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Timing: dual citizenship, passport, name and travel issue

Timing: dual citizenship, passport, name and travel issue

Old Mar 27th 2015, 3:13 pm
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Default Timing: dual citizenship, passport, name and travel issue

I am currently a UK citizen and green card holder, living in the USA for the last twelve years and finally in the process of becoming a US citizen.

My UK identity continues to be in my maiden name - passport, house, mortgage, bank etc. I never bothered to deal with all the paperwork to change it, and it didn't seem to matter. My name in the US is first name, maiden name, hubby's last name. Immigration has never questioned that my green card and passport names don't match exactly.

Now to the currently issue: I have already booked a flight back to England with the kids for the summer, using my UK passport (and therefore my maiden name). And after MONTHS of silence, I get a letter with my interview date for my citizenship next month. I obviously need to pass the interview, followed by the citizenship oath and THEN get a US passport. I am aware that, as a US citizen, I need to leave and enter using my new US identity.

Any recommendations on what to do, or how long it usually takes between interview and oath ceremony? I don't think that British Airways will let me change the name on my flight. I had a friend who had a slightly shortened name on her flight reservation vs her passport and they wouldn't let her fly so I'm sure they won't let me add a completely new surname on the flight reservation.

Any recommendations on how to proceed?
Should I take the interview, and postpone the oath until after I come back from England? Fly in my maiden name and on my green card and deal with oath and official name change in the Autumn?
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Old Mar 27th 2015, 3:19 pm
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Default re: Timing: dual citizenship, passport, name and travel issue

You're not a US citizen until you've done the oath ceremony, so go to the interview, but postpone the oath ceremony until after you have returned to the US. ..... Then work to tidy up the mess you have created with having "two names".

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Old Mar 27th 2015, 3:41 pm
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Default re: Timing: dual citizenship, passport, name and travel issue

Fyi the word is "dual"
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Old Mar 27th 2015, 3:57 pm
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Default re: Timing: dual citizenship, passport, name and travel issue

Originally Posted by sir_eccles View Post
Fyi the word is "dual".
Do you want to start a fight over that?

Last edited by Pulaski; Mar 27th 2015 at 4:03 pm.
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Old Mar 27th 2015, 4:22 pm
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Default re: Timing: dual citizenship, passport, name and travel issue

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Do you want to start a fight over that?
I shall meet you on the field of velour.
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Old Mar 27th 2015, 4:24 pm
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Default re: Timing: dual citizenship, passport, name and travel issue

Originally Posted by sir_eccles View Post
Fyi the word is "dual"
Ha. Thx. I guess I knew that.
Too much Game of Thrones reading!
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Old Mar 27th 2015, 5:51 pm
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Default Re: Timing: dual citizenship, passport, name and travel issue

Delaying the oath ceremony is fine as long as you're comfortable with that.

I would call the airline first and ask what the process is for changing the name on the ticket (they know that people change names after marriage, divorce and other circumstances). If you can't get the airline to change the name on the ticket, then you need to decide if you want to postpone the oath ceremony or not.

If you decide not to delay and have been unable to get a name change on the ticket, ask the airline if you can still travel as you do have a passport that proves your name on the ticket. There's still a risk that some jobsworth will give you a hard time somewhere along the line. The most likely area of trouble is on the US side when leaving (check in and security). If you're uncomfortable with this risk, delay the oath ceremony. Otherwise, take both passports to the airport. If they have an issue with your name, you can present the UK passport to prove your name. In the UK, you can use your UK passport for arriving & leaving. Then present your US passport when arriving in the US.

It's hard to predict the gap between the interview and oath ceremony because it depends on scheduling. My wife's interview in Baltimore was in the morning and she was able to attend an oath ceremony that afternoon. I had my interview at the same time but my oath ceremony was 2 months later (there was an issue with me though - a person with my name was on a watch list - long story.)
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Old Mar 27th 2015, 10:13 pm
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Default Re: Timing: dual citizenship, passport, name and travel issue

Originally Posted by MarylandNed View Post

It's hard to predict the gap between the interview and oath ceremony because it depends on scheduling. My wife's interview in Baltimore was in the morning and she was able to attend an oath ceremony that afternoon. I had my interview at the same time but my oath ceremony was 2 months later (there was an issue with me though - a person with my name was on a watch list - long story.)
Thanks for this. I will call British Airways and ask about the name change on the ticket.

