Change of Last Name Questions.

I'm a Filipina and recently married a Belgian National here in the Philippines, my husband and I are planning to be together and we are in the midst of visa application. Here in the Philippines if you are a woman, upon marriage you take your husbands last name, but that is different in Belgium where as, the wife can choose whether to change her last name to his or not, but since my husband and I agreed that I should take his last name to honor the culture and tradition here in the Philippines. I have changed all the necessary papers, identification cards, and such to his last name without any problems but as he filed his change of status in his town hall, and gotten his marriage book, my last name was not changed to his. Here are the questions:

A.) What is "Uittreksel Van Burgerlijke Stand"?
B.) What are the requirements in Belgium to change my last name to my husbands Last name?
C.) Will it be a problem if my husband sent me an invitation for the visa with my last name when now in the Philippines am using his last name?
D.) How long is the process of changing my last name to his?

I hope you can help me out. Thank you. :)

Anwsers to questions B,C and D.  Here in Belgium you won't be able to take your husband's family name.  You won't be given a choice to keep your maiden name or take your husband's family name.  I was married here and my maiden name is on the marriage certificate and all my legal, official documents, not my husband's family name, however, you may use a hyphenated name for non-legal, non-official purposes.  Your maiden name will be on all your legal, official documents, so you don't need to worry about your maiden name being on the invitation for the visa.

I am surprised your husband can't answer question A.  The site below should be helpful.

http://www.belgium.be/nl/

All the best with your visa application.   :)

Oh sorry! I didn't made my question clear, I was actually looking for the English equivalent of Uittreksel Van Burgerlijke Stand. He only knows what it is but does not know the name of that document in English. According to my husband, he went to his townhall and yes, they did only use my maiden name in the marriage book, he asked about the changed of last name and according to the person he spoke to it can be changed to his but we needed to pass the "Uittreksel Van Burgerlijke Stand" he said that I can get it through the civil registry where we filed our marriage license but I can't go there unless I know the exact document am looking for.

The thing am also worried about is all my identification cards, bank records, and passport is already carrying my husbands last name, so I'm worried that these will post problems.

Thank you for helping out. :)

Did you refer to the link at all?  It is very helpful.  I recommend you do that if you haven't.

Uittreksel Van Burgerlijke Stand=a copy of an entry in the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.   

Let me ask you this; Have you given copies of your birth certificate and your marriage license from the Pilippines, apostille and translated, to the commune/gemeente? 

I am not sure who told him that you would be able to take your husband's family name, but I doubt this.  I don't know any woman here married to a Belgian or any Belgian woman who has taken her husband's family name.  I am sure that isn't possible, however, I could be wrong, but I doubt that I am wrong.  If that was the case I would of taken my husband's name if that was an option.  Plus, I was married here and I know that wasn't an option when I married my husband here. 

I would tell your husband to ask his gemeente/commune for written information in regards to name changes; something that he can have a copy of and take; something stating what you must do.  He may have been told that this is possible, however, if there is no written law or rule to use for reference then the verbal information this person provided your husband is erroneous. 

Keep in mind everything doesn't translate from Dutch to English or English to Dutch literally or easily all the time.  Your husband can always seek legal advice as translating these things isn't easy.

For me it was the exact opposite. I was forced to register myself with my husband's surname. ALL my documents ever made for me carry my maiden name. When we got married in India, the marriage officer asked if I'd like to change my surname aftre marriage that now was the time to tell him - so he could put my husband's surname with my name in our marriage certificate.

He told me only one original marriage certificate is issued for each person for life, so they won't be able to enter a name change if I decided to change it later. It was strange to hear.

WIth this marriage certificate when we registered our marriage in the Netherlands, the officer told us that he will clearly mention in the registration certificate that I was X before marriage and Y afterwards.

Now back here in Belgium, all my documents, even my visa are in my maiden name but when it was time to register me at the commune, they said that since I am here on a spouse visa and my marriage certificate clearly has my changed name on it - that they will register me with my changed name. Even if my passport and visa were in my maiden name. So my Belgian ID card will have my changed name and all the documents aside from my marriage ones have my maiden name.

