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Surname Blank in Passport, First Name as FNU in US Visa – Issues – Solution

We have recently published information on applying for an Indian Passport.  Some of the unlucky ones, who applied for passports prior to the full online system, may have got their passport with their surname blank in the passport. This could be a clerical or system error, but it can cost you a lot in the future, if not corrected. This article will focus on the common issues around this ‘blank surname’ problem in America and solutions for the same.

What is FNU – First Name Unknown? Why do I see FNU in First Name field in my US Visa?

In general, Surname, Family Name, or Last Name is the most important thing that identifies a person’s origin and it is used across everything as the primary identifier. If due to some mistake or clerical error in your passport, you get a Blank Surname or Given Name in your passport, and if you do not get it fixed, the US consulate will issue your US Visa with the existing name in your passport as the Last Name in US visa and the first name field will be written as FNU. It is a common practice in the US immigration system to use FNU as the first name in such instances.  Check US Embassy Website FAQs for FNU

Below are couple of examples :

This is how it would look on passport

Case I : 

  • Given Name: “ Vikas Nathan”
  • Surname:  “ “  ( Blank )

Case 2 :

  • Given Name: “ “ ( Blank)
  • Surname: “Vikas Nathan”

In both of the above cases, your US Visa in your passport would look like

  • First Name : FNU
  • Last Name : “Vikas Nathan”

Can I go to US with Blank Surname in Passport ? What is the problem with FNU as first name ? How does it impact my life in USA?

The fact is that you will be able to go to the US with a blank First name or blank Surname in your passport, but your life gets tough afterward. You will face issues in places like DMV, when you try to get a Driving License or at the SSA office, when you try to apply for a Social Security Number ( SSN). 

Many US government officials may not be aware of what it means ‘FNU’. They will always try to verify your documents against your Passport and other identity verification documents…Unfortunately, there will be a mismatch as your prior certificates and passport does not have FNU.  You will be asked by DMV and SSA office to get your passport and immigration documents corrected to issue a license. You will be in a complicated situation. To avoid such instances, please get your passport corrected before you proceed with anything like taking GRE  or TOEFL, applying for US visa,  etc.

What is the solution, if your Surname is Blank in Passport and you have FNU as the First Name in your US Visa ?

Simple answer: Get your passport Corrected! Make sure your surname or family name corresponds to your actual family name or initial in your certificates and first name or given name matches with your given name.

If you are in India – Get your name in passport fixed

All you need to do is go to Passport Seva Kendra and apply for a re-issue of your Indian passport with the name change.   It is fairly straightforward.  The advantage of getting this corrected before your US move or Visa is that all your future documents will be perfect and you will be good.

If you are in USA with FNU as first name on US Visa, I-20, I-94 or I-797 and Blank Surname in Passport

Because all your immigration documents have FNU as first name, your first job is get your passport fixed and then get your other documents fixed.

Step 1 : Get your names in the Passport fixed with the correct Surname and Given Name

Step 2 : Get your immigration documents like I-94, I-797, and I-20 Fixed

How to get your Indian Passport with Blank Surname corrected in USA

  1. You will need to go to the Indian Consulate Website that serves your state and check for the process to change your name.
  2. Depending on the type of name change you may end up in two scenarios
  • Name Bifurcation or Split: If it is just a name bifurcation, means splitting your name into two. For instance, if your surname is blank and your Given name is “Vikas Nath” and you want to split it as   Given Name: Vikas and Surname : Nath, it could be done at the Indian consulate by adding a small observation in the passport indicating the same. A sample would look like what you see in the below image. This depends on the Indian consulate officer you are interacting with and it depends on their discretion. They may ask you to follow the below name change process as well. 
  • Changes in Processes: Also, there are continuous process changes and it may or may not work as there may be need to publish the name in Gazette and then have it updated. So, always check with the Indian Embassy to ensure, what works best. surname blank in Indian passport corrected in USA
  • Name Change in Passport:  If you are going for a name change in your passport then, you will need to follow the below steps. It can vary by the consulate and you will need to follow their instructions.
    • You will need to publish an Ad in a reputed US newspaper regarding your name change and submit the newspaper clipping to the Indian consulate with supporting documents like your residence proof, I-94, etc.
    • You will also need to publish an Ad in a reputed Indian News paper regarding your name change and submit the newspaper clipping to the Indian consulate with supporting documents.  Check with the Indian consulate for exact instructions.
    • You can appear in person or mail the required documents to the Indian consulate. You will receive your passport with name change done.

How to Get your US Immigration Documents Corrected.

After you get your name corrected in your Passport, you need to check for your nearest USCIS office and schedule an appointment with USCIS immigration officer using InfoPass and get the system updated with your correct name in your passport.  You will be asked by an immigration officer in USCIS to work with a CBP officer, probably in the same building, to get a new I-94 with your correct name on it.

In 2017, one of our users reported that the CBP officer and USCIS appointment did not help with fixing the last name and they suggested going to their home country. I suggest you check with USCIS and CBP and plan for your travel before you make any plans to do the above changes.

Once these steps are completed, you can go to the DMV and get your Driving license and go to the SSN office and get the SSN with the correct information.

Do I have to go for a new US Visa Stamping after this Blank Surname Correction?

Typically, it is NOT required. You will need to carry your old passport and the new passport with an updated name. Also, supporting documentation like your visit to USCIS, Name change documents, Home country driving license or any other identity documents, if any like news paper Ad, etc, just to ensure that you are the right person. Immigration regulations keep changing, you SHOULD check with a USCIS Officer or any of the US Embassy to clarify the current requirements.

Can I use US Visa Dropbox / Interview Waiver option, if I have to get a new visa stamp on Passport?

If you are eligible for the general US Visa Dropbox/ Visa Interview Waiver requirements as listed on USTravelDocs Interview Waiver Requirements, you can use such option to submit your documents and get US visa stamp on your new passport with the name corrected on it.

