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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

My British husband and I were married in October 2014, and I received my spouse visa and came to the UK in December 2014. My passport is going to expire soon, and since we have no travels plans and I have a job, I won't be needing my passport in the next several months.

Currently, my passport and visa are both in my maiden name. I was thinking about legally changing my name, and then when I get my new passport, having it come in my married name. However, my visa would still be in my maiden name, and this concerns me. My sponsor's name is on the spouse visa, so people could see his surname would match mine, but still...

I've been confused reading the past posts, since I don't know what a Biometric Residence Permit is compared to what I have. Sounds like BRPs must match the passport, but maybe with a spouse visa I'm okay? Either way, if someone could please let me know what they think I should do. I am happy to wait to change to my married name until a more convenient time, like when I have permanent residency or citizenship, but if I can do it now then I'd like to, since my passport expires in August and I need a new one anyway.

Also, if I do get it changed on the passport, I assume I have to change it legally first and provide a name change document along with my old passport? I can't just tell them, "Hey, I've changed my name" and they'll take my word for it, they need evidence, right? If so, how long does that process take to get one's name changed in the UK? Since my passport expires 15 August, I thought it might be a somewhat tight timeline to get a legal name change and then submit that proof to get a passport in my new name.

Thanks very much for your help, please let me know if I can provide any more information about it.
 

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No. You can just get a US passport in your married name by attaching your marriage certificate.
You don't have to transfer your visa after getting your new passport - you just have to carry both passports when travelling (plus marriage certificate to be doubly sure). Alternatively you can apply for BRP in your new name (they no longer transfer visa into another document), and you will need to carry both your new passport and BRP for travels. It's called TOC (transfer of conditions) application and costs £183. Plus £400 if you opt for same-day premium service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No. You can just get a US passport in your married name by attaching your marriage certificate.
You don't have to transfer your visa after getting your new passport - you just have to carry both passports when travelling (plus marriage certificate to be doubly sure). Alternatively you can apply for BRP in your new name (they no longer transfer visa into another document), and you will need to carry both your new passport and BRP for travels. It's called TOC (transfer of conditions) application and costs £183. Plus £400 if you opt for same-day premium service.
Thanks, Joppa. Is there any benefit to applying for BRP now in my new name? I'm quite happy to carry both passports and my marriage certificate when traveling, but I guess I don't fully understand what a BRP is and why some people have them and some don't, and what benefit it might be to me to do that. But so long as you're sure I'll be okay carrying both passports in different names, including my visa in my old passport under my old name (plus the certificate as you suggested), I guess that's what matters most to me right now!

In about two years I'll have to renew my spouse visa, perhaps at that point I can get a name change to be printed on the new visa. I thought perhaps this was the time that I'd be required to get a BRP (or maybe that's when applying for ILR?) If the only benefit to me getting it now would be to not have to carry both passports and a marriage certificate when traveling, I think I'll just leave it for now.
 

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As I said, there is no obligation to get BRP until the renewal stage, when it will be issued in your married name. So you can save yourself £183 by not getting BRP now. The advantage of having one is it can take the place of your passport for ID purpose within UK, and you can show it to your prospective employer as evidence of your right to work. Plus it's less bulky than your old passport. And having all your documents in the same name is handy.
 

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Thanks, Joppa. Is there any benefit to applying for BRP now in my new name? I'm quite happy to carry both passports and my marriage certificate when traveling, but I guess I don't fully understand what a BRP is and why some people have them and some don't, and what benefit it might be to me to do that. But so long as you're sure I'll be okay carrying both passports in different names, including my visa in my old passport under my old name (plus the certificate as you suggested), I guess that's what matters most to me right now!

In about two years I'll have to renew my spouse visa, perhaps at that point I can get a name change to be printed on the new visa. I thought perhaps this was the time that I'd be required to get a BRP (or maybe that's when applying for ILR?) If the only benefit to me getting it now would be to not have to carry both passports and a marriage certificate when traveling, I think I'll just leave it for now.
hi there

why does the government website say there is a £1000 fine if you fail to notify of a name change ?
 

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As I said, there is no obligation to get BRP until the renewal stage, when it will be issued in your married name. So you can save yourself £183 by not getting BRP now. The advantage of having one is it can take the place of your passport for ID purpose within UK, and you can show it to your prospective employer as evidence of your right to work. Plus it's less bulky than your old passport. And having all your documents in the same name is handy.


Report all other changes

You must immediately report any changes to your:
name (eg because you’ve got married)
gender
nationality
facial appearance
date of birth (eg because it was incorrect)


You must apply for a new BRP within 3 months. You may be fined up to £1,000 or have your stay shortened if you don’t.
 

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Only for those who already hold BRP. You should still notify change of name but there is no fine attached.
 
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