U.S. Virgin Islands: Information on the legal age at which a person can change their name and the procedure for doing so, the procedure for removals by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), and the number of INS removals to third countries in 1984
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||1 April 1994|
|Citation / Document Symbol||VIR17101.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, U.S. Virgin Islands: Information on the legal age at which a person can change their name and the procedure for doing so, the procedure for removals by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), and the number of INS removals to third countries in 1984, 1 April 1994, VIR17101.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ab0584.html [accessed 9 December 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
According to an official of the family court of the U.S. Virgin Islands in St. Thomas, a person can legally change their name at age eighteen (22 Apr. 1994). She said a person wishing to change their name must file a petition with the family court explaining why they wish to do so, provide the court with their original birth certificate and pay a $50 fee (ibid.).
The source said that if the court decides the reason given on the petition is valid, the person must publish a "notice of intent" to change their name in the local newspaper once a week for four consecutive weeks and provide the court with proof of publication (ibid.).
The source said the court then consents to the name change and the person must publish another announcement in the newspaper stating this. The source said that once the court receives proof that the final announcement has been published, it issues a certificate of name change to the individual and sends a duplicate to the Bureau of Vital Statistics where the person's original birth certificate was issued (ibid.).
The source stated that parents can also change the names of minor children. She said that the procedures is basically the same except that the notice of intent to change a name must also be posted in district and territorial court buildings and at the post office nearest the child's residence.
An official at the INS liaison office at the Embassy of the United States in Ottawa stated that if authorities believe a person is in the United States illegally, the person is served with an "Order to Show Cause" (29 Apr. 1994). She said the document explains that the person may be subject to deportation and orders them to appear before a judge at an immigration hearing (ibid.). She added that a potential deportee will not necessarily be arrested prior to the hearing, and that the person could remain free on their own recognizance or be asked to post bond (ibid.).
The source stated the judge could order that the person be arrested and deported by INS officials or be issued a 30-day voluntary deportation order (ibid.). She said that individuals who do not respond to voluntary deportation orders can be arrested, held in detention and forcibly deported (ibid.).
A representative of the INS Resource Information Centre in Washington added that if a person leaves under a voluntary deportation order, the individual may be allowed to return to the United States at a later date (22 Apr. 1994).
The source at the American embassy said that INS officers usually escort deportees to the recipient country if they are considered to be dangerous or if they require medical attention (29 Apr. 1994). She said that INS officers normally confirm departure after escorting an individual as far as their point of departure. She stated that voluntary deportees may be asked to report to a U.S. diplomatic mission in the recipient county in order to confirm their departure (ibid.). She added that individuals can be deported to their country of origin or to their country of residence (ibid.).
Information on INS removals to third countries in 1984 could not be found among the sources currently available to the DIRB. However, the attached documents faxed to the DIRB by the INS Statistics Unit in Washington may be of interest.
This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.
Immigration and Naturalization Service Liaison Office, Embassy of the United States of America, Ottawa. 29 April 1994. Telephone interview with representative.
. Resource Information Centre, Washington, DC. 22 April 1994. Telephone interview with representative.
Territorial Court of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Family Court Division, St. Thomas. 22 April 1994. Telephone interview with official.
Immigration and Naturalization Service Statistics Unit, Washington, DC. 26 April 1994. Document faxed to the DIRB.