FNU Name Correction Experience by M Ghiyas – March 2018.   

I had similar problem but It got resolved recently with help of my Employer/Attorney. I followed below

Problem :
1. Surname was Blank on Indian Passport ( Still 3 more years valid)
2. Visa had FNU and Last Name as ABC’ ‘XYZ’ ( It will expire in 10 months 09/2017 )
3. I-94 had FNU and Last Name as ABC’ ‘XYZ’
4. DMV issued US License with First Name as Blank and Last Name as ‘ABC’ ‘XYZ’
5. SSN office issued First Name as “Unknown” and Last Name as ABC’ ‘XYZ’
and list of problems started.

Follow below steps to get rid of problems
Step1 – Wait until you renew/extend your petition.
Step2 – Apply for Reissue of Passport with Split in Name ( You will get new passport with 10 years expiry)
Step3 – Apply for extension of petition with new passport with corrected name (Some where in I-129 you need to mention old names used as FNU ‘ABC’ ‘XYZ” this should be taken care by your employer/attorney while filing extension)
Step 4 – You will get I-797A with corrected name ( this will correct your will I-94 details too)
Step 5 – Goto SSN office , give your SSN card with new passport , I-797A. With few days you will get new SSN with corrected name then goto DMV and get name corrected.

PS: Then take deep breath.

Thanks to Ghiyas for sharing his experience.

What has been your experience with FNU ?

Were you questioned at the Port of Entry regarding FNU ?

References and Experiences of people with FNU and Surname Blank Issue


Other Articles


  1. Hi,

    I currently am in USA and have the same issue of FNU being added because of the missing surname in my passport. I am planning to get my passport renewed soon and get my name split so that i have a Given Name : AAAAA and Surname: BBBBB.

    My new i797A has my name as AAAAA BBBBB, No Given Name. I am planning to travel to india after the name split is done in my passport and also go for visa stamping . Will it create an issue if my passport has my name split but i797 doesn’t have it as split.

    • KumarD,
      It should not. If you are eligible for dropbox, you can enclose a request letter indicating the change and say that you can get I-797 fixed after visa stamping and you arrive to US. You can work with your attorney and get it fixed after you are in US.

  2. hi sir,

    i too have stamping in quite some days, can i go ahead for password correction. get the new passport and go for stamping. only the passport correction holds good for stamping or need to update any other docs?please guide me

    • vishnu,
      I suggest you get your passport corrected before visa stamping. If your bachelors degree certificates are in-line with the corrected name, you should be fine. If not, then you need to get them corrected as well.

      • thank you so much sir. Really appreciated.

        one quick query sir,please dont mind in answering this sir

        Currently in I 797, the name is printed as “xxxxxxxx, No given Name” since there is no surname in current passport . if I get a new passport with surname update, new passport will be “xxxx,xxxx”. so there wont be any issues in stamping right sir?

        please answer. thanks in advance sir

        • vishnu,
          If possible, you should ask your employer to file for name amendment, which can be done after the passport details are changed. Speak to your employer and look at options.

  3. Hello my dad’s name is Sathya Narayanan and unfortunately his first name has been FNU and his whole name as last name in both US Visa and Passport. He got the name changed in passport in the US itself but for visa when he met with an immigration officer they said he would have to go to India since he is an F1 student and has Indian Passport. Could anyone pl suggest me a way in which he can rectify this issue in US itself as soon as possible ????

    • kailash,
      Visa stamping is not done within US, you will have to go outside of US and get visa stamp corrected. You can opt for dropbox, when you travel outside of US, if you qualify for it.

  4. Hi folks,
    I am Heena i am having problem regarding FNU in my passport and got corrected in the Indian Embassy now i need to update my I-94 can you guys help me out.

    thank you.

  5. In all of my education certificates there is only my first name AAAA but i got fixed my passport with surname and now my name is AAAA as first name and BBBB as surname….will my i20 get the same as on passport or as my certificates… i have also done ielts with same name as on passport

    • Rahul,
      You should get your I20 with the name on the passport. Most of the schools require you to fill out last name and that’s what will be reflected everywhere.

      • how much time it ll take to gt my name bifurcated in passport? as i am olready running short of time to schedule visa and my i20 hs olso not reached yet… I am Spring admit so have to finish it off asap.. shud i apply for tatkaal passport?or shud go wid the normal one?
        Plz help!

        • Anjali,
          If everything goes well, you should have passport in a week to 10 days…having said that, it can vary case by case…It is always recommended to get your passport related things fixed now than later.

  6. Hello,

    I have the same issue of having FNU on all my US documents. I am planning on getting my H1B visa stamped when I am travelling in a couple of weeks. The visa will have FNU on it. I am planning on getting the name split on the passport after the visa is stamped. I am planning on doing it this way because I don’t have time to change the passport and I-797 to indicate the name split from US before I travel. Would the name difference between the passport and visa/I-797 be an issue at the POE on my way back?

    • Sulaiman,
      It should not be, as long as your first name captures your entire name on passport and is in line with other documents like I-797.

      • Thank you for your reply Kumar! Just to verify, my name as per visa/I797 will be FNU (first name) SD (last name). The name as per the new passport will be S(first name) D (last name). Hopefully there will be no issues.

        • Sulaiman,
          In general, it should not be, that’s a very common issue. Also, I just re-read your question, I am assuming you want to do it before your first travel to US ? In such case, you may be asked why you did it after visa stamping and why not before… If you really want to do it, do it fully before stamping…if not, do it after you travel to US, in the US at nearest high commission. It may raise questions, why you are doing it after visa stamping within 2 weeks before your travel.

          • Thank you for your reply! I am currently in the US and planning to visit my parents. I’m trying to get the passport renewed there because it is much easier and I would be able to get the passport processed very quickly compared to here. If I wait to receive the passport here, I’d have to reschedule my trip to next year. If instead I get the passport processing done first, would the difference in name between I797 and passport be an issue when I apply for the visa? Thanks again!

