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How to fill DS-160 for missing Surname/ Family name in Passport for US Visa

Most people have the last name or family name and first name filled with information in their passport. But, few have blank family names or surnames. When you apply for US Visa, you would need to fill out your first and last names separately. In that case, how do we handle blank family names or first names, and what to enter on the DS-160 form is the issue.

In this article, we will give you background on first name, last name, how it works and the importance of them in US immigration forms. Also, one of our readers, NK, had the same issue with a blank surname. He attended H1B and H4 visa stamping in Mumbai and has shared his experience filling up the DS-160 form with common FAQs and guidance on how to fill it. Thanks to NK for sharing his experience.

Before we get into the issue, let’s try to understand the common terms and the source of confusion.

What are First Name, Given Name, Last Name, Surname, Family Name?

The terms first name, given name, last name, family name, and surname are used commonly and it can be very confusing at times. Below are what they mean

  • First Name, Given Name: First name is the name that is typically used to call a person. Usually, when you write the name, you would see this in the first, when you write the name. Hence called first name. Example: John Vader. In this, John is the first name. Depending on the country, the ‘First name’ is also called as ‘Given Name’. So, both ‘First name’ and ‘Given name’ are same, do not be confused.
  • Family Name, Surname, Last Name : Last name is the name that indicates the roots or family details of a person. Usually it appears at the last, when you write the name. Hence, called last name. Example : John Vader. In this Vader is the last name. Depending on the country , the ‘Last Name’ is also called as ‘Family Name’ or ‘Surname’. They all mean the same, so do not be confused.

Importance of Last Name / Family Name / Surname for US Immigration

In US Immigration Context, Last Name/ Family Name/ Surname is the most important field. It cannot be blank. A person has to have a family name. If the family name is blank, the US immigration officers would move the first name to the family name. This is a common practice.

In some countries like India, you would see people use ‘initials’ for the family/last name. Though it is a common practice there, ideally, you would need to expand your family name instead of just one letter initial, when you fill the US immigration forms or when you get your passport to avoid issues.

What are FNU, LNU in the context of US Visas, Immigration ?

Before we go to the issue, there are two important terms you need to know FNU and LNU.

  • FNU stands for First Name Unknown as per the US Embassy. This term is often used in your US Visa / Immigration documents when there is no first name for the user or applicant.
  • LNU stands for Last Name Unknown. This is typically used, when there is no Last Name for the user. In reality, LNU is not used as often as you would see FNU. The simple reason is, Family Name or Last Name ( Surname) is a key field in most of the US Immigration/ Visas and they would usually fill the name given by applicant as Last Name.

Now that we know the background, let’s look at the issue.

Missing Surname in Passport – How to fill DS-160 forms

I don’t have any Surname/ Family Name printed on my passport.

  • My full name – XXXX YYYY is printed under “Given Name” on my passport.

On top of this, my existing B1 visa and H-1B petition have YYYY as my surname and XXXX as my given name.

So I filled up two DS-160 forms with the following details:

  • DS-160-1: Given name: XXXX, Surname: YYYY.
  • DS160-2: Given name: FNU, Surname: XXXX YYYY [FNU stands for First Name Unknown].

I first gave them the first DS-160 form (as described in DS-160-1 above), which they didn’t accept as asked me to “go to a cyber café” and fix the error. Then I gave them the second DS-160 (as described in DS160-2 above) which they accepted. This saved me the hassle of going to the cyber café and getting my DS 160 fixed. See the below screenshot.

Accepted way in DS-160 to fill out First Name and Last Name 

  • Surname / Last Name:  Complete Given Name/ First Name as it is in Passport
  • First Name / Given Name:  FNU

In case of any confusion – don’t make any changes, fill up as many DS-160 as you want, and take the bar code printout of all the forms with you. You can give them whichever you like based on the situation. This saved me a lot of time and money.

Common FAQs

What do I fill for Last Name in DS-160 when my Family Name or Surname is Blank in my Passport?

You enter the First Name that appears in the passport in the Last Name field in DS-160. You also enter FNU as the First name in the DS-160.

Will my visa be rejected as my Last Name is blank in my passport?

No, it will not be rejected for that reason only. It does not play a part. As the name is not full, there may be additional security checks that may happen, but will not directly impact the approval chances.

Is it recommended to fix the Last Name Blank issue before Visa Interview?

Yes, absolutely, you should fix your passport with a blank last name or family name. It will save you some hassle in the US after you arrive.

Did you have a missing Surname or Last name in your Passport? How did you handle your DS-160 form ? Any other info that you know for such cases?


