Are there countries, in which, a visiting foreigner under some kind of visa, is able to change their name, through that country's laws (and not the laws of their country of origin)? Or is this available only to permanent residents? It can be a new name just to use while being in that country. Like issuing a certificate of a temporary alternative name. I guess the passport name won't change because it's issued by the home country.

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    What meaning would such a change have?
    – littleadv
    Commented Feb 6, 2016 at 8:22
  • Thanks mark. @littleadv like if your name is too hard to pronounce or sounds like a bad word in the country
    – user9003
    Commented Feb 6, 2016 at 10:43
  • I knew a Dutch expat in Spain whose name (Marieke) sounds like (and has the same etymology as) a Spanish pejorative slang word for homosexuals. She picked a different name (I'm not sure whether it was a middle name or just one she liked) and introduced herself as that. I can't think why that wouldn't be a sufficient solution for anyone else in the same situation. Commented Feb 6, 2016 at 10:49
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    @PeterTaylor excellent example. In the US, I have known many Chinese students who have adopted an English name, presumably without legal measures. I also note that the New York state law on names allows you to adopt a name without a court order, although you'll need a court order to (for example) get a driver's license in your new name. For the court to accept jurisdiction, you need to be a NY resident; there'a nothing explicit about how immigration status affects the determination of residency.
    – phoog
    Commented Feb 6, 2016 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


In the UK you don't need to do anything to change your name, just start calling yourself something different, but institutions usually require to use a Deed Poll to have something officially looking that shows your new name. You can fill in a deed poll even if you're new to the country and don't plan on settle down, although it's usefulness is of course limited that way.

You can then use the deed poll to change your name on your driving licence, which is usually accepted at most institutions. However some of them might still want to check your passport, and won't like it if your name there is different to the one on your passport, see my answer on a different question.

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