          • Sulaiman,
            In general, I would recommend that you get that passport changes done either in US or your home country first and then apply for visa. You must be eligible for dropbox in visa and it should be quick.

  7. Hello,

    I have my L1B petition approved. But I have the same issue with the passport as my Surname is BLANK and Givename as My name and expansion of my initial (actually my dad’s name, as this is how most south indians have the name expanded).

    Now the question is:

    1. I will be scheduling interview for Visa stamping. So, can I correct the passport by having Given name as My name and Surname as my father name? As my petition is approved with old passport.

    2. To change the name in passport. Would there be any additional documentation needed for Passport office?

    Please advise.


  8. Hello,

    I sincerely need Help. My 4 month baby is in India and has received his Passport yesterday.
    But my name is appended in his Given Name and his Surname is Blank.
    Moreover since his Birth Certificate did not have Given Name and SurName separately but as {babyname+familyname}, the Indian Passport officials refuse to split the name.
    He will be travelling in a couple of weeks.

    I know that his H4 Visa is going to get FNU as Given Name; Please direct if there could be any future issues. I don’t want people to call my son as FNU either. Can I change his name in Passport after coming to US – Will there be any complications related to his Visa or travel.

    • Sam,
      Visa is issued with the name on the passport with FNU, if blank. At the moment, it may not be a major issue, but this has to be fixed from birth certificate. Birth Certificate will be root for many things, you should get that fixed first and then apply for passport re-issue in USA for the same with correct details. Then you can go for dropbox, next time when in India to get new visa issued as well…It is better to get the birth certificate fixed now, when your child is a baby…

  9. Hello,

    I have similar issue, I have L1-B visa and i visited US for few months.
    I was on temporary assignment so i do not have SSN, bank a/c, DL or state id from US.

    My First Name on visa is FNU and i will going to US soon in 1-2 months as permanent employee.

    I have few questions, kindly try to clarify –
    1. Should i get name correction in US or India
    2. If i do it in India, do i need to get my L1-b visa updated.
    3. Is there any documents i need to get updated?


    • If your Visa is already stamped ..It does not make sense to change anything . but if you are required to stamp your Visa again before departure then you should try to get a new passport with name split ( to get of FNU) on given name & surname . Again do not worry if Visa is already stamped with FNU ..you just need to add fnu everywhere in US …. you will get SSN,DL etc ..there should not be any problem

      • Thanks Piyush.

        As i already visited for few months but did not go for SSN, DL etc.
        If my company plan to file H1B then should i try to split name or it will be ok to keep on adding FNU.

        • If H1B means getting a fresh visa which I think is obvious if you are in India ( L1B stamp would not work for H1B petition) then it makes sense to get the H1B visa stamped on new passport that has both your name split across both sections ( given name & surname) . Name spilt in passport is very common and smooth process in India . it doers not require any newspaper ads or affidavits . However if you are already in US on your old L1B visa and file H1 in US then you probably would be better to keep it the way it is and consider this only when you visit India next time which would require fresh stamping . You can get fresh stamping on new passport with name split. Please note there should not be any issue with FNU on your visa just that you need to make sure you mention that everywhere ahead of your name.

  10. Hi,

    I don’t have a surname in my passport (my given name includes my surname) and my F-1 visa has FNU. My passport will be expiring in 4 months and I’m set to renew it in NY. Should I split my name at this point when my visa has FNU in it? If I do split my name, will that impact the status of my visa?

    Any advice will be appreciated. I’ve tried contacting the Indian consulate and USCIS and it’s been really tough getting any information.

  11. Hi,
    I am an Indian citizen residing in India.
    A few years back I modified the first name in my passport to a shorter version (which appears in all my other academic and official records). I had studied and worked in the US with my older passport, which had the longer version of my first name. My previous travels to the US were also with the older passport (bearing the longer first name).
    A few questions in this context:
    a. If I travel to the US in the future, if asked by US immigration or in any document, do I need to declare the shorter name in my new passport as a new name? I am confused because I am not sure if shortening ones first name is same as a “name change”.

    b. I will be applying for new US VISA using my new passport (all my older US VISAs have expired) and will be carrying both the old and new passports. Should I carry any other documents which establish proof of my name change so that I don’t face difficulty at the port of entry?

    Thanks much for your help.

    Swami Gangadharan

    • Swami Gangadharan,

      1. You have to mention the updated name (shortened one). Yes, this is name change
      2. Yes, you can carry those documents. In addition, DS-160 form asks if you have ever been known by any other name. Mention the old name there.

      New passport will have old passport number mentioned. So its validation from Indian government that the passports belong to the same individual even though name is different.

      • Hi Saurabh,

        Thanks a lot for the clarification and prompt response. A further question. This may sound a little trivial, but the reason I ask is I have heard that CBP officials are often rude and whimsical and force one into secondary screening or worse treatment if one makes even a minor error. At the port of entry, should I proactively declare (even before being asked) to the CBP official that the first names in the new and old passports are different. Or, should I clarify this point only if asked. I want to make sure that not disclosing the change in names is not construed as being dishonest (or hiding something). On the other hand disclosing something without being asked can be construed as “talking too much” and arouse unnecessary suspicion. Can you please clarify?

        Thanks and Regards,


  12. Dear moderator and other contributors,
    Thank you for the useful information given on this page. My query is related, with a slight difference. I would appreciate your response. Thanks

    My mother’s name is A B C.
    My mother’s passport incorrectly left her surname blank and gave the entire name as her given name: A B C. She was issued a B1/B2 visa until May 2022 with last name: A B C and given name: FNU.
    This passport is expired and she will apply for a new passport.
    Question 1
    Should she apply for a new passport under her correct name or continue with the incorrect name? She has not traveled with that visa yet. She will not need a SSN, driver’s license etc.
    Question 2
    If she applies for a new Indian passport under her correct name, will she have to apply for a name correction in the US visa? Or will she need to apply for a new visa?
    Question 3
    If you answered ‘yes’, above for applying for name correction in US visa, could you tell us the procedure and any related costs?