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  1. Hi.
    Kindly clarify the following doubt
    Given Name – Monisha
    Father’s Name – Jayabalan
    Caste Name – Naidu

    First Name – Middle Name – Sur Name
    Monisha J Naidu

    Can I state my name like this applying for passport? Is it the correct format. Kindly suggest

  2. My wife both parents died a long time ago and her parents were illiterate, they didn’t use their last names in their Pakistani id cards. I put their parents last names mistakenly in my wife DS-260 and i130 forms.

    Will that be a problem in her U.S. immigrant visa interview, and could they reject the visa application? what should I do now?

  3. hi
    could anyone suggest me on my husband’s passport he has no last name everything on his given name but on uscis application i put his first name mika last name singh and it approved. but now i am on his ds 260 form where i have to fill out the application according to his passport and i don’t know at this point what to put on his last name or should i have to apply new passport?? i am so confused

  4. hi on my husband’s passport he has no last name everything on his given name but on uscis application i put his first name mika last name singh and it approved. but now i am on his ds 260 form where i have to fill out the application according to his passport and i don’t know at this point what to put on his last name or should i have to apply new passport?? i am so confused

  5. Hi
    I have the same issue mentioned here. My surname is blank and my full name (first and last name) are mentioned as the given name in my passport. I’ve filled out my ds160 by putting my given name as the surname and fnu in place of first name. Now while filling up my visa application I don’t know what should I put as the first and the last name. Does anyone know regarding this? Kindly help

  6. This is incredibly helpful. Unfornately I saw this after scheduling my dropbox appointment. So while I went back and filled up another DS160 per your suggestion – and updated the DS160 confirmation number on portal.USTravelDoc – I’m unable to change the name on the profile there to reflect the new DS160 name format. How did you or anyone else reading this deal with this wrinkle? Did it not matter when you when to dropbox interview or is there a process to fix that in advance.

  7. HI,

    I have a question, When I filled my DS-160 form, as per passport my name is only in Given name. ie. GIVEN NAME: PRABHJOT KAUR, no surname. When I filled my DS-160N form I did as per the guide, GIVER NAME: FNU , SURNAME: PRABHJOT KAUR.

    I gave interview and di got the visa, I checked my visa they have displayed my name like Surname: KAUR , Giver name: PRABHJOT. I haven’t traveled to US yet but I am in July, is this how the name are displayed on US visa or is this a mistake I want to make sure I don’t come across any issue while traveling

    • hello, did you put Given name as FNU too when you were scheduling the appointment? or did you put given name as per your passport on the appointments page?

    • This is good and you should be happy. It would have been really difficult if you were given FNU PRABHJOT KAUR as your complete name.
      In your case, this could have happened because…
      1. You might have filled Surname: KAUR , Giver name: PRABHJOT in the web portal at the time of scheduling your interview.
      2. Your base documents (I-20 or any other form that makes your basis to get visa) might have had Surname: KAUR , Giver name: PRABHJOT written on it.

      Getting rid of FNU is a painful process in US.
      So congrats on you VISA 🙂

  8. I have a doubt , In my passport my father name is written wrong as Khaja Arif Uddin instead of Arif Uddin Khaja . What should I write in DS160 in place of father surname and given name .

    (Note: my father don’t have passport)

    My name is written correctly as Surname Khaja
    Given name as Sami Uddin in my passport

  9. There is no surname ( blank ) in my passport , whole given name is aaa bbb, so when I filled cgi and booked visa appointment the name showed is ( Applicant name : bbb aaa ), is there gonna be any problem for when I go for biometric ??

      • Mr Kumar

        I have a doubt , In my passport my father name is written wrong as Khaja Arif Uddin instead of Arif Uddin Khaja . What should I write in DS160 in place of father surname and given name .(Note: my father don’t have passport)

        My name is written correctly as Surname Khaja
        Given name as Sami Uddin in my passport

  10. Mr Kumar
    B2 Visa renewal-Application for Dropbox appontment( slot(interview waiver)
    Sub: First name& Last name confusion in Applicaton for visa(Dropbox).
    Both PASSPORT  and earlier B2 Visa details:
    Given Name: YYYYYY.
    I have already created DS-160 with my above Passport details and got confirmation barcode code AA00ZZZZZZ
    Name displayed on DS160 confirmation page:
    Created my profile, using Passport details as below on “Application for visa” page
    First Name: YYYYYY
    2. Now I have started to apply for B2 visa enewal for Drop box ,with the above profile values:
    3. Now,I am on Payment page. 
    The name displayed on this page(before making payment)
    I can see two different displayed names.I believe First name and last name got interchanged(comparing the displayed name on this form with DS160 confirmation) in this form, though I have filled correct details.
    I request you to clarify if there is descripancy in final  name displayed now is correct or needs correction.I request you to clear the confusion before proceeding with MRV payment . If not, does the profile created on application form needs any correction?
    Thanks. Excuse me for long post

    • In some forms your last name is written before your first name for example in Canada if your name is “aaa bbb” (first name = aaa, last name = bbb), your name on license will be displayed as “bbb aaa” because of it’s format. So if you see your last name written first that’s not an issue it’s just because of the format of that document.

