Can I change my name when I become a U.S. citizen?

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Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, provides applicants an opportunity to request a legal name change during the naturalization process. But if you have already officially changed your name because of a marriage, divorce, death of a spouse, or other means, the naturalization name change is not necessary.

USCIS does not have the legal authority to change a person’s name when that person naturalizes. Therefore, there are only two ways that USCIS can issue your Certificate of Naturalization under a new name:

  1. If you present proof that you have already changed your name according to the legal requirements that apply to persons living in your State, USCIS can issue the Certificate of Naturalization with your new name. Such proof might include a marriage certificate or divorce decree showing that you changed your name when you married or divorced. It might also include some other State court order establishing that you changed your name.
  2. If you are going to take the Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony that is held in Court, you may ask the Court to change your name. If the Court grants your request, your new name will appear on your Certificate of Naturalization.

Did you know minor mistakes on your N-400 application can result in costly delays?
Prepare your N-400 with us in about 40 minutes. CitizenPath guides you through the complete application process and provides help to answer questions such as this one. Our personalized filing instructions will allow you to file your application today knowing that you did everything right!

When preparing the Application for Naturalization (Form N-400), you will be provided the opportunity to request a name change at a naturalization ceremony.

If you decide to legally change your name after the naturalization process is final, you can contact the state or county offices near you. Each U.S. state has a slightly different process.

Source: USCIS

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Find additional support articles and naturalization information in the Citizenship Resource Center
Naturalization Requirements  |  Citizenship Cost Calculator
What Happens After Filing N-400  |  How to Prepare for Citizenship Test
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