Author Topic: Pros and cons of name change before going to UK  (Read 504 times)

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Offline RBrunea

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Pros and cons of name change before going to UK
« on: November 05, 2015, 01:06:12 AM »
Hello. I've tried asking this question (and others) on the UK immigration website, but they never seem to actually answer my questions - extremely vague. The posts here have been much more helpful, but I just want to double-check what I think I've learned.

Background: I'm a US citizen and will be marrying my UK fiance in January when he comes to the US to visit. I have sold my home and will be moving out just a few days after he goes back to Orkney, after which I will be homeless/visiting relatives until my visa is approved. Obviously, I want to hurry the process as much as possible. I'm planning to pay for expedited service.

I want to use my husband's name in the UK - don't really care about what it is the US, since I'll only be here for visits, not returning to live. But for now I'm more interested in just getting over there. My major concern is not messing up something important regarding my visa application and subsequent travel to the UK.

If I go through all the trouble to change my name on my passport, etc. just after we get married, it's going to slow down my application process, and I want to get back to my husband as soon as I can. (Also, I'll have nowhere to live!)

So I guess my questions are: Can I apply for the settlement visa in my maiden name (which would match my current passport) even though I want to use my married name later? And how difficult is it to change names on bank accounts/credit cards after I go over? Would it be worth the extra time cooling my heels in the US, or is it actually unimportant what name I use for now, as long as I apply for my visa in the name on my passport? Also, can I use my married name on my marriage license even if I don't change it on everything else right away?

Whew! Thank you for any suggestions.

Rhonda


Offline KFdancer

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Re: Pros and cons of name change before going to UK
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2015, 06:58:34 AM »
I would recommend waiting the two weeks or so it will take to get your passport back in your married name before you apply.  Otherwise, you will need to do it at some point from the UK which can take months (and leave you unable to travel outside the UK while processing).  Most people do not have a problem using their married name in the UK even if their passport hasn't been changed, but all travel would need to be in your maiden name.

Offline RBrunea

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Re: Pros and cons of name change before going to UK
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2015, 09:04:15 AM »
Oh, I hadn't thought about not being able to travel  while the name is being changed in the UK later. I'd want to be available to leave the country, in case of something important coming up with my family in the US.

Thank you so much, KF. You've given me the information I need to decide.

Online ksand24

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Re: Pros and cons of name change before going to UK
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2015, 09:20:57 AM »
Oh, I hadn't thought about not being able to travel  while the name is being changed in the UK later. I'd want to be available to leave the country, in case of something important coming up with my family in the US.

The problem with changing your name on your passport when you are already in the UK is that first you have to send off your passport to get the name changed, which can take a few weeks, then after you have done that, you have 3 months to change your name on your BRP card (your visa) or you can be fined £1,000 - because your passport and BRP card must have the same names on them.

To change your name on the BRP card, you have to apply for a new card and pay £183 for it, and also send off your passport and visa to UKVI for processing... which can potentially take up to a few months (I think it's about 2 months at the moment).

Or, you could just change your name on your passport in the US before you leave and then your visa/BRP card will be issued in your married name and you won't have to worry about changing it later :).

Online TravelingFrog

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Re: Pros and cons of name change before going to UK
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2015, 09:28:31 AM »
I decided to keep my passport (and visa/BRP) and everything US-related in my maiden name and use my married name for everything else in the UK.

I had no problems registering for the NHS, getting my national insurance number, opening a bank account, getting my UK driving licence and signing a lease in my married name. I just needed to show my US (maiden name) passport and my marriage certificate - those two together are enough to get documents in my married name. Once you've got one of those documents in your married name, it's easier to get the others (I'd say a UK provisional driving licence in your married name is the best one to start with if you go that route).

Your passport needs to match your BRP, but it hasn't been a problem for me to go by a name other than that on my passport & BRP.

As KFdancer said, all travel needs to be booked in the name in your passport, but I'm happy to book flights in my maiden name if it means I don't have deal with the hassle of changing my name on my passport and having to apply for another BRP.

As ksand said, since you're getting married in the US, if you can change it between getting married and applying for your visa, that would be easiest, but it would mean you'd have to wait to apply for your visa until you got your new passport.
July 2012 - Fiancée Visa | Nov 2012 - Married
Dec 2012 - FLR | Nov 2014 - ILR | Dec 2015 - UK Citizen

Offline KFdancer

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Re: Pros and cons of name change before going to UK
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2015, 10:16:14 AM »
One thing I've wondered about for those that use their married name in the UK but maiden name on passport/BRP - what happens if you have a child?  When I registered my daughter, I had to provide my passport.  Would they have used my married name on the birth certificate or the name on my passport?

For the OP, it takes about 10 days to 2 weeks for a new passport in the US.  If you know you want to change your name, I would definitely consider doing it before you apply for your visa.  It will save you time and money later on.

Offline RBrunea

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Re: Pros and cons of name change before going to UK
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2015, 11:19:31 AM »
Okay, I feel much better informed on both possibilities. Thanks to everyone for all of the incredibly helpful input!