Is it better to change my first name before or after naturalization?

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Is it better to change my first name before or after naturalization?

I got married to a US citizen in Nov 2013 and just got the conditional residency removed from my permanent resident card. I live in Berkeley, Alameda county, CA. I like to change my first name. I heard it’s a good moment to do that before going through the naturalization process. I am about to file a N400. I like to become an American citizen with a new first name. I use that new name since the last 4 years. I have my husband’s last name and I plan to keep that. Can I file a naturalization form n400 on my old name and while waiting for the interview file for name change and then have the name changed at the citizen interview with the court order before swearing in? Or could I use the new name on N 400 and gamble that I get the name change through court before having to do anything for the N400 process?What’s the best/shortest way to go?

Asked on February 19, 2018 under Immigration Law, California

Answers:

SB Member California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

on your N-400 application you have an opportunity to craft a new name that you'd like to start using from that point forward so that is a good time to do it.  you will still need to disclose all your prior names so there is no confusion but once you file that and you get the naturalization certificate, you will be able to change all your other documents to your new official name.


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