Author Topic: Changing name and FLR(M) questions  (Read 230 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Ktstarrs

  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 56
  • Joined: Aug 2017
  • Liked: 25
Changing name and FLR(M) questions
« on: February 14, 2018, 03:26:20 PM »
Hi everyone! I have been in England for 2 months on my Marriage/Fiance visa and got married this past weekend. I was hoping to change my passport to my new last name ASAP so I can apply for FLR(M) (priority).
Unfortunately, I have looked everywhere and cannot find any place that can do an international money order or a bankers draft in USD. I have looked online and it looks like nobody has found a solution to the payment issue aside from going to an in person appointment and paying with card/cash. I live about an hour from the US embassy in London, so I can go to an in person appointment if I needed to but the next available appointment is over a month away.
Since I wont be able to get in for over a month, then it takes 3 weeks to get a new passport and then I need to get in for an in person appointment for FLR(M), I'm worried that it will come close to me overstaying my visa.

I have read previously that I can get my FLR(M) under my maiden name, then apply for a name change for my US passport and begin using my new last name then with the only caveat being that I would need to bring both passports to travel. This way I could still change my name without having to wait an extra few months for my FLR (until which, I cant work) and I would get to use my new name without having to pay to move my visa. Does anyone know the specifics on this route?

If I decide to not legally change my name until my 2.5 year FLR(M), in what instances can I use my married name? Obviously nobody would know the difference on social media and such, but as far as CV, bank information, bills, US license, credit cards, GP registration, do I need to continue to use my maiden name?

And last question, does anyone know what the timeline is looking like currently for FLR(M) in person appointment availability (or know how I can check?) or how long FLR(M) are taking by mail?
Met: Aug 2013
Started Dating: Oct 2013
Engaged: Sept 2017
Online app submitted: 17 Oct 2017
Biometrics & mailed in: 20 Oct 2017
Received by Sheffield: 23 Oct 2017
Decision email:

Offline ksand24

  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 18529
  • Joined: Jan 2007
  • Gender: Female
  • Liked: 1722
Re: Changing name and FLR(M) questions
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2018, 03:32:49 PM »
Since I wont be able to get in for over a month, then it takes 3 weeks to get a new passport and then I need to get in for an in person appointment for FLR(M), I'm worried that it will come close to me overstaying my visa.

If necessary, can you apply by post for FLR(M)? That way you would only need to get the application in the mail before your visa expires.

The processing times are pretty steady at about 6-7 weeks, so unless you need your passport urgently, it may be worth saving the £590 for an in-person appointment.

Quote
I have read previously that I can get my FLR(M) under my maiden name, then apply for a name change for my US passport and begin using my new last name then with the only caveat being that I would need to bring both passports to travel. This way I could still change my name without having to wait an extra few months for my FLR (until which, I cant work) and I would get to use my new name without having to pay to move my visa. Does anyone know the specifics on this route?

No, you can't do it this way (2 passports).

If you change your name in your passport you MUST change your name on your BRP card within 3 months or you can be fined £1,000 and have your visa shortened. And it's a big hassle to change it after the FLR(M) has been granted.

It costs £336 to change your name on the BRP and takes up to 6 months to be processed, during which you would be without your passport and visa, so I would not recommend doing this.

Your options:

1) Try to get the name change done before you apply for FLR(M)
OR
2) Apply for FLR(M) in your maiden name and keep your passport in your maiden name. You could then change your name on it within 3 months before applying for the second FLR(M) so you don't have to change the BRP name too.


Quote
If I decide to not legally change my name until my 2.5 year FLR(M), in what instances can I use my married name? Obviously nobody would know the difference on social media and such, but as far as CV, bank information, bills, US license, credit cards, GP registration, do I need to continue to use my maiden name?

In the UK, you can just start using your married name for everything except your passport. You just contact the companies (bank, utilities etc.) and ask them to change your name on the account. If necessary, you just show your passport along with your marriage certificate.

Not sure about US stuff, but since you live in the UK, it's not so important to change your US details.