    Thank you

  13. JULY 3, 2016 15:57:04 CDTREPLY Anirudh Sivakumar

    I am a Student on F1 Visa and I had the same FNU issue in my Surname in the PASSPORT. I applied a new passport and got mine recently with right name. Now I have a few questions.

    1. My old Passport has my Visa in it and the Old passport is Cancelled since I got a new one. Now can I use my Old visa with wrong name in it to travel back, or should I re stamp a new Visa in my New Passport? If So how?

    2. Now that I tried with the CBP and USCIS for the change of Name in I-94, they refused to do it. They say I need to get back to India and while coming they would restamp and update my I-94 with the new name. In order to travel with the old I-94 which has my old Paspport’s number, Is it fine? Is there a procedure I should do before I travel?

    3. What is the procedure to stamp a new Visa in my New Passport once I get back to India? Where should I start?

    If someone could answer this at the earliest, It could be too helpful since I need to do a lot of work before I book tickets. Kindly Help me out.

    And I also wanted to really Appreciate that there’s a blog for the “CURSE OF FNU”. This could help a lot of people.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Anirudh Sivakumar

        • Anirudh,

          IMO, you don’t need a new visa stamp. You can return on current visa stamp as well by carrying both passports and both I-20s. At PoE, you can let the officer know that you updated your name in SEVIS and I-20 and are re-entering to get I-94 corrected (as suggested by CBP and USCIS).

          It is perfectly ok to travel when your visa stamp is in the old passport. The new passport mentions the old passport number and so are linked.

          • Hey,
            I have a blank space in surname in my passport but in the i20 the college have filled the surname with AAA and Middle name BBB
            Will their be any kind of problem

          • Mohammed,
            Well, it should not. I suggest you get your passport issue fixed, to have correct last name like in I20 before you proceed any further with visa stamping, etc to avoid issues in future.

  14. Please help me in below issue

    I have no surname in all of my docouments and my name is Amardeep only but in birth certificate there is surname mention and in my all docpments my father have surname mention
    How i get my surname in passport…

  15. Hello,
    My surname on passport is blank. My given name is listed as AAA BBB.
    My I20 which I have just received lists my surname as BBB and given name as AAA. Though it also says that my passport name is AAA BBB.

    Is this fine or the I20 should have “FNU” listed somewhere?


    • Hi Ashish,

      This is what happened to me. My son’s I20 came with sur name as CCC and given name as AAA BBB but in passport it is like AAA BBB CCC as given name. We went and filled the D160 similar to what is there in I20 and fixed the visa interview date. Later we reilased what we did was wrong. Had a word with immigartion center and their suggestion was to retrieve the old D160 and update with sur name as FNU which is the easiest way else go for a new passport and edit the old DS 160 with the new passport number.

      But what we did is we reapplied the passport for the name bifurcation and the next day we got the passort. With new passport number we retrieved the old D160, edited the new passport number and got a new confirmation barcode. When we went to the biometric center, informed the officer that there is a correction in the D160 and shown old/new passport and old/new D160. He asked us to use only the new D160 . Things went fine and the visa also got approved. Hope this helps.

      • Thanks.
        Unfortunately, I don’t have time left to change passport. This is whats going to happen –
        Surname: blank
        Given name: AAA BBB
        Surname: AAA BBB
        Given Name: FNU
        Surname: BBB
        Given Name: AAA

        The question now is should I get the I20 changed to “AAA BBB” for Surname and have Given name blank or “AAA” in Surname and “BBB” in Given Name?

        • Hi Ashish

          When you say visa, does it mean you have it already stamped or are you talking about DS160 / visa appointment?

          As for the corrected I20, you can request the university to send you a new one. You can meanwhile ask them to send you the scanned copy of the new I20 so that in case you dont receive your corrected I20 before your interview, you can show the scanned copy of the new I20, the old I20 and the email communication with the university of the I20 correction.

          This is as per my understanding and research. You can get in touch with the consulate for the confirmation .

        • Ashish,
          I feel, you do not need to get the I20 changed as that is your real name. Usually the name change in passport is still a better option, now a days you can get it done in almost 10 days. You can check with DSO for confirmation.

    • Ashish,
      Well, you do not need to have FNU listed on I20. I suggest you get your passport correct with proper surname, that will help you in the long term.

  16. H1B stamp: FNU My full name
    Recently got my passport renewed with my name bifurcated. All the other documents related to my stay in USA all have my correct name listed in them. It is just the visa stamp that has FNU in it because of how my name was written in my old pp.
    My H1B petition is valid until Aug 2017 but my i94 is set to expire in September this year. I am contemplating about going to Mexico and Canada but not sure if I will get my i94 extended there and also there will not be any problems based on how my name on my US visa has FNU in it but the new name in the passport does not. Can this mis-match be a problem at the POE?

    Should I go back to India and apply for a new visa with my corrected name in it? does any one here have any experience with the drop box facility in New Delhi. I have checked the criteria and I meet it. Will having FNU in my current visa be a problem while using drop box facility? Thank you.

  17. Hi !

    In the passport my First name is mention along with my last name. Can i make a correction on my new passport, which is about to get renewed and also my petition is already filled. And US visa department has issued a FNU against my name. Kindly suggest what should be done. Thanks in advance.

    Regards Kawaljeet Kaur.

    • Kawaljeet Kaur,

      1. Update the passport to get the name corrected
      2. Once H-1 is approved, file for amendment to get the name corrected in the petition
      3. Appear for H-1 visa stamping to get the visa stamp in the corrected name

  18. Hi,

    I am a Student on F1 Visa and I had the same FNU issue in my Surname in the PASSPORT. I applied a new passport and got mine recently with right name. Now I have a few questions.

