Under the N-400, Application for Naturalization, an applying lawful permanent resident may elect to have a name change through the Naturalization Process. The form has a “check yes or no” portion that will allow an appropriate name change at no extra cost.
The N-400 instructs that a court can allow you to change your name when you naturalized. A name change requested on the N-400 form does not become final until you are naturalized, which is simultaneous to the naturalization oath ceremony.
However, if an applicant wants a “court-ordered” name change at an oath ceremony, the applicant must ask for a federal judge to issue the oath and to also sign a petition for a name change form, which is usually stapled to the Certificate of Naturalization. The alternative to a federal judge administering an oath is a USCIS Immigration Officer. Judges have the power to issue a “court-ordered” name change, which may be preferred if the applicant has numerous documents in the previous name.
As a common concern, an applicant does not need to request a name change if they had already changed their legal name because of marriage, divorce, or death of a spouse.
If you have any concerns, you should speak with a local Immigration Attorney, or you may call Fickey Martinez Law Firm, P.L.L.C. at (910) 526-0066 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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