      Most probably when you go for an interview or biometrics you will find your last name displayed first on the form, don’t think that your name is written wrong it’s written correct that is just their format. They write surnames in first line and given names in second line or in same line after surname. Their legal structure works that way.

  11. Hey, I have missed middle name in US visa appointment confirmation letter, but on my Passport and DS160 middle name is included in given name field.
    Will it affect in visa interview??
    Thanks in Advance!

  12. HI Team,

    I have scheduled appointment after two weeks. But i have a doubt. In My Appoint confirmation form my Name is appearing as Patil Teja but in MY DS 160 & Passport it’s appearing as Patil Teja Ramkrishna.

    Will it cause any issue with appointment as as Father name is missing in Appointment form.
    Do i need to cancel my appoint and reschedule it again?


    • Teja,
      Everything should be exactly as it appears in your passport. You can fill out a new DS-160, if any details are not accurate and use that in UStravelDocs to update the same.

      • Thanks Kumar for the response.
        My DS 160 and Passport have same information. But while creating profile on CGI where we schedule appointment I have not entered my middle name which appearing on appoint confirmation form as applicant name.
        Will it causing any issue?


          • Hello Kumar,

            Thanks for helping us here,

            I made the same mistake, Once I create the new DS-160, where should I change to add the new corrected name?

            Do I have to make another appointment? I am applying for h1b stamping

          • Riddhi,
            If the form is already submitted, you may not be able to change certain fields. In such case, you can create a new DS-160 form and then enter that in the USTravelDocs Portal, that way they will use the new one. You do not have to cancel anything, just update your profile.

  13. Dear Admin,
    I have two issue regarding entering name of my two sons in i-864 affidavit of support. Plz suggest how to write in their First name, middle name & Surname.
    1. Sheikh Yahya Rehan (Sheikh is his cast, his given name is Yahya and faimly name is Rehan
    2. Muhammad (His only name is his given name having no surname and faimly name.


    • Rhenan,
      You always follow the passport. What does it say on the passport for Given or first name ? and Last or family name ?
      If there is anything blank you follow the guidance given in above article.

  14. Greetings,

    As per my passport : GN- Arun Patil , Surname – Blank
    but in my I-797 : FN-Arun Patil, LN-LNU

    Please advise how do i fill DS-160
    FN – Arun Patil
    LN – LNU


    FN – FNU
    LN – Arun Patil

    • Arun,
      You can fill it either way. But, frankly, if you have not traveled yet to US, I suggest you get your Passport corrected to have your family name in Surname filed and then apply it, so that you do not run into issues in future for other things in US.

      • Hi Chandra Abha,

        How did you proceed with this issue? I have the same issue to be resolved. What should I fill on my DS-160
        Thanks in Advance !

        Pramodh H C

  15. I was not using surname earlier. But after education i started using surname and surname is mentioned in m my passport now.
    My question is that what should i write in surname and given name in sections where it asks that “”has you ever been known by another name.

  16. hi
    my surname is thummuri and me given name is sri venkata sesha siva rama krishna
    in DS-160 i can not enter my complete given name last two characters are missing (na), so I had removed space between sri and venkate ,and venkata and sesha

    is there any problem for this if yes help me to rectify this

  17. Hii. In My uncle passport surname is…….. And given name is aaa bbb.. He write in ds -160 surname aaa bbb.. And given name fnu. But in his appointment he write given name aaa and surname bbb… Is there any problem occur in his interview…

    • Kajal,
      I am not sure, what they would be looking for. What is filled in DS-160 is what matters. You can call the customer service to check and see, if there is a way to change it. If they can, let them do it. If they say, it is fine, it should be fine.

  18. Hi
    My Problem is that , while family information for DS – 160 H1B,I’m stuck on my parents name. In my passport my parents name is without surname.
    Like: Father – aaaa and Mother – ppp

    There is an option to mark as ‘DO not know’ in surname. should I select the check box or what should I do?