I just got a letter this week telling me about the interview location and time 1:47pm (talk about specific!) but no mention of the oath ceremony. My interview is also in Baltimore, and I don't think that there are any issues with my application that i know of so it should be pretty straight forward.

The biggest issue i see with going through with the whole thing before my trip is getting the interview, then oath and THEN also a passport. I can probably do the first two, but not the third in the time frame. WHich is obviously an issue.
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Old Mar 27th 2015, 11:57 pm
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Default Re: Timing: dual citizenship, passport, name and travel issue

I had my Interview on April 4, 2014. My Oath ceremony was September 11, 2014. I postponed once. I applied for my passport in person, at a passport Agency office the day after my oath ceremony. I received my passport in the mail 5 days later.
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Old Mar 28th 2015, 2:35 am
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Default Re: Timing: dual citizenship, passport, name and travel issue

Originally Posted by jackattack View Post
I just got a letter this week telling me about the interview location and time 1:47pm (talk about specific!) but no mention of the oath ceremony. My interview is also in Baltimore, and I don't think that there are any issues with my application that i know of so it should be pretty straight forward.
They don't mention the oath ceremony ahead of the interview because your application hasn't been approved yet. My wife had a morning interview and was shocked when she was told that she was being approved and then asked if she wanted to be sworn in that afternoon. With an afternoon interview, you're probably less likely to be sworn in the same day.

Originally Posted by jackattack View Post
The biggest issue i see with going through with the whole thing before my trip is getting the interview, then oath and THEN also a passport. I can probably do the first two, but not the third in the time frame. WHich is obviously an issue.
You should be able to submit your US passport application after the oath ceremony as long as you have all the necessary paperwork (application form, photos, citizenship cert, etc). I saw people rushing off to submit passport applications immediately after the oath ceremony.
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Old Mar 28th 2015, 7:38 pm
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Default Re: Timing: dual citizenship, passport, name and travel issue

Originally Posted by MarylandNed View Post
You should be able to submit your US passport application after the oath ceremony as long as you have all the necessary paperwork (application form, photos, citizenship cert, etc). I saw people rushing off to submit passport applications immediately after the oath ceremony.
We had our oath ceremonies in the same building as the passport office in New Orleans so went straight from the ceremony up a few floors and applied for the passport in person. I was due to travel on business and paid for expedited service which only took a few hours. Ceremony and passport application was in the morning, we went for lunch and came back a few hours later to pick up our passports.
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Old Mar 29th 2015, 1:40 pm
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Default Re: Timing: dual citizenship, passport, name and travel issue

I just called BA, and they confirmed, contrary to my expectation that it's actually very easy to update a name on a flight ticket. I have to email them with copies of my UK passport and new US passport and my flight booking reference and they'll do it immediately.

Thank you all for your assistance and highlighting that it might be possible to do the interview and oath in succession.

I am now going to attend the interview with the assumption that I'll pass and take all the info to apply for the passport application at the same time in the event that I might be able do everything in one go (or at least fairly quickly). If it doesn't work out, I'll postpone the oath and do it all when I come back.
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Old Mar 29th 2015, 3:20 pm
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Default Re: Timing: dual citizenship, passport, name and travel issue

Originally Posted by jackattack View Post
Thank you all for your assistance and highlighting that it might be possible to do the interview and oath in succession.

I am now going to attend the interview with the assumption that I'll pass and take all the info to apply for the passport application at the same time in the event that I might be able do everything in one go (or at least fairly quickly). If it doesn't work out, I'll postpone the oath and do it all when I come back.
Just to clarify that I did not attend the oath ceremony until sometime after I passed the interview (but not too long). However I did apply for and get my US passport the same day as the oath ceremony because that is when I got my certificate of Naturalization. Of course that was a long time ago so things may be different these days.

Good luck on your interview and your upcoming trip.
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