I am from a Finnish family but hold a Swedish citizenship, and have now for some years lived in USA as a permanent resident (Green Card holder). My wife is a US citizen.

For personal reasons (such as me desiring a more english name) both me and my wife recently filed for a legal name change. The little problem with this was that I forgot to check whether my new name would be approved by the Swedish name change laws.

It's not that the surname is particularly crazy or weird, the problem is more that a surname can be denied in Sweden if it is too common (e.g. if someone else in Sweden has it, or if some publicly known person elsewhere has it) AND I have no (relatively-) recent biological relative with that name. The rules for changing the name, when the new name is not from some biological relationship, can be seen here.

Anyway, my question is about that if I want to travel outside of USA.

Can there be problems at immigration when I come back to USA, if my Green Card has my new name and my Swedish passport has my old name?

  • 1
    Your green card should match your passport. Did you already request a change on your green card?
    – RoboKaren
    Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 3:23
  • @RoboKaren, I have not yet requested a change on the green card. I do have the document from the courthouse showing my name change, though, maybe I can carry it with me?
    – user4849
    Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 3:25
  • 1
    Having separate names can be confusing to the immigration authorities. Still, you are allowed to do so: info.legalzoom.com/…
    – RoboKaren
    Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 3:27

1 Answer 1


You're not even required to have a passport to enter the US with your green card. While I'm sure some DHS officials won't know what to do - it is technically legal.

However airlines may have troubles dealing with you if your name on the green card doesn't match the name on the ticket.

  • "U.S. LPRs do not need a passport to enter the United States" help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1191/~/…. When I re-entered the US as a GC holder, they requested my passport and put an entrance stamp on the page where my visa is printed
    – user3647
    Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 7:45
  • 1
    @s.brody yes, but they cannot deny your entry if you don't have it.
    – littleadv
    Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 8:05

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