    1. My old Passport has my Visa in it and the Old passport is Cancelled since I got a new one. Now can I use my Old visa with wrong name in it to travel back, or should I re stamp a new Visa in my New Passport? If So how?

    2. Now that I tried with the CBP and USCIS for the change of Name in I-94, they refused to do it. They say I need to get back to India and while coming they would restamp and update my I-94 with the new name. In order to travel with the old I-94 which has my old Paspport’s number, Is it fine? Is there a procedure I should do before I travel?

    3. What is the procedure to stamp a new Visa in my New Passport once I get back to India? Where should I start?

    If someone could answer this at the earliest, It could be too helpful since I need to do a lot of work before I book tickets. Kindly Help me out.

    And I also wanted to really Appreciate that there’s a blog for the “CURSE OF FNU”. This could help a lot of people.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Anirudh Sivakumar

  19. Hello guys ,
    My name is Ahmed, I also have an FNU problem. I got my F1 visa stamped last year and traveled to US with the fnu in my surname field in visa. But now I am in India for summer holidays so can I split my name here in India and get a new passport?? My given name in passport is “Ahmed Bakhtiyar Uz Zaman” , so I was thinking of spliting my name as
    Given name: Ahmed Bakhtiyar
    Surname: Uz Zaman

    Can any give me suggestion of splitting my name in India with US visa already stamped, any previous experience in this same issue would be of great help.
    Thank you.

  20. Hi Kumar,

    Thanks for writing this blog. Even though this is a bit old, I found this very useful. I am in US on F-1 visa with first name as FNU. I am not going to reapply for visa, but other documents are fine now.


  21. Hello Kumar,
    My problem is that my passport does not have a surname and neither of my documents have my surname.I have taken GRE and TOEFL exams.
    My passport is
    Given name Arpita
    Surname Blank
    I have already applied to USA for Phd.I am worried about my I-20 and new rules of Sevis.Now if i get a new passport would that create a problem as my name in University Application Form and New passport will not match.Shall i get new passport

    • Arpita,
      As Piyush and others suggested, go for it. You can always attach a Name Reference Sheet and ask the DSO to issue the I20 with new details. It should be fine. I suggest you get your Last name thing corrected now, rather than later to avoid issues.

      • Thank you for your valuable suggestion.I asked the University and they are ready to accept my new passport.Now i need 1 more suggestion
        My given name is Arpita
        I want to add my surname which is “Walia”.My father’s name is Sukhchain Singh. He has not added Walia to his name.So Can i get passport With surname Walia? If yes , will it cause any problem in Visa?

        • It does not make sense . you can still put ‘walia’ but that will follow normal name change process. newspaper ad ,sworn affidavit etc. why do you want to put something that is not present in any section of your fathers name. The purpose is to add something to the surname and easiest option is get some part of your fathers name preferably last name as your surname which would be ‘Singh’.
          That can be done easily without any sworn affidavit , newspaper ad….. I would advise just add your fathers full name or just last name as your surname …instead of going for something which is completely new like walia.

        • Arpita,
          It does not matter. Passport office will ask for proof, either from birth certificate or your X class certificate. You will need to provide that. It should not create any issues with visa. The old and new passports will be linked. Once you get new passport, you should get all other documents from Univ on this name.

          • I dont have the surname on any of them.I have just used Arpita as my name.Now both are major name changes.I have to give ad in two newspapers and sworn affidavit

  22. Hi i have the same issues of FNU so i have corrected my name by spliting it in india as i am here for summer vacation and i have 30 more days. So how to correct the name in F1 Visa and other documents like i20 ,i94? And can i travel back without correction in my visa here and later on when i reach usa i can correct.. please suggest me some thing … i have done two semester and two more are left

  23. pls i need your help on this issue.

    On my passport i have my given name as: Damilare Emmanuel

    on my i20 and other school documents i av my given name as: Dare Emmanuel

    my surname is correct on all documents

    The Damilare is shortened as Dare…..i hope there won’t be problem on this?

    am on F1 visa and my interview is next week

    please i need your view on this

    • Dare,
      You need to have everything reflect your name on the passport. I suggest you speak to DSO and get your new I20 for the same. You cannot use short forms like that for your name, unless it is really long and multiple words, then they make take initials..in your case, it does not apply.

  24. Hi,

    I have corrected my Passport by splitting my name. Can someone tell me how to change it in my I-94? It’s FNU in my First Name in the I-94. Its pretty urgent. Could someone help?


    • you need to get it corrected in visa first. I-94 is based on your stamped Visa . For Visa you need to wait for your extension or file amendment . Once you have that approved you can get visa stamped when you go out of US and based on that I-94 gets restamped when you enter again….There is no other straight way of doing this

      • But people have corrected their I-94 without leaving U.S. I have heard that you should visit U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP office) to change your name. Correct me if I’m wrong.

        • Arun Vikram,

          Here is how the information flows: Your passport -> Your petition -> Your visa stamp -> Your I-94. So in order to correct I-94, the previous documents need to be corrected.

          People can get I-94 corrected easily for things like expiration date but not for name change.

          In your case, H-1 amendment needs to be applied for name change. Hopefully it will arrive w/ updated I-94 and will take care of both 797 and I-94. Next time you travel outside of US, you can get visa stamp updated.

          • Anirudh,

            Not 100% sure about F-1 holders, but I assume it would involve getting new I-20 with updated name and then a visit to CBP office. Maybe your DSO can suggest.

      • Hey Piyush,

        Thanks for that. But now if I can just get back to India and comeback, will they restamp by I-94? Or should I restamp my visa on my new passport? For your info, I’m here on a student F 1 visa.


      • Hey Piyush,

        Thanks for that. But now if I can just get back to India and comeback, will they restamp by I-94? Or should I restamp my visa on my new passport? For your info, I’m here on a student F 1 visa.


  25. hi. i do not have last name in any of my document. What would I require to get the last name added on my passport.as it is mandatory part to get H1B ??I am still to apply for passport.

