Recently I received the following question: 

"Should I take my husband's name when my work permit is up for renewal?  I am a current VAWA recipient. I got married this past April. I am wanting to take my husbands last name. Should I do that when my work permit is up for renewal? Also, I want to adjust my status. My husband is a US Citizen, how do we go about that?"

Answer:  

To change your name, you were required to take your husband's name at the time of marriage on the marriage certificate.  If you did not do so at that time, then you must make a motion to your local district court to have that changed. If you did indeed take your husbands name at that time, then you should use your new name for your permit renewal, and just include a copy of your marriage certificate or other document showing name change.

If your work permit from VAWA is expiring soon, then I would recommend immediately filing for your one-step marriage green card. The EAD work permit through that process has no application fee and can be included with the application. For your work permit purposes it's a little bit of a timing issue so the date of expiration is important. Plan on your one green card EAD coming through two months after filing. To do all this, read the USCIS instructions online or contact an attorney to help you. Having said all this, you don't need to change your name to get your green card.

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