I will now need to change my name on my passport soon. Sigh.

nailpainter :

For me it was the exact opposite. I was forced to register myself with my husband's surname. ALL my documents ever made for me carry my maiden name. When we got married in India, the marriage officer asked if I'd like to change my surname aftre marriage that now was the time to tell him - so he could put my husband's surname with my name in our marriage certificate.

He told me only one original marriage certificate is issued for each person for life, so they won't be able to enter a name change if I decided to change it later. It was strange to hear.

WIth this marriage certificate when we registered our marriage in the Netherlands, the officer told us that he will clearly mention in the registration certificate that I was X before marriage and Y afterwards.

Now back here in Belgium, all my documents, even my visa are in my maiden name but when it was time to register me at the commune, they said that since I am here on a spouse visa and my marriage certificate clearly has my changed name on it - that they will register me with my changed name. Even if my passport and visa were in my maiden name. So my Belgian ID card will have my changed name and all the documents aside from my marriage ones have my maiden name.

I will now need to change my name on my passport soon. Sigh.

Nailpainter, your process is different because you aren't married to a Belgian National; you are married to a Dutch National and you both are living in Belgium, but neither of you are Belgian.

Hasselt09 :

Did you refer to the link at all?  It is very helpful.  I recommend you do that if you haven't.

Uittreksel Van Burgerlijke Stand=a copy of an entry in the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.   

Let me ask you this; Have you given copies of your birth certificate and your marriage license from the Pilippines, apostille and translated, to the commune/gemeente? 

I am not sure who told him that you would be able to take your husband's family name, but I doubt this.  I don't know any woman here married to a Belgian or any Belgian woman who has taken her husband's family name.  I am sure that isn't possible, however, I could be wrong, but I doubt that I am wrong.  If that was the case I would of taken my husband's name if that was an option.  Plus, I was married here and I know that wasn't an option when I married my husband here. 

I would tell your husband to ask his gemeente/commune for written information in regards to name changes; something that he can have a copy of and take; something stating what you must do.  He may have been told that this is possible, however, if there is no written law or rule to use for reference then the verbal information this person provided your husband is erroneous. 

Keep in mind everything doesn't translate from Dutch to English or English to Dutch literally or easily all the time.  Your husband can always seek legal advice as translating these things isn't easy.

Thank you so much for the link and yes we have checked it, so many times that we even compared it to the ones we have already read for reference and even summarized and included bits and pieces of information that we have not known yet. :)

My husband and I are both in solid confusion about the papers needed and very well aware of the fact that not all the words can be translated cause if it can, I wont be having this problem and would have known exactly what document they are asking. The person from his townhall also couldn't help about this since the documents in Belgium has a different name here in the Philippines. I highly doubt that the people who fed him the information about the name change are incorrect as both the person from his townhall and the person from the Belgian Embassy in Manila said the same thing, but giving room for errors are not a bad thing.

Earlier today, he, my husband, called the Belgian embassy in Manila to ask about this but he was almost not entertained because the embassy claimed they are busy and He should call in the afternoon where he can be entertained properly but he insisted and before they hung up he was told that since he and me married here in the Philippines and since the Philippine government has also decreed, not just due to culture and tradition, my name should be changed to his to avoid confusion and to avoid future problems in the documents and other legalities. But like I said, we are still open for errors. This might be wrong. My husband said that the person he spoke to is not sure and have to ask another staff for clarification on this matter.

I have called the National Statistics Office here in Manila and inquired about the paper, I described my predicament and even inquired about other documents that may fit into that category but to no avail. The best thing that I could think of right now is to seek a legal advise from an attorney of law and maybe ask for an affidavit of single to married which would reflect my name changing to his and have it notorized, red ribboned, and legalized by the Belgian Embassy, and yes, all the papers I passed or about to are all red ribboned and legalized as it is one of the requirement by the embassy.

I'll update you guys on this. Thanks so much for helping out and giving bits and pieces of information, it helped a lot. :)

If there are any more information you can share, please do. Thanks again. :)

I think it would be best you seek legal advice in order to sort this out. Nothing beats good, sound legal advice. 

In the beginning all of this can be frustrating with the translations, documents, etc., but I am sure this will get sorted.  Hang in there and stay positive. 