    • It is not mandatory to have surname( last name) in your passport to get H1B visa stamped . But it is mandatory in visa to have a last name so US immigration havetheir own way of doing that . they usually shift your first name to your surname section in visa and your first name becomes FNU ( firs name unknown).
      So your stamped visa would looking something like FNU Shalini. you can still fly to US without any issues but in US you might have issues in getting your SSN , drivers license as your visa and passport information would conflict . In some states you could still get SSN and/or drivers license but you will be known as FNU shalini on those documents. It is always better to have a last name in your Indian passport to avoid this . you could easily add your husbands name as your last name and you will get it perfectly in all subsequent documents. If you are not married and if you dont yet have an passport you can add your fathers name in the surname section in passport . passport is unique document and it doesnot have to match exactly to your all other documents like education , birth certificate esp when you have the same given name just you add extra last name as your fathers name. I would recommend that when you get your passport so that your visa is stamped with first name and a last name.

      • Thanks Piyush for reverting. 🙂

        So that means i can simply apply for passport and would nt need any newspaper adv and all.Right?

        And since I will be adding my father’s name as my last name so that wont require and mandate to be matched with name mentioned in my other documents.Is it??

        • yes just add your fathers last name as your surname when you apply for your passport. Later on you can update it with your husband ‘s . your passport is your first document that is looked upon for all immigration purposes. Since your first name remai s same you should not have any problem tallying with any of your previous documents imcluding petitions and education docs

  26. Sir,
    If given name indicates first name .
    Then why that FNU come from ?
    Because my surname is blank in my ID
    Given name is tsering dolma in my I D

    • Yes, if your surname is blank in passport, it is common to get FNU in any records. You should get your passport corrected with correct Surname and First Name ( Given Name )

    • FNU stands for first name unknown. In US last name is mandatory so if you dont have the surname section of your indian passport filled they will shift your first name as your last name and put FNU in your first name so that you appear something like Mr. FNU xyx. It is always recommeded to add your suranme in your passport before getting visa stamped .

  27. Dear sir
    My surname is blank in my I’D
    My given name is tsering dolma.
    My interview will be on 20 July .In my interview letter written my name as FNU tsering dolma.
    1)the FNU on interview letter will it effect my visa ?
    2)how can I do that FNU should not come to my visa ?
    3)should I correct in my identity card ?
    4)is it possible that I can do it now because my interview is approaching near.
    5)how long will it take to change in Identity card .as I m refugee so we have only identity card which is yellow colour.
    6)are they will change it into correct in embassy (mumbia)
    Kindly reply me ..

    • tsering,
      1. It will not affect your visa stamping. it is common.
      2. Well, you need to get your passport corrected before that.
      3. yes.
      4. Yes, you should do it before the visa interview.
      5. Well, I do not know, I suggest you speak to your passport office or embassy…
      6. As I said, I am not sure about your situation, I suggest you speak to the embassy or passport office.

  28. Hi,
    My name is Harsh and I do not have a last name. In my passport given name – Harsh
    Surname – left blank

    Whereas while applying for tourist visa I was advised during the process to put name in DS-160 form as
    Surname – Harsh
    Given name- FNU
    My visa was approved and printed as above.
    Will that be a problem while visiting the. US ?

    • Harsh,
      it should not be a problem, if you are just visiting. If you plan to live or work there and get US driving license, SSN, it may create some issues…

      • Thanks Kumar for the prompt reply….
        Yes I am just visiting for a short trip but plan to tour internally in the US via flight. Will my different names as stated above create an issue over there while at an US airport ?

  29. Hi,
    As per my 10th , 12th and graduation certificate my name is Kumar Nikunj .
    In passport the surname is blank and given name is Kumar Nikunj .
    I want to split the name, but if I am bit confused.
    If I keep the surname as Kumar and given name as NIKUNJ the actual name would be reversed as Nikunj Kumar.
    What should I do in this case, should I keep given name as Kumar and surname as Nikunj?
    I will be applying for US visa shortly _ request your help for the same.

    • Nikunj,

      You should split the name into two. If you want to be called out as A B, then keep A as given name and B as surname – whether A is Nikunj or Kumar – that you have to figure out.

  30. Can we do name burification whike staying is us on F1 or we have to wait till the completion of program?

    I will b going for masters program for fall16
    Please help

    • Yes you can bifurcate your name while staying in the United States. But you have to apply for a new passport form your region of Indian Consulate. CKGS has newly partnered with the Indian consulate and they do this service.
      You have to select split your name when you start applying in the CKGS WEBSITE.

  31. Hi,
    In my passport my surname is blank. I got picked for H1B visa and ready to stamp. I have few question –
    1) Can I reissue my new passport with split name and give use the same for visa stamping.
    2) If visa stamped will happen in old passport and than I will get new passport with split name, will it be any problem in Port of entry. What name they will consider?

    • This is the perfect time to get new passport with split name( name bifurcation) and get visa stamped only on new passport otherwise you will have your visa stamped as FNU xyz. I did it last year and it is a simple process . just re apply for passport ..select others and put description as name bifurcation . nothing else is required…no affidavit no newspaper notices ..as it is just name split. you should get your pasport with name split pretty soon and then you can get visa stamped on your new passport. there will not be any issue either with your approved petition which might show your name as FNU( unknown), xyz per your old passport. just make sure you carry both your old and new passport everywhere and when you fill up DS 160 make sure you do it as per new passport with proper split name. I did it last year and I had no issues even though in my petition my name was per old passport ( blank surname , full given name) . I carried both passports….and I was good.

      • Hi Sir,

        I’m also facing similar problem with my son’s passport. He don’t have the sur name in passport. But when we filled DS 160 sur name field is mandatory and we put his last name there. Now in I20, DS160 and visa interview application all looks same with sur name but in passport it is empty.
        My question here is if I apply for a new passport how it will effect the forms which I already submitted.


