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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys,

My fiance' from Germany has had her PMV 300 granted back in January. As she is back home finishing her studies until the start of August, we will marry here in OZ shortly after she gets back to Australia on the 22nd August.

She wants to take my surname after we marry, but after I've been researching it I'm at a loss, because it seems there is no way for her to actually do it.

Long story short - she is German, and when I called the BDM to ask how the process works so she can take my surname after marriage, one of the requirements is if they are born overseas, they have to have lived in Victoria for the previous 12 months, as they require proof of lease/bills/bank accounts etc as evidence. Well, she has been to Australia and visited me several times over the last few years, but not for the past 12 months consecutively (just over spread out periods for a month here and there). So it seems that will not be viable. She has a Commonwealth Bank account here but we can't back up evidence, and also the BDM is linked to share information with Immi, so there is no way around just saying she was here (and I wouldn't feel comfortable saying that anyway).

Shortly after marrying, and once we get our official marriage certificate, we will apply for our 820. We are also moving up to NSW at this time (about a month or six weeks after). When I called the BDM in NSW they said their policy is if you were born overseas you have to wait at least FOUR years living in NSW with evidence before you can change your name!

So either way, it seems we are stuffed. I know it doesn't seem like a big deal but she does want to take my name, and I also would like that too.
We don't really want to have to wait 4 WHOLE years before she is able to change it.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Or has had a similar situation?

Also, do you think if she changed her surname to mine on social media (Facebook, Instagram) after we marry, this would pose a threat to our application for our 820/801, considering she has not actually officially changed her name? Don't really want to jeopardize our upcoming applications, but it would make her happy to start using my name on social media at least.

Any help or advice is really appreciated!
Cheers,
 

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I dread people changing their names, as it can cause all sort of hassles with passports and future applications. She may also have to change her name in Germany under local procedures. I’d advise her to wait until she has PR or at least until she has the sc. 820. I have had big problems with people having to link passports under a new name to an existing visa. It can be an administrative nightmare where you can’t use the easy, standard procedures.
 

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This is what it says on the QLD site.
Changing your name through marriage

Changing your name through marriage

Many people choose to use their spouse's family name once they are married-it's a custom and not the law.

If you were married in Australia, you don't need to apply formally for a change of name with us. Usually personal documentation, such as your driver licence and passport, can be changed to your married name when you provide a standard marriage certificate.
I would keep the passport and visa in the same name until after PR is granted.

We are going through the change now, and its a pain in some respects, but could be worse if we change passport and visa name..

Just use both surnames for a while for different things.

We changed name at the bank, so she now has accounts in maiden and married name.

Victoria seems similar: bdm.vic.gov.au
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I dread people changing their names, as it can cause all sort of hassles with passports and future applications. She may also have to change her name in Germany under local procedures. I'd advise her to wait until she has PR or at least until she has the sc. 820. I have had big problems with people having to link passports under a new name to an existing visa. It can be an administrative nightmare where you can't use the easy, standard procedures.
Thanks for your reply Nick. I was unaware changing a name on passport/ID cards would pose a lot of issues for Immi. I thought you would be able to send them a change of details form with new ID documents and they would be able to change it to the visa in their system.

But it sounds complicated and risky, and we cannot meet the requirements of applying for an official name change as she has not lived in any state for 12 months consecutively anyway.

Do you think it would be a threat to any of our upcoming visa applications (820/801) if she changed her surname to mine on social media after marrying? She just wanted to start using my surname unofficially until we officially do it a few years down the track. I just do not know how Immi would see this when uploading further evidence with a different surname when it is not officially changed.

Thanks for your help and advice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is what it says on the QLD site.
Changing your name through marriage

Changing your name through marriage

Many people choose to use their spouse's family name once they are married-it's a custom and not the law.

If you were married in Australia, you don't need to apply formally for a change of name with us. Usually personal documentation, such as your driver licence and passport, can be changed to your married name when you provide a standard marriage certificate.
I would keep the passport and visa in the same name until after PR is granted.

We are going through the change now, and its a pain in some respects, but could be worse if we change passport and visa name..

Just use both surnames for a while for different things.

We changed name at the bank, so she now has accounts in maiden and married name.

Victoria seems similar: bdm.vic.gov.au
Hey JandE, thanks for your reply.

As my above post, It seems best for us to wait until she has PR, or 4 years have passed when we move up to NSW (crazy requirement - 4 years is insane).

Unfortunately, QLD is the same as Vic, if you are born overseas and marry in Australia you are required to have lived for at least 12 months in the state consecutively (with proof) to officially change name to your spouses after marriage. We are unable to meet that requirement as she will arrive to Australia only 1 month before marriage and then we move up to NSW.

Thanks for your advice and reply!
 

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When I got married, I changed my name everywhere possible except my visa, my passport, Medicare and my private health insurance (since these all ended up linking together for data).

As far as immigration matters were concerned, I only changed my name when I applied for citizenship and even then I needed to submit the application in my previous name and took my marriage certificate with me to the test appointment where they could change my name in the system for processing.
 