  19. I have a unique problem here. I have my surname (3 words) and given name(1 word).
    But my passport doesn’t have my father’s and mother’s surname. Just their first name.
    I’m applying a B1/B2 visa now and in that DS-160 form. Parent’s surname is asked. What should I fill?

    Father’s surname = Father’s given name like the one in my passport
    Father’s givenname = FNU

    Same for my mother’s name. Please help.

  20. HIII

  21. Hi, You have said that we can fill out as many DS160 forms as required. But, there is no provision to carry the DS160 forms (physical) now. which mean we can fill out and submit one final DS 160 ONLY. My case is this:

    My Passport: Surname: ……………………

    Should I fill the Surname in the DS 160…. as > RAVIKUMAR RAMASWAMY THANGIAH
    and in Given name > FNU

    IS that right?

    Pls help me

      • Thanks! one more thing. in the family page, the drop down menu shows only child, or sibling option. What to chose for son and daughter? sibling or child? which is more appropriate.

    • Hi Ravi and Bhawna,

      I have exactly the same problem filling out the DS-160 form.
      My daughter does not have a surname in Passport. Only given name is there, kindly advise what should I do?

      Should I proceed as Bhawna suggested i.e. Given Name will go in Surname and write FNU in Given Name?

      Please reply.
      Would really appreciate a great help.

        • My spouse has the same problem. Her surname is blank in passport. So in DS160 I have filled given name in Surname and Given name as FNU.
          But while creating profile in CGIFEDERAL site how can we overcome this problem. It is not accepting FNU in given name and not allowing Surname as blank.

  22. I am filling the DS 160 form for F1 visa, and in parents details section I have to provide given and Sur names, and DOB. But in my passport I only have my parents given name not surnames. So should I just give their names in the surname place, or give the full name as in their passports.

  23. hi i have a question, my husband is filling the ds-160 form for his mother to visit us to US on visitor visa. she is not having the surname in her passport so he filled first name as -FNU and surname with her first name i.e aaaa.

    now she is having other name in my husband passport i.e aaaa bbbb so do he need to mention that name as other name in ds-160.
    her name in my husband passport is aaaa bbbb.


    • bhawna,

      Should not be an issue. I think DS form also asks if the person has ever been known by another name. In that field you can mention the other name aaaa bbbb. If asked, clarify to the officer.

      • Hi I need to confirm that to apply visa for both parents do we need to send two pair of documents like employment letter 2 and bank letter 2 or shud we send one document each? For both parents.

        • Bhawna,

          If they go to the window together then only one set is fine. If they go to the interview window separately, then 2 sets. I would prefer to send 2 sets in case they are separated at the interview window.

          • Thanks, but we need original 1 right and then we can make copy of it cz two original employment and bank letter we can’t get.

  24. Hello, My father’s surname is missing on my passport.

    My father name is “Surendra Singh”. Same is mentioned in all my documents Pan Card, Marksheetz etc. But my passport has only “Surendra”.

    Does it cause any issue in H1B Visa stamping ? Please help to answer my query.

    • Thanks Saurabh, yes ds-160 has that option for other name so He filled in it the other name of his mother.
      Also I need to know is the birth certificate important cz my husband not having it or can he sent his 10th marksheet photocopy. Interviews will be at delhi consulate.

      • Bhawna,

        BC is not mandatory. Only when the officer has doubts about the relationship, they would dig into more documentary proofs.

    • Xavier,
      It may not be problem, but if your passport has a surname, you should call and get it fixed. You can always create a New DS-160 and carry it along. Call the customer service for their suggestion.

  25. According to my passport my name is Charitha Bathala. But in my school , college and UG records (degree certificate, transcripts etc) it is Charitha B or B Charitha. So should I put Charitha B as my “other name” while filling DS 160 ?

    • My daughter is also having same issue. Pl guide me, did you mention the name with initial in other names section of DS 160 or not required.

  26. while retreiving the application it ask
    ‘First 5 letters of Surname ‘ but my surname has only 4 letters . Not able to retrieve info. Pl help.

    • If your surname is composed by two words, like in Latin America, and the first one is shorter than 5 letters, try this:

      Surname: Paz Rodriguez
      5 first letters: paz r (please notice the space between “paz” and the “r”)

  27. Hello ! Every1
    I applied for b2 visa to usa
    In my pp –
    Given name : xxxx yyyyy
    Surname. :(blank)

    In my ds160
    Given name :xxxx
    Surname. :yyyy

    N i got rejected under section 214(b)

    I wanna reapply so shall u change the name section ?
    Or fill like i did befote ?
    Please reply asap

    • Junaid,

      I had the exact same case as you and i have no surname or family name but a dual name. My first DS 160 I had put as you had put, and just before fingerprinting at VAC, I was asked to go and change it asap. I did.