        • Phenny,
          You can create a new DS-160 form and use that for visa interview. You can carry the old passport and new passport, attach copies and reference as required in other places. The new passport will have the old passport reference in it. It should be fine.

          • Hi Kumar,

            Thank you for your quick response.

            One more query here – my son is applying for a F2 visa(dependant) along with my wife(F1).Their visa appointment is already booked and confirmed. Since the confirmation has the DS 160 confirmation number in it, will there be a problem because of the new DS160 number mismatch with his existing visa confirmation ?

          • Phenny,
            Just carry both the printed forms, it should be fine. Call the customer service to get it clarified as well.

      • Hi Piyush
        Thanks for all the information. Just one question. Did you avail the dropbox facility when you got your second visa, with your bifurcated name, stamped on your new passport.
        I have this problem. My first H1B visa had FNU Vinod Kumar. When my passport expired, I got my passport renewed with my bifurcated name. I have filled the DS160 with the correct name and am ready to book an appointment to get second H1B stamped. I qualify for the dropbox facility. My second H1B application says “Vinod” as first name and “Kumar” as last name.
        Would you advise going ahead with the dropbox or it is risky ?

    • Hi Dhiraj,

      I would suggested to get that corrected before you appear for stamping. In US Blank Surname would certainly create additional headache for you. While remain in India its much easier to get your passport corrected and renewed before stamping. I did the same thing before stamping and I would suggest the same to you as well.


  32. Hi,

    Can someone provide the sample news paper ad statement for Name Split. In My case it is NOT name change, it is NAME SPLIT . Surname is blank in my passport and entire name is provided in Given name. e.g.
    Surname : _________
    Given Name : ABC FGH XYZ

    i want to split my name as below :

    Surname : ABC
    Given Name : FGH XYZ

    kindly help in providing the news paper ad sample statement for this scenario. Thank you in advance!!

    • you do not need anything for name split . just reapply for passport ..check others section and put description as name bifurcation . It is very common practice which theya re aware of and do not need any affidavit or newspaper notices… I got it done last year….

      • Hi Piyush,
        The passport renewal process has become online and I couldn’t locate a section for others. Can you please guide on where to mention name “bifurcation” .. as you have sensed correctly, I have gone through hell lot of inconvenience.

        Your guidance is appreciated.


      • Hi Piyush,

        After updating the passport(Name Bifurcation) how to update the US visa(H1B)?
        Do we need to ask our employer to file a name amendment? or can we do it ourself? Please help me with this

  33. Hi, my wife visa is approved but on her DS-260 forms we forgot to put her middle name in .But on her passport and all other documents her middle name is present. I want know that for visa stamping Us consulate is going to use her passport information or Ds-260 information.

    • Tj,

      They use DS-160 form. You said visa is approved, so she has already appeared for stamping, correct? Or do you still need to schedule her visa stamping interview? What visa category is this for?

  34. Hi Kumar,

    I got in to same FNU problem and having tough time with SSN. SSN officer is not ready to put FNU in place of first name and they have left it blank. Because of which i am not able to run credit report. rest you can imagine what is happening 🙂

    Now to fix this i got my name corrected ( split of Given name and Surname).
    When i went to USCIS (with infopass appointment) they refused to do any change and asked me to talk to cbp.
    Cbp says they will go with VISA name and they will not change.

    Option 1:
    If i transfer my H1 from company A to company B. Will the new petition and I-94 will reflect name as per new passport?
    Typically is any attorney considers new passport for filing the petition?

    Option 2:
    Can company A file H1b amendment? if yes, will i get new I-94 with updated name?

    • Ankur,
      Yes, if someone files for a new petition, they would use the latest passport details. Yes, that could be an option to get it amended, but not sure how they will process. One of other things I have seen users do is to go for drop box visa stamping with new passport, indicating the change. I suggest you discuss the options with your H1B attorney and do what sounds right.

  35. i admin,

    Please suggest me how to proceed with this case

    My old passport is having myou surname and given name details correctly . But in my new passport surname and given name are intetchanged.I am planning to go for passport reissue.What id proof I can produce?

  36. Hi,

    I have one questions, I am planning to file h4 visa for my spouse who carries a single name without last name so as her passport.Now, if her visa carry FNU GivenName(Last name), Will that create any problem in US like getting licenses and all ? Since her certificates and all the documents carry a single name,we are not planning to change it in passport to have a last name as it would mismatch her name in other documents(including certificates) .

    Please advice.

  37. Hi admin,

    Please suggest me how to proceed with this case

    My old passport is having maternal surname. Now I am planning to change surname to my husband’s family name.But I don’t have any address proof with my husband’s family name or address. In this case what id proof I can produce?

  38. Hi Kumar/Team,

    1797 form suranme and givemname will be filled based on passport details?
    In my passport surname is empty but give name is fullname(surname+givename)
    now i am going to apply for name bifurcation.
    is there any possibility that in i797 will get currect data?

    • hydfolk,

      You can use correct names in your I-129 form (which is the basis for 797) and continue working on getting your passport corrected. When appearing for stamping, use the new passport to get the visa stamped.

  39. Hi Admin,
    Please help me with below issue.

    In my passport my surname and given name are interchanged and i got H4 visa with same details.But all my educational certificates have surname and given name correctly.

    I am planning to travel to US in April2016 and can i travel with same passport/visa without doing re-issue?Or it will be a problem?If i can travel with same passport/visa what supporting docs i should carry?

    • I don’t think you will have any problems at the port of entry. However, if you want to apply for a job, you might have problems. At the airport they look at the passport and visa, if those things match, you might not have any problems. It’s always better to get things corrected. If you wish to correct it, you need to get a new passport and a new visa.

      This is not a legal advice

    • samathakoora,

      If you are ok to live w/ the swapped names as long as you are in US, it is ok. Like other poster mentioned, your passport name matches visa stamp and that’s what matters at PoE etc.