Quote
And last question, does anyone know what the timeline is looking like currently for FLR(M) in person appointment availability (or know how I can check?) or how long FLR(M) are taking by mail?

By mail it's about 6-7 weeks.

For in-person appointments you can book up to 42 days (6 weeks) in advance and there are usually plenty of appointments available.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 03:35:07 PM by ksand24 »

Online KFdancer

  • *
  • Posts: 10075
  • Joined: Jun 2012
  • Location: Wokingham
  • Liked: 2033
Re: Changing name and FLR(M) questions
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2018, 03:35:23 PM »
Do you know anyone in the US who could send you a USA money order?  The post office will issue one. 

Offline Ktstarrs

  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 56
  • Joined: Aug 2017
  • Liked: 25
Re: Changing name and FLR(M) questions
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2018, 03:40:04 PM »
One more somewhat off topic question. It has been very difficult for me to get any official mail sent to my current address. The only thing that could be done is for me to have my US bank send me a statement which would enable me to open a UK bank account which I could use as proof of address. Well, I use BofA in the US and still have an account with them and have not yet received the statement I requested 2 months ago or the 'replacement' statement they claimed to have sent 3 weeks ago. Therefore, I still have no official mail other than the US voters registration paperwork (which my husbands UK bank wont accept). Now that we are married, does our marriage certificate stating my current address work as official proof of address?
Met: Aug 2013
Started Dating: Oct 2013
Engaged: Sept 2017
Online app submitted: 17 Oct 2017
Biometrics & mailed in: 20 Oct 2017
Received by Sheffield: 23 Oct 2017
Decision email:

Online KFdancer

  • *
  • Posts: 10075
  • Joined: Jun 2012
  • Location: Wokingham
  • Liked: 2033
Re: Changing name and FLR(M) questions
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2018, 03:41:50 PM »
One more somewhat off topic question. It has been very difficult for me to get any official mail sent to my current address. The only thing that could be done is for me to have my US bank send me a statement which would enable me to open a UK bank account which I could use as proof of address. Well, I use BofA in the US and still have an account with them and have not yet received the statement I requested 2 months ago or the 'replacement' statement they claimed to have sent 3 weeks ago. Therefore, I still have no official mail other than the US voters registration paperwork (which my husbands UK bank wont accept). Now that we are married, does our marriage certificate stating my current address work as official proof of address?

Ask the bank what they will accept.  I, personally, would recommend simply adding you to the council tax bill.  They'll cut you a new copy and chance are you'll have it this week or next.  :)

Failing that you could apply for a provisional license, register for the NHS (they usually send a letter), or put a utility into your name.

Offline ksand24

  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 18529
  • Joined: Jan 2007
  • Gender: Female
  • Liked: 1722
Re: Changing name and FLR(M) questions
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2018, 03:45:47 PM »
One more somewhat off topic question. It has been very difficult for me to get any official mail sent to my current address. The only thing that could be done is for me to have my US bank send me a statement which would enable me to open a UK bank account which I could use as proof of address. Well, I use BofA in the US and still have an account with them and have not yet received the statement I requested 2 months ago or the 'replacement' statement they claimed to have sent 3 weeks ago.

I had trouble receiving statements from a US bank account because the statements would not print my full address... they had no country or postcode on them, which meant that the statements were un-deliverable.

It could be that the same thing is happening here and that they physically cannot deliver them to your address because they can't see it.

Quote
Now that we are married, does our marriage certificate stating my current address work as official proof of address?

I doubt it - but I've never heard anyone ask that before!

What about registering with an NHS GP? They will send you your NHS number in the post, so that is official mail that you can use for proof of address.

Another option is applying for a provisional driving licence, as that will be sent to your UK address (but you do need to send off your passport and visa to them).

Other than that, can you get added to:
- council tax
- utility bills
- TV licence
- phone/internet bills

Offline Ktstarrs

  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 56
  • Joined: Aug 2017
  • Liked: 25
Re: Changing name and FLR(M) questions
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2018, 03:52:05 PM »
Do you know anyone in the US who could send you a USA money order?  The post office will issue one.

