I am French and have been living in the UK for 12 years. I am married to a British citizen.

I want to change my name, to have a double-barreled name with mine and his.

I also just passed my Life in the UK test and am ready to apply for citizenship.

My questions are:

  1. Should I change my surname first and apply for citizenship later or the other way around?
  2. How do I change my surname in France and the UK?

Many thanks, Emma

1 Answer 1


I'm a retired lawyer in the US, and I don't have a definitive answer...but I do have an evaluation.

Were I in your position, I would address citizenship first. I would take no action on a name change until I had obtained UK citizenship and had a UK passport in my hand. Wrestling with the Home Office about your name while a citizenship application is pending will involve several different different UK government departments, and will be a recipe for confusion and delay.

There will be already-established processes in the UK to change your name. Whatever the processes are, they'll be simpler if you're already a UK citizen.

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