  40. Hi Admin team,

    I have the same problem that in my passport name section as below:

    Given Name: XXX YYY
    Surname :

    Now If i don’t have any document with surname mentioned, is there any possibility to add my surname in passport.

    Please suggest.


    • Kanhaiya,
      Yes, you should get it fixed. You can apply for passport re-issue to have surname. Your 10th class marks list should have initial right ? that would be your surname info. If nothing, just split the name and pick that makes sense to be a surname. Again, this surname has to be part of current name in documents.

      • Hi Kumar,

        Thanks for the prompt response.

        I am going to apply for passport , as the older one is going to expire.
        Is it possible to have two passports with different names for a single person.

        Any of document don’t have surname info. what shall I do in this case.

        Please suggest.


        • Kanhaiya,
          As long as you have legal documents indicating your name changes or the first one was a mistake and missed some parts of your name, it should be fine. It is quite common for many to not have their surname and have it as blank in passport and they later re-issue to get surname. It is your initial in your certificates that becomes your surname, you need to expand it.

  41. Hi,

    I have applied for a short term course in US. And after filling the form they have asked me that for clearence its better that i shouldn’t leave the surname blank which it was in my passport , so i have contacted an agent and she asked me to update the Aadhar card and i have added a surname in the Aadhar card and she said that on that basis i can add the new surname in the blank space in the surname section.
    Now i have came through this article and saw that i can apply for name change and get a new passport. Can i still do that by submitting a copy of my old passport and splitting the given name into ASAD and ABBAS.

  42. I have only given name in my passport and no surname
    Now while filling visa application and alien registration formform what should i fill in surname and given name because surname field can’t be left blank in form

    • Sher Dhaliwal,
      You would fill it as FNU. Read the above article again. To avoid future issues, it is recommended that you fix your passport issues, before you apply for visa or any other steps.

  43. HI ,

    I am planning to split my name ,I have some question please help me

    1. Will the reissued new passport have the expiry date also updated or it will have the old date as old passport?

    2. will the correct the name in passport first page or just write the observation.

    3. Can you please send me Sworn Affidavit Sample ..this document it very confusing — (preetrajusa {at} gmail {dot} com)

    4. how you get your i 94 updated

    • Preet Raj,
      1. It will have new expiry date with 10 years validity
      2. it will be a new passport with changes.
      3. We do not have samples, you can check with embassy
      4. I think, it is fine to be it that way. When you leave the country and come back, it will get updated. You can call USCIS and check, if there are options for that.

      • Thanks Kumar for the reply.

        Sworn Affidavit is very confusion, so if you can help me .

        In form there is no different area (blanks) for First Name and Last Name so it will be basically same except one field where its 2 different fields for first name and last name

        Say my name on passport : given name – Preet Raj
        suname –

        want to split it as : given name – Preet
        suname – Raj

        How i can fill the affidavit

  44. Thank you Kumar.
    can I and my father have different surname on passport ?

    my name is Mohd abdul ahad yahiya and my father name is mohd abdul aleem, so should i use “Mohd” as my surname or ‘Yahiya’.
    if i use ‘Mohd’ as my surname , my full name will become ‘Abdul Ahad Yahiya Mohd’ which will not match my educational doucuments.
    if i use ‘Yahiya’ as surname , my name will be as per my documents, but its not in my fathers name to proof it as my surname .
    what should i do. Please help me

    • yahiya,
      You should use the name that is on your birth certificate or 10th class marks sheet. Your father’s surname can be different from your surname, there is no such requirement. All what matters is documentation that says that your name matches in documents with your passport name and your father name also matches with the name in birth certificate.

  45. Hi,

    So I have got my name split done on the following documents at the Chicago Embassy with the Sworn Affidavit Document:

    1. Passport
    2. i-20
    3. US Driving License
    4. SSN
    5. i-94

    Now the only document remaining is my US visa. How do I go about the same? Do I need to get back to India to get the correction done in the US visa as well? Currently, I am on F1 visa. If I need to apply for a new visa, would I need to provide all the proof as per the requirements for F1 visa. I have already graduated and hope to start work soon.


    • shasub,
      Well, the only option is to go for visa stamping. You would be eligible for dropbox, so you can give that a shot to get it corrected.

    • Hi.

      Could you please tell me how you corrected your name in your I-94 after correcting it on your passport? It’s pretty urgent.


    • Dear Shasub,

      Could you please explain how you corrected your name in the I 94? It’s pretty urgent since I m in the stage where I have split my name on my passport and have to get it done in the I94. Pls help

  46. I dont have surname on my passport, i have goven my IELTS & GRE on this passport. If i apply for reissue of my passport i will get a new passport number, will my IELTS & GRE will still be valid, after getting new passport ?

    • Yahiya,
      Yes, you will get a new passport number, but the good part is that, the new one will have a section that tells the old passport number. So, technically you will be covered, you can always show that or send photo copy of the same for clarification. Yes, it will be valid.

      • Hey,
        Did u apply for new passport. All your situation got fixed or are there any problems.Are the universities ready to accept your scores.

  47. I’m in L1 Visa , i have the same issue. I’m planning to get my passport corrected and who will it work? Will it be treated like new Visa or just name correction?

  48. Please help me with below issue.

    In my passport my surname and given name are interchanged and i got H4 visa with same details.But all my educational certificates have surname and given name correctly.

    If i am planning to correct passport in India do i need to reply for visa or name correction in passport is good enough?Please suggest me.I am planning to travel to US in April2016

  49. Dis anyone actually use this method of advertising in the two News Papers?
    I am sure I can get it done in the Indian Newspaper but I heard from various sources that for doing a name change ad in the US news Paper(I am in Michigan) they require a notice to the attorney and hearing dates information along with it?
    I was about to initiate the procedure and thought would get some first hand info.

    Thank you,

    • Hi Selva,

      Did you published that ad in newspapers? Can you please tell me how much did it cost? And how did you contacted them?



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