My family is still in England at the moment but will be back in the US next week and could do that for me. However, that means waiting a week plus 2-3 weeks for the money order to arrive here then 3 weeks for a new passport. Definitely an option I will look into, but not quite as quick as I was hoping!


@ksand24 thanks for such a thorough response! My parents are paying for our FLR(M) with priority as part of the wedding expenses, so at this point time savings is much more important than cost savings. Our housing situation will be changing in the next few months and our rent will be rising significantly, so me getting a job ASAP is really important.

Since I can mostly change my name(aside from the passport) and save a few months, I think that will be my best option. I will plan to change my passport just before applying for my 2.5 year FLR(M) and change what can be changed to my married name. Since my passport will be in my maiden name, I am assuming I need to book flights in my maiden name so the bookings match my passport?

Thank you both, having such helpful people on this forum helps my stress levels immensely :D
Met: Aug 2013
Started Dating: Oct 2013
Engaged: Sept 2017
Online app submitted: 17 Oct 2017
Biometrics & mailed in: 20 Oct 2017
Received by Sheffield: 23 Oct 2017
Decision email:

Online KFdancer

  • *
  • Posts: 10075
  • Joined: Jun 2012
  • Location: Wokingham
  • Liked: 2033
Re: Changing name and FLR(M) questions
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2018, 03:59:34 PM »
My family is still in England at the moment but will be back in the US next week and could do that for me. However, that means waiting a week plus 2-3 weeks for the money order to arrive here then 3 weeks for a new passport. Definitely an option I will look into, but not quite as quick as I was hoping!


@ksand24 thanks for such a thorough response! My parents are paying for our FLR(M) with priority as part of the wedding expenses, so at this point time savings is much more important than cost savings. Our housing situation will be changing in the next few months and our rent will be rising significantly, so me getting a job ASAP is really important.

Since I can mostly change my name(aside from the passport) and save a few months, I think that will be my best option. I will plan to change my passport just before applying for my 2.5 year FLR(M) and change what can be changed to my married name. Since my passport will be in my maiden name, I am assuming I need to book flights in my maiden name so the bookings match my passport?

Thank you both, having such helpful people on this forum helps my stress levels immensely :D

If they sent the money order express, you'd have it in 2 days.  Just a thought.

Yes, if you don't change your name on your passport you'll need to ensure all travel is booked in the name on your passport.  :)

Offline ksand24

  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 18529
  • Joined: Jan 2007
  • Gender: Female
  • Liked: 1722
Re: Changing name and FLR(M) questions
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2018, 03:59:37 PM »
Yes... jt’s fine to keep your passport in your maiden name, you just have to make sure all your travel is booked in the name on your passport.

Yeah, if you can’t change it before the first FLR(M), the best thing is to wait until just before you apply for the next FLR(M) :).


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline Ktstarrs

  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 56
  • Joined: Aug 2017
  • Liked: 25
Re: Changing name and FLR(M) questions
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2018, 04:02:09 PM »
Ask the bank what they will accept.  I, personally, would recommend simply adding you to the council tax bill.  They'll cut you a new copy and chance are you'll have it this week or next.  :)

Failing that you could apply for a provisional license, register for the NHS (they usually send a letter), or put a utility into your name.

I was thinking that we had to wait for a new council bill tax to arrive for me to get any mail from it, so thats good to know that they will send a new copy immediately after changing it! We live with my husbands parents (pay bills) and nan(owns the house), so I will talk to them about changing it. NHS has been on my to do list, so I will get working on that as well.

@ksand24 my phone provider doesnt send paper bills but I had not considered internet! So thats another option I can look into. I'll also talk to BofA about the address problem, that could definitely be why I am not receiving statements!
Met: Aug 2013
Started Dating: Oct 2013
Engaged: Sept 2017
Online app submitted: 17 Oct 2017
Biometrics & mailed in: 20 Oct 2017
Received by Sheffield: 23 Oct 2017
Decision email:

Online larrabee

  • *
  • Posts: 6853
  • Joined: Sep 2010
  • Gender: Female
  • Liked: 2423
Re: Changing name and FLR(M) questions
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2018, 04:22:29 PM »
I was thinking that we had to wait for a new council bill tax to arrive for me to get any mail from it, so thats good to know that they will send a new copy immediately after changing it! We live with my husbands parents (pay bills) and nan(owns the house), so I will talk to them about changing it. NHS has been on my to do list, so I will get working on that as well.

