For those of you that have not been keeping up with this, I have been married for 2 1/2 years but have not been able to change my name yet. By the way, I honestly wanted to change my name and was really excited about it. However, I was a Canadian citizen and had a greencard which made this whole process a whole lot more difficult.
Flash back to August 2006 with me, I was a new blushing bride with all of my paperwork put together, ready to go as I took the trip down town to the social security office. I was going to change my social and then get my new drivers license- no big deal right? WRONG! I was informed, after waiting for a few hours and sitting next to some very sketchy people (the Social Security office is full of random and scary people but that is a whole other post), that I would not be able to change my name until I changed it on my greencard. Okay, not the answer I wanted and a little frustrating but I was still thinking that it would happen soon. Wrong yet again. In order to change your name on you greencard you have to reapply for a new greencard, not just renew your existing card. Reapplying for a greencard means that there is a possibility that they won’t let you stay in the US. Yippee, I just got married but if I wanted to change my name I had the possibility of being kicked out of the country. Woohoo, just what I wanted.
What a pickle I was in, I wanted to take my husband’s name but I didn’t want to (possibly) be told that I wouldn’t be able to stay in the US. Being asked (forced) to leave would be a long shot- but I am a worrier, what can I say. So Jamie (my wonderful husband) and I spoke with a lawyer and started looking into Citizenship. Now comes the easy part, right? WRONG again…
The paperwork was a pain and it took me 1 1/2 years to complete it to the point that I was comfortable turning it in. In brief, they wanted to know every time that I had been out of the United States since I moved here, with the exact dates and everything. Well come on people I was 11 when we moved, give me a break!! I don’t remember the exact dates of the two or three trips that my family took back to Canada each year since I moved here, I sometimes don’t remember what I had for lunch that day much less trivia from 15 years ago. Eventually, after worrying about it for a while I completed it to the best of my ability, crossed my fingers, and mailed the application.
Fast forward to last Friday with me now, when I was sworn in as a US citizen. Yup, a bunch of paperwork, fingerprints, photos, $700, a ridiculous interview, one ceremony and a whole lot of waiting later, it’s official! I am a US citizen and I have the certificate to prove it. However, I can’t take a picture of it; I’m not allowed to but if you stop by you can see it if you want. You other, born in the US citizens should be jealous, you didn’t get a fancy certificate- but I did.
The long and the short of it is that I am officially a Perreault now- woohoo. I may not be a blushing bride anymore but I am very excited to be legitimate. Now I have to go through the long process of changing my name on every piece of official/legal paperwork that I have, applying for a new passport and once again sit in the social security office.