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NameSwitch series: Guidance for non-UK nationals

Posted by Danielle Harvey on 2 December 2020

couple sitting on the sofa looking at a laptop together If you have moved to the UK from another country, are a non-UK citizen or dual nationality holder and wish to change your name after marriage, divorce, gender reassignment or deed poll you may be a little daunted about where to start! NameSwitch is the UK's expert in helping people obtain a name change as smoothly and quickly as possible, and have been contacted by numerous non-UK nationals in recent years, so have dedicated this guide to anyone who's a non-UK/dual nationality holder and is wondering how to navigate the name change process under UK laws. Read on to find out how the name change process works for non-UK nationals...

Changing your name on your passport after marriage
If you've married a UK resident and now wish to update your passport, UK driving licence and other documents to reflect your new name, you may need to make an appointment with your nearest consulate to get things officially recognised via your native country consulate:

US Passport holders will need to apply for a new passport via the London, Belfast or Edinburgh consulate please refer to this link for further guidance on what to bring with you.

couple sitting at a desk with another man looking at paper work Canadian Citizens will also need to apply for a new passport please refer to the following link on the Canadian Embassy site. We recommend you seek specific guidance on any immigration or visa issues.

Portuguese Citizens can book an appointment with the Portuguese Consulate in London online. You will then need to take your marriage certificate, birth certificate, and current passport to your scheduled appointment.

Swiss Nationals - The first step is to notify the embassy of your marriage, depending on where it took place, there is a questionnaire for example that needs to be completed if your marriage took place in the UK to a non-Swiss National. We recommend you take some time to review the guidance before applying for a new passport to be issued.

French Nationals - Different processes apply depending on whether your marriage will take place in France or in the UK. A marriage must be registered with the French consulate (in some cases before the event) before a new passport can be issued.

Couple sitting at a desk arm in arm looking at a computer Brazilian Nationals wishing to update their passport with their new name, will first need to register your marriage at the Brazilian consulate and then apply for a change of name. Once this has been done, the consulate should be able to advise you on how to change or update your current passport with your new name.

Changing your name on your UK driver's licence and other documents requires you to have a UK address as a) it is required by companies to have your account with them associated with an address and b) someone needs to be able to receive the amended documents (e.g., driver's licence, passport, bank cards etc. In short, to change your name in the UK, you need to be based here for at least part of the year.

Changing your name after marriage
Under UK law, if you get married to a UK national in your home country, you do not need to register your marriage in the UK as well. However, as a general rule of thumb, consulates will require that you register your marriage with them, especially if you want to update your passport. Please see above for high level guidance and links to key consulate pages, most of which apply for other name change reasons such as divorce.

You can continue reading this guidance which has been taken from the NameSwitch blog here. 

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