@ksand24 my phone provider doesnt send paper bills but I had not considered internet! So thats another option I can look into. I'll also talk to BofA about the address problem, that could definitely be why I am not receiving statements!

You might need to specifically ask for the new council tax bill but it won't be a problem getting one.

My husband is with BoA and has no problem receiving statements to a UK address. Just make sure you speak with someone rather than trying to request online. They will fiddle with the address until they get something in there that the system will accept!

Congratulations on your marriage! [smiley=balloon.gif]
March 29th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).

Offline Ktstarrs

  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 56
  • Joined: Aug 2017
  • Liked: 25
Re: Changing name and FLR(M) questions
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2018, 07:12:14 PM »
I checked again on the US embassy website and all of a sudden, 17 appointments were available for tomorrow! So I got the 10:30am appointment so I wouldn't have to leave terribly early and can get the name change/new passport done! The application let me select "extra large passport book- 54 pages"  even though all other information has shown that I could only get regular sized. Not sure if I will actually receive the extra pages but I figured it couldn't hurt to try!
Met: Aug 2013
Started Dating: Oct 2013
Engaged: Sept 2017
Online app submitted: 17 Oct 2017
Biometrics & mailed in: 20 Oct 2017
Received by Sheffield: 23 Oct 2017
Decision email:

Online larrabee

  • *
  • Posts: 6853
  • Joined: Sep 2010
  • Gender: Female
  • Liked: 2423
Re: Changing name and FLR(M) questions
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2018, 07:14:04 PM »
I checked again on the US embassy website and all of a sudden, 17 appointments were available for tomorrow! So I got the 10:30am appointment so I wouldn't have to leave terribly early and can get the name change/new passport done! The application let me select "extra large passport book- 54 pages"  even though all other information has shown that I could only get regular sized. Not sure if I will actually receive the extra pages but I figured it couldn't hurt to try!

They seem to be giving out the large ones now, whether you ask for one or not!
March 29th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).

Offline ksand24

  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 18529
  • Joined: Jan 2007
  • Gender: Female
  • Liked: 1722
Re: Changing name and FLR(M) questions
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2018, 07:16:26 PM »
I checked again on the US embassy website and all of a sudden, 17 appointments were available for tomorrow! So I got the 10:30am appointment so I wouldn't have to leave terribly early and can get the name change/new passport done! The application let me select "extra large passport book- 54 pages"  even though all other information has shown that I could only get regular sized. Not sure if I will actually receive the extra pages but I figured it couldn't hurt to try!

That's awesome :).

As of Jan 2016, ALL US passports issued outside the US now have 54 pages whether you want them or not. I believe they do it because people living outside the US are more likely to be frequent travellers and so a 54-page passport reduces the chances of them having to renew often.

Offline silverbrooke

  • *
  • Posts: 43
  • Joined: Jan 2014
  • Location: Canterbury, Kent
  • Gender: Female
  • Liked: 0
Re: Changing name and FLR(M) questions
« Reply #14 on: Today at 10:04:05 AM »
So I've been over here for 2.5 years (applying for FLR(M) right now) and my US passport is still in my maiden name, but everything I do over here including my driver's license is married name.  I kinda had a similar question, as I've had no problems so far with the married name, and just fly under my maiden name.

I am reapplying with my maiden name passport, mostly because it is valid for the whole duration of my 5 years before ILR, and I am trying to be cheap and not change the US passport to the married name when I would rather just get rid of it all together and work toward naturalization when the time comes.

Hopefully this won't cause me grief - I did list under 'other names by which you have been known' Me Married as well as Me Divorced  ;)
2015
June 13th: Married  June 14th: Applied online
June 18th: Biometrics and posted documents
July 8th:  Retroactively upgraded to Priority
July 10th: Email with decision and documents shipped

2018
Feb 1: Here we go again