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Can I use a name for SSN that is different from my visa?

  1. Oct 3, 2007 #1
    I’m currently under my parents' e2 visa, but I might get my ssn during this summer. on my visa, it has my legal name from my country...but since my name was too hard for native speakers to pronounce, I went by an English name for long....I used that name for all my middle and high school year, so I want to keep using this name. Can I use different name to apply for SSN? If I can't, is there a way to change my name on visa, so I can put English name for SSN when I apply for it?
    Thanks. Have great day!
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 3, 2007 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    A visa is issue for a person in the passport, so one would have to change the passport (in one's native country), then have another visa issued, then register the new name with SS.

    I am not aware of anyone using an aka in the SS registration, which would be different than a passport and birth certificate. Certainly, US citizens can change their name.

    One would have to contact SS directly and ask them with an explanation of the situation, but I think unless one is a US citizen, one would have to use the passport name.

    If one were to become a US citizen, I believe there is a provision to change one's name at that time.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2007
  4. Oct 5, 2007 #3
    You have to use your legal name. I bumped into an interesting site which gives a lot of useful tips. Check out http://www.socialsecuritynumbersearch.us/ you may get the information you are looking for.
  5. Oct 6, 2007 #4
    I'm not so sure if you have to use your legal name.

    I remember the time I got my social security card. I was in the office and they called out a name that wasn't mine. My uncle told me that it was me they were calling, but they had used my mother's maiden name. When I told the clerk that I had been going by my father's last name my entire life and that was the name on my birth certificate they just changed the name on the social security card they gave me.

    I'm still not sure what my name really is.:confused:
  6. Oct 6, 2007 #5


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    Do you have a passport? When I was a child, my siblings and I were on my mother's passport. I eventually received a green card under my own name, but I didn't need to change it.

    If one is a non-citizen, one can change a name through one's consulate, and they would issue a new passport. INS issues a visa. One would then apply to SS with one's name as given in the passport or with legal documentation showing a name change. What about a green card?
  7. Oct 9, 2007 #6


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    I expect you can apply for a change-of-name on your passport (or your mother's) at the nearest embassy/consul (of your home country). Most countries have a consular office in all the big cities (NYC, Chicago, DC, LA, SFO,...). Call your consulate and find out the procedure for changing your name on the passport.
  8. Oct 14, 2007 #7


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    My guess is you CAN, but that does not mean you will not run into problems in the future. Best check with an immigration lawyer -- see http://www.usdoj.gov/eoir/probono/states.htm for lawyers who donate their services. Also, many law schools have "legal clinics" that provide free legal help to people in need.
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