FAQ: I Married and Changed My Name. Do I Need a New Passport and Visa?

This is a common question from people who have recently married. Questions related to name changes are more important than many people initially recognize.

We’ll briefly answer the question and then explain why the question and the corresponding answer are significant.

So, do you need a new passport? The short answer to this question is yes. If you have legally changed your name through marriage, divorce, or a court-ordered name change, you must get a new passport.

Do you need a new visa? The short answer to this question is no. However, the Department of State recommends that you apply for a new US visa to make it easier for you to travel to and from the US.

Why is this significant?

These questions are significant because trying to enter the US with a name, or an identity, that no longer belongs to you can be and has been regarded as a fraudulent act and as a material misrepresentation. A CBP officer might decide not to admit you because of what she perceives as fraud/misrepresentation. And years later, a USCIS adjudicator or State Department consular officer might find you had committed fraud/misrepresentation and find that you are inadmissible.