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Topic: Changing Name in UK and US  (Read 1737 times)

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Changing Name in UK and US
« on: September 24, 2018, 10:43:51 AM »
Hi all,
I'm new to UK Yankee.

I've been married to a British Citizen for a year and been living in England on Spouse Visa.

I have not changed my name legally either in the US or UK since we got married, as it seems kinda complicated and didn't want to pay my immigration lawyer to help me with it.

I want to change my name but I'm not sure where to start. We are staying in the UK but I still want to change all my US documentation as well.

I want to know how to legally change my name in both countries and also how to update things like: my passport, biometric card, UK and US bank accounts, SSN, credit cards (US), driving license (US), how to inform my employer (UK), National insurance number (UK), NHS, etc.

Anyone been here before and can give me advice? I have already emailed the embassy and am awaiting a reply.

Thanks!





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Re: Changing Name in UK and US
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2018, 10:53:42 AM »
It is a pain and expensive to change your name.  The best time to do it would be within 90 days of your renewal of your spouse visa.  It's the UK that makes it long and complex.

To change your name, you would:
1.  Renew your US passport in your married name
2.  Within 90 days you must apply for a new BRP in your married name.  This costs a couple of hundred pounds and takes SIX MONTHS to do.  You can't have any travel planned during this time as you are "stuck" in the UK during processing.  There is (currently) an option to do a same day appointment for an additional £510 - though this may be going away in about two weeks.
3.  Once you've done that, you are legally known by your married name.  You'll want to update social security before filing your taxes, but no need to do it before then.

As for the rest, you can do that anytime you want, in any order.  You can use your married name in the UK without updating your passport and BRP.  As you've been here a year, it's likely that your US license isn't valid now that you are no longer a USA resident, so no real need to update that.  If you do want to update it, you would do that on your next visit to the USA but keep in mind this could have big tax implications if you are claiming to be a resident when you are not.

The best thing to do would be to wait until you are within 90 days of your renewal.  Update your passport then, then submit your application in your married name.  Saves a lot of time and money.


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Re: Changing Name in UK and US
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2018, 11:02:40 AM »
Oy vey. Thanks for all of that. It's enlightening!

Doesn't seem worth all the effort especially when we've been perfectly happy for the year with my maiden name. We don't like the idea of not being able to travel for six months, especially when I just went through that a year ago with waiting for my spouse visa.

Do you think there's any advantage to changing my name? Ex. if we have children - is it better to have the same name as my husband? Other than for our own personal reasons, is there any reason I should change my name?


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Re: Changing Name in UK and US
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2018, 11:28:45 AM »

I have not changed my name legally either in the US or UK since we got married, as it seems kinda complicated and didn't want to pay my immigration lawyer to help me with it.


Hi Hayley!  :)
Changing your name is a personal choice. I didn't and I'm very glad to have kept my own name, others are equally glad, I'm sure, that they changed theirs.

Unless you have complicated circumstances such as a criminal record or poor immigration history, there is no need to use a lawyer. If you hang around here, we'll be happy to help you with your FLR when the time comes!  :)
March 28th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).March 7th 2018 ILR. YAY! March 21st NCS&JCAP appointment.


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Re: Changing Name in UK and US
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2018, 11:29:11 AM »
It's 100% a personal decision if you change your name or not.

I chose to change my name but we were planning to have kids (and have two now).  I love that we all have the same name and that we are "The Jones Family". 

But I have a truck ton of friends who haven't changed their name and they are happy they haven't.  Some have double barrelled last names, some have given their husband's last names to the kids.  It doesn't matter so long as you are all happy.

Regardless of whether your names are the same or not, if you are travelling alone with the kids, you should bring a letter of consent from the other parent.


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Re: Changing Name in UK and US
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2018, 11:35:26 AM »
Thanks everyone, it's nice to have support for those who have been through it and understand.

Just curious should I go through with it all, how do I actually go about changing my name in the US for SSI? And for banks in US and UK and organisations like NHS and work, do I just give them proof I've changed my name? 


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Re: Changing Name in UK and US
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2018, 11:46:12 AM »
For the USA, you change your name through the embassy.  You send your marriage certificate with the Social Security Name Change form and passport renewal form and it's done.

For other things in the USA, you'll likely need to do that on visits.

For the UK, ask your doctors surgery if they need a copy of your marriage certificate to change your name.  They may not.

You have to contact each and every place individually.  So you'll need to contact the Job Centre for National Insurance, DVLA for your drivers license, etc.


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