Background: I'm a US citizen and carry a US passport. My wife is only a US Permanent Resident, and carries a foreign passport. She legally changed her last name with Social Security, but at this moment her passport and Permanent Residency card have her maiden name. We're planning a trip where my wife will need to apply for tourist visas to the UK and France/Schengen.

Questions: Suppose we do not have enough time to replace her passport and PR card to reflect her name-change before applying for her tourist visas...

  • Will there be a problem if she were to apply for the visas under her maiden name, and we make sure that her tickets have her maiden name?

  • Would the offices responsible for processing her applications notice her new last name through social security and then refuse her application because of the name discrepancy?

  • Can my wife re-enter the USA in these circumstances?

  • The UK/Schengen authorities are comfortable with umteen-gazillion name conventions, Apply in her passport name and submit a notarised copy of the marriage certificate as evidence. They are smart enough to know that a documentation lag follows a marriage.
    – Gayot Fow
    Jan 3, 2017 at 19:41
  • 2
    Note that I added the third question because it is, by far, the most important. If you do not get a Schengen visa, I presume it's a minor problem of not having a vacation. But, if you get denied reentry (hint: you won't in this case just have the marriage cert at hand) then you are in for an exceptional amount of trouble.
    – user4188
    Jan 3, 2017 at 20:00

1 Answer 1


I will cover the third question: can your wife reenter the United States in these circumstances? CBP says

Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR): LPR's who change their name due to marriage or because of any other circumstance may travel using your LPR Card (US Green Card; I551) in your prior name provided you bring proof of your name progression such as; a marriage certificate, a divorce decree or court documents showing a legal name change.

It also says:

Please check with the country(s) you are traveling to for their entry requirements.

So yes you can re-enter just bring your marriage certificate. Whether Schengen will go with this, I do not know. But the Consulate of Italy has this to say of a slightly different situation:

My passport has my maiden name and my Resident Alien Registration Card has my married name what should I do?

You can provide a notarized copy of your marriage or divorce certificate.

Your bank most likely has a public notary service. I can't imagine any trouble in a simpler situation. So: pay attention to filling out the form, it'll say to put your name as in the passport. Do that, add notarized marriage certificate copy (make two notarized copies and carry the other and show it to the CBP upon reentry), add a letter explaining situation, I'll hazard a guess that there will be no problem.

  • You have added a question that the OP didn't even ask, and then you've answered only that question. That isn't particularly helpful.
    – phoog
    Jan 4, 2017 at 0:08
  • @phoog I made a good attempt to answer OP's question and the question I added, as I noted in the comment on the question is far more important. I have lived the permanent resident life for many years and I know the fear. Apparently OP doesn't.
    – user4188
    Jan 4, 2017 at 5:25

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