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I'm getting married and would like to apply for a visa to enter Sri Lanka on my honeymoon. We're leaving for the airport straight after the wedding and so have to fill out applications for the visa in advance. When we arrive our passports will still state our original names and that we are not married. Should we state that we are married on the visa, as we will be when we arrive? And should we use the names as they will be on our passports rather than any new married name?

Thanks in advance for the help.

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    Nationality also please. Commented May 29 at 10:25
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    I don't think you can use your new name for anything until you officially have it and in any case the name on the Visa should match the name on the passport. Typically you need you need to update your documents (including your passport) AFTER the name change. This takes a while on in most cases there is a grace period where you can use a document with the old name plus a name change document. Details of course, depends on your nationality and specific local laws and policies.
    – Hilmar
    Commented May 29 at 11:06
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    Post answers, not comments.
    – Willeke
    Commented May 29 at 13:55
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    You should check whether you are allowed to travel with the old name if that's not your name anymore.
    – DonQuiKong
    Commented May 30 at 10:34
  • @DonQuiKong, is it a legal change of name or adding the name of the source, which often is not even an obligation.
    – Willeke
    Commented May 30 at 17:27

3 Answers 3

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In most cases you should write what was true at the time of the application.

If a remarks field is offered, you can add that you are getting married before arrival, but that your passport will not reflect your changed married status or name change.

In that way you have informed them of everything possible.

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When we arrive our passports will still state our original names and that we are not married.

So you are not married.

I don't know which country you are from, but at least in France between the instant when the mayor states "you are married" and the time this information arrives everywhere it takes an indefinite amount of time.

In the most optimal case, you will get papers (in French) wording out the fact that you are married. There are about 7 toms of exceptions to that.

Before that information gets on the passports, if it gets there at all(1), it takes all the time above + the time to get a passport.

So if you state "we are married", you may not have any paperwork for that.

This is beyond the case that at the moment of the application you are not married (you would need to check whether you need to update this information or not when you are abroad (because you leave on the same day and this will be the moment when your married state becomes technically enforceable))


(1) In France each of the newly married can use the name of the other (it is way more complicated than that, but that's the rough rule). You may want to have on your passport DUPONT ép DURAND which means that the initial name is DUPONT and the name of the other person is DURAND. Again, between the moment when you celebrate at the town hall and the moment you see this an indefinite time passes.
It gets funny when your name is SILVERSTONE and your spouse ELONGICURE and you have on your passport SILVERSTONE ép ELONGICURE and get a ticket as SILVERSTONE ép ELO because it got trimmed. This ensures wonderful memories of explaining French stuff to border control.

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  • +1, Fun! I am more and more convinced that "never change name" and "if I'm married or not is my business only" modern Spanish approach is the only viable one...:-;
    – Rmano
    Commented May 31 at 7:10
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    @Rmano I agree, the name changes are a problem. France made it even more complicated by allowing the use of combinations and the databases can carry one or the other name. There is then the problem of the name of the children, who either keep an exponential number of ancestors, or get, de facto, there own name (I know that it is related to both parents, but only partially)
    – WoJ
    Commented May 31 at 7:27
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Disclaimer: my experience of Sri Lanka was during the 1980s, so things may have changed since then.

  1. The Sri Lankan immigration officer I encountered was pedantic compared to immigration of officers in other countries. He questioned the fact that I had an Australian Customs stamp in may passport, and told me that Customs officers were not authorized to stamp passports. (He made me promise that I'd never let a customs officer do that again: good luck trying that...). I recommend that you make sure that the name on your visa application matches that on your passport exactly, and that your marriage status is also accurate as at the time you apply.
  2. My wife still uses her maiden name on her passport. When we first started traveling together she carried a copy of the marriage certificate. I recall that is was useful occasionally at hostels, never at hotels, so we gave up carrying it once we had a bit more money.
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    For my interest, in what way would the marriage certificate ever be useful when travelling? Are there still hotels or hostels that don't let you stay in the same room unless you are married???
    – xLeitix
    Commented May 30 at 10:59
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    @xLeitix one could easily guess it's a thing in the less secularized parts of the world. Try this search: google.com/….
    – tevemadar
    Commented May 30 at 11:55
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    @xLeitix I had that a couple of times, as recent as 2016 in Morocco. My wife and I only married a few years ago, but we've been together for well over 30 years. (Not getting married was financially advantageous due to my wife working across the border, cross-border tax laws for couples are weird in some countries.) We couldn't get a room at times in Italy, Morocco, Spain, Croatia and Greece. Mostly in remote/rural areas (more conservative/traditional?). Usually fixed by threatening to take our business elsewhere or by slipping the hotel staff some money under the table.
    – Tonny
    Commented May 31 at 11:07
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    Continued... Never had it happen at bigger hotels or hotels that were members of a hotel chain/franchise. Only at small hotels/hostels and once a bed&breakfast (in Croatia). Mostly small family run places I would say, were the personal values/believes of the owner would probably play a major part in determining what they would allow on there premises. That B&B was the only place we really couldn't convince them to let us stay. Luckily there was another B&B half a mile away that had no issues with us.
    – Tonny
    Commented May 31 at 11:13

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