Change of name on official Home Office documents

The Home Office has published  new guidance on the problematic area of change of name and identity documents. A succinct & concise document setting out the home office policy on applications to changes of names and identity for passport applications, travel documents, visa's, residency permits ( including EU residency documents ) and certificates of right of abode. 

Evidence is requested that the applicant intends to use the new identity for all purposes of their life which the home office refers to as a marriage certificate or deed poll .  ( It can also be evidenced by way of a Statutory declaration by virtue of the Statutory Declarations Act 1835.) 

All applications to change names must be supported by documentary evidence which resemble the acquired name and show the linkage to the previous name, such as a marriage certificate or a deed poll, except where the change is a requirement to protect a vulnerable victim of crime or a witness or where other legislation provides specific requirements. Holders of non-British passports and national identity cards must also provide evidence they have amended the details in other passport(s) and any national identity cards they hold. Foreign nationals who apply to become British citizens may be registered or naturalised in their married name. However, if a new citizen wants a British passport in their married name they must change the name on their other passport(s), travel documents and national identity card(s) to reflect their married name before submitting their application. 

The Home Office will not issue a document in a new name where a person has secured an entitlement to the document using a fraudulent identity.

A Home Office document which is a record of an event, such as a birth certificate or a naturalisation certificate, cannot normally be amended unless there are exceptional circumstances such as adoption where any subsequent issued passports can be amended. 

Foreign nationals wanting to change their names on Home Office issued immigration documents must apply for either a Transfer of Conditions (if they have temporary leave) or a No-Time Limit (if they have indefinite leave). Where a foreign national applies to change their name and claims not to hold a foreign issued passport or EEA Identity Card, the Home Office will only change the name on their BRP where the applicant is a recognised refugee or stateless person or has been granted Humanitarian Protection where it is has been accepted that they cannot approach their national authorities. All other foreign nationals must produce a passport or their EEA Identity Card in the new name when applying to change their name for the new biometric residence permit to be issued. Old identity documents must be surrendered with the new application and an application made of new in the new identity. You cannot apply for the existing document simply to be amended.