name help please!
February 28, 2012 12:36 PM   Subscribe

question about immigration related name changes, also immigration k1 visa related- details inside


I feel like this question will sound obnoxious (I probably feel this way because of a lecture I got last time I brought it up to a friend), but we really need to figure it out quickly given immigration paperwork we're filing soon.

So I'm engaged to marry a Turkish man yaaaaaaaaaaaaaay :)

We're kind of confused about what to do with his name in the US though- it has a 'ğ' in it which is kind of like a silent letter and also a 'Ç' in it which is pronounced 'ch'

So a lot of people seem to just change the 'ğ' to a g, but ummm that completely ruins the pronunciation, and same with changing the 'Ç' to c. We've discussed therefore omitting the 'ğ' and using 'ch' to retain proper pronunciation (think transliteration). But I'm not sure if this is common practice.

What have you done in a similar circumstance??

His name will be funky and foreign in the US either way, it's rare even in Turkey (not sharing actual name for privacy reasons, although I'm not convinced that I have much of that left lol). he's tempted to change his name entirely but that might not be the best idea, but what do I know, I grew up with a relatively simple name.

bonus question: for USCIS immigration paperwork can he just use the 'new' spelling of his name (providing his name spelled in the original alphabet in the spaces provided for that purpose)?

I'm sure I will have more immigration/wedding related questions next week thanks :)
posted by saraindc to Writing & Language (6 answers total)
Having dealt plenty with the USCIS, I can tell you that it will save you a whole lot of trouble if you just change the ğ and Ç to "g" and "C". Having a uniform name is really important when dealing with a bureaucracy; as a non-citizen with few forms of ID, you never want to be put into a situation where you have to prove two disparate spellings of your name are both your name.

As far as pronunciation goes, welcome to the wonderful world of having a transliterated foreign name in America. Your husband will join the ranks of the Nguyens ("Win") and Wojtecs ("Voytek") and so on.
posted by griphus at 12:46 PM on February 28, 2012

Everyone that I know in Turkey makes a choice to either spell out their name or just go with the letter without the accent mark.

Since he's going to be in the U.S., I'd spell it out for maximum pronounciation.

So, for example...

TufenÇi can either be Tufenchi or Tufenci.
posted by k8t at 12:47 PM on February 28, 2012

One option would be for him to could just change the ğ and Ç to "g" and "C", then later do a legal name change to his preferred spelling. That would be slightly more expensive and tedious, but probably safer in terms of not running in to USCIS-trouble.
posted by insectosaurus at 1:00 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you're getting married, he could change his name to yours...
posted by ComfySofa at 2:44 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

comfysofa- he actually suggested that with enthusiasm! but i'm not so keen on it
posted by saraindc at 6:17 AM on February 29, 2012

Thanks all, I think we've decided to just drop the markings and change to preferred spelling later on if he still wants to
posted by saraindc at 10:41 PM on February 29, 2012

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