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When we talk about changing name, after marriage, it isn't done officially, so no need to apply.

You have a marriage certificate, and that is sufficient to change a name on a bank account, etc.
 
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Thanks for your reply Nick. I was unaware changing a name on passport/ID cards would pose a lot of issues for Immi. I thought you would be able to send them a change of details form with new ID documents and they would be able to change it to the visa in their system.

But it sounds complicated and risky, and we cannot meet the requirements of applying for an official name change as she has not lived in any state for 12 months consecutively anyway.

Do you think it would be a threat to any of our upcoming visa applications (820/801) if she changed her surname to mine on social media after marrying? She just wanted to start using my surname unofficially until we officially do it a few years down the track. I just do not know how Immi would see this when uploading further evidence with a different surname when it is not officially changed.

Thanks for your help and advice!
The issue is mainly with the passport/ visa linkage. Once you change the name, it becomes a bit of a hassle, as you can't do it online anymore. I just try and avoid any type of complications while applications are still being processed. In the Netherlands, a name change is quite a complicated affair and I suspect it is the same in Germany. A name change in Australia may not necessarily be valid in Germany. I can't see any issues if your partner wants to " unofficially" use your surname, although that name will probably have to be declared in any future applications, incl. Police certificates.
 

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As her primary ID is her German passport, you need to look at the German procedures, first stop would be the German Embassy or consulate.

As is said above, if it is a straight forward change of last name due to marriage then no "Change of Name" (the old deed poll) is required, just the marriage certificate is fine for banks etc.

As far as visa, if you have an application currently being processed, don't change the name, just to save hassle.

For my wife, we did hers after her 820 grant. Ours was much more complicated as by taking my name, by Philippines convention, both her middle and last names changed. That, we thought, would require a "Change of Name" in Vic with the 12 months requirement etc.

However, we had already got her new Philippines Passport in her married name so when time came to go and lodge the "change of Name" BDM said, your passport is the primary ID and is already in the name you want so we can't do a change of name.

When asked about official agencies like VicRoads etc we were told you will just have to see.

In the end, banks, Medicare, ATO were all fine with just new passport and marriage certificate as reason for change. VicRoads was a bit of a struggle, we went thru about 5 people at the counter who were trying to figure out how they could do it when the last guy finally said, "give the marriage certificate back and just do the change as per the passport"

I am not sure how we would have done it differently, maybe we should have done a change of name, then done the new passport, then there would have been no questions but it worked out in the end.

Immigration was probably the easiest. We sent in form to Immigration and that was no problem at all.
 

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For my wife, we did hers after her 820 grant. Ours was much more complicated as by taking my name, by Philippines convention, both her middle and last names changed. That, we thought, would require a "Change of Name" in Vic with the 12 months requirement etc.

However, we had already got her new Philippines Passport in her married name so when time came to go and lodge the "change of Name" BDM said, your passport is the primary ID and is already in the name you want so we can't do a change of name.

When asked about official agencies like VicRoads etc we were told you will just have to see.

In the end, banks, Medicare, ATO were all fine with just new passport and marriage certificate as reason for change. VicRoads was a bit of a struggle, we went thru about 5 people at the counter who were trying to figure out how they could do it when the last guy finally said, "give the marriage certificate back and just do the change as per the passport"

I am not sure how we would have done it differently, maybe we should have done a change of name, then done the new passport, then there would have been no questions but it worked out in the end.

Immigration was probably the easiest. We sent in form to Immigration and that was no problem at all.
I am interested in this, as my wife wants to keep her old surname as her middle name and drop her old middle name (she is also Filipina). QLD BDM said that would need a change of name with them.
The changes we have done so far have (without the BDM change of name) ended up with her losing her surname, and keeping her middle name.
We have been thinking of doing the official change of name at some stage, but now I am thinking about changing her Philippine passport early, and doing it the way you have. It seems easier.
We will be doing the 801 soon. From your experience, would a passport change be best done before or after the 801 application?
 

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I dread people changing their names, as it can cause all sort of hassles with passports and future applications. She may also have to change her name in Germany under local procedures. I'd advise her to wait until she has PR or at least until she has the sc. 820. I have had big problems with people having to link passports under a new name to an existing visa. It can be an administrative nightmare where you can't use the easy, standard procedures.
Hey Nick,

Just wondering is it as much of a headache if the sponsor is the one changing their name? My wife wants to change her last name pretty much as soon as we land in Brisbane. Since the visa is linked to my passport, would we avoid such headaches as you mentioned?
 

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I have friends who will use their partners last name socially (i.e. Facebook) or professionally but maintain their own legally, due to visa issues. I won't be changing my name because of all the reasons Nick mentioned.
 

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His partner is the sponsor though so there really shouldn't be any issue. It's not the same as a visa applicant having to change passports and transfer visas and all that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
His partner is the sponsor though so there really shouldn't be any issue. It's not the same as a visa applicant having to change passports and transfer visas and all that.
True.

Good for Eh? as his partner is the sponsor.
But unfortunately not so good for myself and Shelaie it seems. My fiance just has to be the one taking my name 😛
 
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