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Name Reference sheet for MS/ MBA application or H1B, B1, F1 Visa stamping

Some of us are in situation where the names are spelled differently in different certificates…for instance, in my tenth grade (class) certificate my last name is not fully written, same is the case with my other degree certificates. I have won so many competitions in college and some of the certificates have different spellings of my name. Some places first name is written in case of last name. It is very confusing for someone if they look at these. Also, there are some scenarios especially for parents visa stamping that you may not be able to go back to their schools from 20 years before and get the certificates changed.

Let me share you some thoughts on what I did or what you can do to clarify the situation when you are applying to US schools for MS or MBA or if you are planning on going for F1, H1B, L1, etc visa stamping or even B1/B2 Stamping for your Parents visiting to USA .

Name reference sheet for MS/ MBA Application, F1, H1B, L1, B1/B2 or Any US visa stamping

One of the recommended ways to clarify any name related issues or spelling issues (which was not in your control) is to attach a name reference sheet and get it attested by Notary. In fact, I attached a Name reference sheet with my MS application.  It is nothing fancy, it just mentions all your various versions of name and where they appeared. You can get it attested by someone like Bank officer or your college principal or Lawyer who can notarize documents.   Below is a sample Name reference sheet I used. It is just list of your names in various certificates like below on a sheet of paper…you get it attested by notary or someone who have the right to attest in your country. (Sample Name is made up, not mine 🙂 )

You can use the below Name Reference Sheet even for Visa Stamping at consulate.


GRE Score Report form       : RAY  JOHN  CARLOS

TOEFL Score Report form   : CARLOS JOHN , RAY

X   Class Transcript              : JOHN  CARLOS R

XI & XII Class Transcript    : JOHN  CARLOS R

B.Tech Transcripts from College, City : JOHN  CARLS R

College Competitions certificates      : RAY  JOHNN  CARLS

Academic Excellence   Certificates               : R  JOHN  CARLOS

Inter-college Competition   Debate      :  JOHN  CARLOS

Other Merit certificates  (few enclosed in application packet) :  R  JOHN  CARLS

There is no official rule as such anywhere saying that you need to attach a Name Reference Sheet. It is a good idea to be proactive and attach something like this as a Name Reference Sheet, when you have spelling issues with your name or if they are in different order in different certificates. As I said, I attached this for my applications and took for visa stamping. I was not questioned anywhere…some may say it is not necessary…I do not know…but doesn’t hurt to have one handy or attach.

Did any of you attach Name reference sheet ? What was your experience ?  You can also check out US Visa Stamping Experiences 


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  1. sir,
    My name in my toefel score report is Rajakumaran Gowtaman and my name in my passport and GRE score report is Rajakumaran Gowthaman….. i think i am in big trouble due to the spelling error in my name…. please guide me on what to do next in order to apply for univ in USA

  2. Hi,
    i have a doubt….in my 10th and +2 certificates my name is just vishnu…..i dont have a second name……will it create some problem while applying for MS..?? some say that its mandatory to mention the second name……..if it is needed what are the formalities to be done..?????? Now iam in little bit confusion..i hope that you will figure out my query…:)


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