Can I change my name when applying for US Citizenship?

Permanent Residents who comply with the eligibility requirements set by U.S. law may apply for U.S. citizenship. Applicants are required to complete and submit Form N-400 to apply for U.S. citizenship .

N-400, Application for U.S. Citizenship, provides applicants the option to request a legal name change during the naturalization process. However, if the applicant has already officially changed his/her name because of marriage, divorce, the death of a spouse, or for any other reason, it will not be necessary to proceed with the name change during the naturalization process. In such cases, applicants are required to present proof of the legal change in the form of a marriage certificate or divorce decree, for example. Then USCIS will issue the Certificate of Naturalization with the new name.

However, if an applicant has not previously changed his/her name but wishes to do so, applying to become a naturalized U.S. citizen offers you a possible way to do so, and with very few administrative hassles. Applicants can legally change their name(s) without additional court procedures by simply filling in their chosen new name on Form N-400 - Part II, Question 4. Please keep in mind the name-change service is available only through USCIS offices where the swearing-in (oath) ceremonies are held in a courtroom, presided over by a judge, not a USCIS officer. In some regions of the United States, ceremonies presided over by a judge are held only a few times per year, so asking for a name change may delay the citizenship process. If the swearing-in ceremony is held at a USCIS office, the request for a name change on Form N-400 cannot be acted upon. Applicants will need to file a name change petition with the state court - depending on the state of residence. Once the name change is granted, then applicants will need to apply, using USCIS Form N-565, for a new certificate of naturalization.

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