      You have to put Given name on ds-160 as: xxxx yyyy
      Surname as: FNU (Select it from dropdown menu)(FNU stands for first name unavailable)

      On the newly issued DS-160 the section appeared in print as:

      Name Provided: xxxx yyyy, FNU

      Hope you got it.

  28. Hi
    My petition is selected for h1b, and I was asked to renew my passport beyond 2019 by my employer in US. I knew that i cant renew my passport before one year is left for it. My father recently made his passport with middle name on it, which was missing in my passport. So i applied for renewal on basis of change in particulars. Does this affect any of visa process?

    • Ashish,

      Change in passport number will not impact the H-1B process. When appearing for H-1 interview, submit your latest passport for visa stamping.

      • I agree that change in passport number will not affect the visa process. But adding middle name to my father ‘s name, which was not there in older passport. According to Uscis, personal details shall stay same in new and the old passport. Any comment on that?

        • Ashish,

          Your father added middle name to his name, but your name wasn’t changed. So there will be no impact; unless your name is also changing.

  29. I have no surname printed in my passport and I applied for DS 160 Non Immigrant tourist Visa. Exec at Traveldoc suggested to get correction done in DS 160 application as XXXX YYYY name entered in Surname and FNU in ‘Given Name’ place and the application was accepted and visa issued. But the passport now shows Surname blank, whereas Visa shows ‘Given Name’ NFU. This is for Visa B1/B2.

    Will this arrangement create any problem in travel to US or in the
    US ?
    Appreciate any inputs for the query.

    • Rangaswamy,

      That is ok and its a standard procedure. As you will be on B1/2 visa, you cannot apply for SSN or US driver license. So not a big issue. If you ever come to US on a different visa (like F-1 or H-1/4 or L-1/2), then its better to break the name in passport and get visa in corrected name.

    • Rangaswamy,
      It is quite common to run into this issue, if you had blank surname on your passport. As long as your visa is on your name and it says FNU for Given name, it should be fine. Read FNU Issue for more details. . If you are just visiting, it should be fine. But, if you plan to apply for Social Security or driver license in US, it can be a little bit of hassle.

  30. My old name was
    Give name – Anand
    Surname – none
    I changed my name to
    Given name – Anand Kumar
    Surname – Singh
    How should I fill out the DS 160 other names?
    I have used my old name everywhere.
    Please reply fast!!

        • Hi Kumar,
          Thanks for your reply. My old passport had blank surname and Given name : Vijay Nitesh Kumar.
          But in DS-160, I cannot leave surname ( in other names) blank. Should I fill as the following:
          First Name: Fnu
          Last Name: Vijay Nitesh Kumar

          • Hi Kumar,

            I have got my name corrected in my new passport. I have confusion in filling up the “other names used” section.
            What shall I put in Given names used and Surname used ? I have just split the name.

          • Nitesh,
            Good. You just follow as you suggested like FNU for first name and other full name as last name. That should work.

  31. Dear friend,
    I have one full name at given name in passport. I filled my DS160 wrongly as first name as given name and last name as surname. Now my name is just reversed accordingly in D’s 160 form.
    Now I filled my second DS160 form correctly.
    The issue now is the fee paid was on the wrongly filled application of DS160. Plz help me only few more days fr the interview

  32. Friends,

    I am in a situation where my earlier passport has one extra letter in my last name and US B1/B2 visa also had same extra letter in last name. I recently renewed the passport and I have correct the last my by removing the extra letter. For this I have to submit the affidavit stating my name change.

    Now I am on planned Business trip to US for 3 months, question is will there be any issue since there is single letter missing issue in my new passport?

    Your quick reply will be much appreciated/


  33. Hi Srinath,
    can you tell me how did the interview go. I am also in the same boat. I am travelling to India and need to appear for stamping interview. I dont have surname in my passport and everything is in given name. My i-797 has

  34. Hello NK, I am also facing the same problem (missing surname in passport) for my H1B visa. Just wanted to confirm if the method suggested by you will work for H1B visa as well.

  35. Sourabh, Experts

    I Need your help. My approved I-129 form contains consulate location as Mumbai, as I am currently present in Hyderabad, I filled DS-160 form based on hyderabad location. Please let me know if this will make any impact ?

  36. Hello NK, I’m exactly in the same situation as yours. I’m planning to attend the interview in a few weeks time. Could you please share your outcome of your interview? Since our surnames do not match in Passport and I-797A, will it be a problem?? Please help me. Thank you so much.


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