I will ask my friends who were married in their country to Belgian nationals if they encountered this.  All of them use their maiden names to my knowledge. 

Hey, keep us posted and welcome to Belgium in advance.  If I can find any more info for you I will be sure to tell you.

Good evening Ashie,

I do not know who told you that. But it is false to 100%. Marriage in Belgium has never allowed a spouse to change names. She has the right to use her married name in everyday life. But all legal documents must be complete with her maiden name.

Here's what the laws say:

How to request a name change?

- Your request must be made in writing. It cannot be sent by mail or by fax or by phone. These methods of communication are reserved for information.
- The application must always be substantiated. It must clearly state the desired change. Your application must be based on serious grounds, eg, family, personal, socio-historical, administrative. The name and / or (s) name (s) requested can not create confusion and can not harm you or harm others. The procedure is open to Belgians and to refugees and stateless persons to recognized.
- An application which concerns a minor shall be formulated by the parents (or guardian). If it is formulated by one of the parents, the other parent will be normally informed.
- If you have children that have your name, you must specify whether you want to that they also name change.
- If you are granted, the name change is extended free of charge or procedure to children born after the application.

What documents to be submitted under the procedure?
- A full copy of your birth certificate. If you were born abroad, an equivalent document, possibly external Legaliselien. If you are a refugee and that cannot you produce a birth certificate, a certificate of the Office for refugees and stateless persons. Absence of any document acceptable marital status, your identity must be established by a judgment.
- A Belgian nationality certificate or a certificate proving the status of refugee or stateless person.
- A recent residence certificate.
- An extract from police records.
- You can get these documents by contacting the municipal services.
- Following the reasons, the SPF Justice may ask you to attach other documents (judgments, testimonials and opinions, various evidence...).

What happens during the procedure?
- Your folder is prepared by the SPF Justice to be submitted to the Minister of Justice, who will decide whether or not it offers your change of name to the King.
- In more complicated cases, an investigation is requested the Prosecutor of the King of your place of residence. This survey is to hear the persons concerned and to collect documents and advice.
- In some rare cases, the SPF Justice may request further information to other levels of Government (the nobility, Foreign Affairs, the State... security service).

How ending the procedure?
- The royal decree which grants the change of name must be published in the Moniteur belge for informing the public. Anyone who has an interest may oppose your change of name for a period of 60 days from the publication. If there is an objection, it is decided by the King.
- When the permission to change its name is final, you must register it by the SPF finance against payment.
- After registration, you must send or deliver quickly the authorization to the competent municipality for transcription. This transcript gives effect to the name change.
- The municipality or the diplomatic post depend you will proceed to the adaptation of documents of identity (identity card, passport...).

Concerning the "Uittreksel Van Burgerlijke Stand", it's just listing you in the registers of the municipality where you live

Hello
I hope I can provide you with the answers you are looking for and some hope...

I am Canadian. I entered Belgium as being in a relationship with a Belgian citizen.  This summer we were married :-) here in Belgium.  I now use my husband's last name and I will tell you how.
- I had to provide a document from the Canadian consulate stating that it was allowable in Canada for me to do this. The Belgians won't allow you to break the laws of your home country while in theirs.

Now as you were married first in your country and changed your last name by their rules, there won't be any issues. I know this because...
- when I arrived, I was divorced but my passport was still under the last name of my ex husband.  Because of this, they automatically registered me by that last name at the town hall while noting on my file that I was born under a different last name.

I have had 2 babies in Belgium and it is noted on both their birth certificates the last name I use and the last name I was born with. 

My marriage certificate here says the last name I entered the marriage with (my ex husband's), the last name I was born with and the last name I would use after the marriage (my current husband's).

It is not allowed in Belgian law to change your last name, but they honour the rules of your home country.  This wasn't difficult.

My advice is to make sure all your documents have the same name on them or they will be confused here.

Get your documents in order.  Provide proof that the change of last name is legal in your country. It will be ok.

Contact me with any questions.

Agree to the above opinion.

As she will enter Belgium with the name already changed in Philippines (in her passport and marriage certificate she has the new surname), IMHO there will not be a problem in Belgium to get registered with that name.

Women NOW can choose to take the name of their spouse upon marriage but before 2013, it was not possible

New topic