet, you will need to check the name change status in the box that asks if your name has legally changed since the issue of your green card. After choosing the correct answer, you will be given the option to enter your new name.
After following Form I-90 instructions, this form can be sent online or through the basic post, but only once the supporting documents are attached.
Attach the Proper Supporting Documents
After filling out the above application, the next step in how to change my last name on my green card will require you to submit supporting documents. You will be asked why you wish to change your name on your green card, whether through marriage, divorce, or a simple legal name change.
Then, you will need to attach any documents you see fit to support your name change green card application and attach them to your application. You can then send this form to USCIS online or through the mail.
Paying the Given Filing Fee
Once you have completed this process, you are obligated to pay the fees required. Basically, there are two main fees you will be paying, which include:
- The cost of a green card replacement: Technically, if you are requesting a name change on your green card, you are replacing your current green card, which will require you to pay for a replacement card. The fee is $455.
- Another biometrics appointment: You will also be required to undergo an additional biometrics appointment. This will cost $85.
With these two parts that are required fees, the total cost of changing the name on your green card amounts to $540.
Supporting Evidence for Changing Name on Green Card
When requesting a green card name change, having the necessary supporting documentation is critical. In order to successfully support your request for a name change, you will need to gather any of the following documents:
- A copy of the original court order that reflects your given name
- A copy of a marriage certificate with the name change, if applicable
- A divorce certificate
- A birth certificate
- Adoption order
- A passport
- Any applicable court documents that show a legal name change
Remember, when you are looking to submit these forms, they must have been registered with the correct civil authority.
How Much Does It Cost to Change Your Name on a Green Card?
Because you are technically getting your green card replaced, you will need to pay the same fee required to replace your green card due to other circumstances.
The total fees required for payment totals $540. Within this total, you will be paying $455 for the physical green card replacement and $85 for biometrics as well.
How Long Does It Take to Process Name Change Requests on a Green Card?
If you wish to change your name on your green card due to marriage, divorce, or a simple name change, it’s important to know how long this process could take.
The average processing time to change your name on a green card takes anywhere from one to two years after filing your I-90 Form to USCIS and paying the fee.
How Many Times Can You Change Your Name on a Green Card?
There is no limit on the number of times you can change the name on your green card. However, this process takes anywhere from one year to two years, so be sure to think carefully before getting anything legally changed on your green card.
Additionally, with the paperwork that must be completed and the mandatory fees, this process shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Changing your name on a green card isn’t something you should take lightly. Between filing the needed paperwork with all the approved supporting documents and paying the fees required, it takes time.
More than 9% of Form I-90 applications are rejected, and many are denied (reasons for denial) due to poor preparation of the form. If you are missing even a single aspect of this process, you won’t be able to get your name legally changed. Luckily, Immigration Direct can help you through the process and support you when carrying out the needed steps.