Home > tavant, usa > The Curse Of The FNU

The Curse Of The FNU

September 17, 2007

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
–From Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

I recently relocated from Tavant’s Bangalore office to the US one. I work in the San Francisco Bay Area on an H-1B visa. One of the first pieces of paperwork one needs to get done here in the US is to get a Social Security Number (SSN). My application for an SSN was rejected twice before it was eventually accepted – this post describes how I got it fixed.

On my Indian passport my name is listed as:

Given Name : Binil David Thomas
Surname :

Yes, the geniuses at Cochin passport office left the surname field blank! From the US Consulate, Chennai website (emphasis mine):

To process your visa cases efficiently, we recommend your surname and the given name written separately on the first page (the biographic data page) of your passport.

Surname (last name): Wesley
Given name (first name): John Edward

Once your visa is approved, the immigrant and the nonimmigrant visas will be printed as your name appears in your passport. If you do not have a surname listed separately, your entire name will be printed on the surname field of the visa. Your first name will be printed as “FNU” (first name unknown), per U.S. visa regulations.

By having “FNU” listed as your given name on your visa, you may have difficulty obtaining a driver’s license and social security card in the United States.

I did not notice this website before I went to get my visa stamped on my passport. Thus my name on the passport was listed as:

First Name : FNU
Last Name : Binil David Thomas

I am assuming that many databases might have the LASTNAME as a NON-NULL column, hence this weird formation “FNU BINIL DAVID THOMAS”. When I entered USA, being the dutiful gentleman that I am, I wrote my name on my I-94 exactly as it was in my visa.

My first application to get an SSN was rejected on the basis that the name on my passport (BINIL DAVID THOMAS) and the name on my I94 (FNU BINIL DAVID THOMAS) do not match up. I was asked to get an observation added by Indian authorities to my passport listing my name correctly. I went to San Francisco consulate, filled out the miscellaneous form (pdf), paid $10, and got a note added on my passport. The process was very straightforward and I am told (see map_boiler’s post at 07-25-2007, 11:08 AM) that there are mail-in procedures too. Here is the net result (click to enlarge):

Passport annotation

Armed with this note on my passport, I applied for an SSN again. This time the officer was willing to accept my application, but when she checked my immigration records my name there was listed as:

First Name: Olena
Last Name : Binil David Thomas

‘Olena’ is definitely not my name and nobody in my family is named so. 🙂 This I think was a genuine clerical or software error!

To get it corrected, I contacted the US Citizenship & Immigration Services(USCIS) office on the phone. They instructed me to take an appointment with USCIS San Francisco office and speak to an immigration officer. I explained my case to an immigration officer. She checked my petition papers and recommended my case to a Customs & Border Protection CBP officer located in the same building. The CBP officer issued me a new I-94 with my name as:

First Name: Binil David
Last Name : Thomas

Corrected I-94

So, now both my passport and my I-94 had the same name and in the right form! I applied for SSN again with the corrected I-94 with Binil as my first name, David as my middle name and Thomas as my surname – and this time my application was accepted. 🙂

Update Sep 13 2012: This post was written 5 years ago. I suspect that most of the information in the post is outdated. The comments still have useful information. I no longer keep track of the FNU issue, so I am disabling further comments on this post. Thanks for reading!

Categories: tavant, usa
  1. Anna
    October 16, 2007 at 6:44 am

    FNU? hihi…

  2. October 28, 2007 at 4:41 am


    Seems like the Cochin office did this to a lot of people. I had the same situation, The immigration team at my company didnt even warn me…but thankfully for me the SSN in the east coast has a procedure evolved, where in my name was applied as “UNKNOWN”, Kiran L :)u applied for a license?…i did and got rejected…was searching the web for solutions and stumbled into ur post..neways…all the best 🙂

    • Parvinder
      August 3, 2011 at 3:16 am

      Dear , Did you able to fix that prblem of FNU? I am in same situation please advice.

  3. anupam
    November 12, 2007 at 9:40 am

    dear Binil,

    I am almost facing the same situation.My nme is Anupam Kumar.It has been prrnted as Anupam kumar in given name and sur name empty!!I will have to apply for visa in three weeks.It is emergency.I did find the chennai consulate office telling that i can face problems later.Please suggest to me what i should do.help.


    • Parvinder
      August 3, 2011 at 3:16 am


  4. November 14, 2007 at 10:21 am


    Thanks for dropping by to comment.

    My application for the license went fine. I have the temporary driving license for 60 days now. I am not sure if I will run into issues when I finish my road test 🙂 Will keep you posted here.

    Good Luck!


  5. November 14, 2007 at 10:23 am


    IANAL, but I think you should contact the passport office which issued your passport and add an annotation clarifying your name (like https://binil.files.wordpress.com/2007/09/annotation.jpg). My wife got this added to her passport recently from Cochin passport office. It can be done in a day – especially if you know somebody in the passport office.

    Good Luck!


  6. Sunil Prasad
    November 22, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    Hi Bini,

    I have the same FNU problem in my VISA too. I refer your comments that how had you resolved you passport problem by spilt your name in correct way.
    But please tell me, how this resolve your VISA name problem (FNU and full name in VISA)?
    One more thing, what is the correct approach to do while filling I-94, SSN or any other form in such case where you have only single name? Or in all case first we need to do split process in US and then other things?

  7. Rana
    November 27, 2007 at 9:59 am

    Hello binil,

    Thanks for writing this. It is really helpful. I have a question though. I have a visa interview very soon and in my passport the complete name is given under surname and given name is blank (done from Kozhikode passport office). I am planning to get an endorsement from Kozhikode passport office separating my name and surname .. However will that safeguard me against the FNU problem ? As this endorsement will be done inside the passport and the passport front page will still be the same (with given name blank) !!! Or do I need to get a fresh passport ? In short my question is while issuing visa will then che ck any endorsement done inside the passport regarding the name spilt?

    regards !!

  8. November 27, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    Hi Rana,

    AFAIK, getting the observation added on your passport should solve the FNU issue for you. When you fill the forms for taking the consulate appointment (D156 and one other form), write your first and last names. Notice this section on the consulate website:

    If you would like to correct the surname and given name fields on your passport biographic data page, you must have an observation made in your passport by the Indian Passport Authorities. In order for your name to be correctly printed on your visa, you must have this observation made before coming for your interview.

    IANAL etc,

  9. Sunil Prasad
    November 28, 2007 at 5:33 pm

    Hi bini,

    do you have any comments about my query too? I am waiting for your reply.
    Please refer coment no 6 above.


  10. November 28, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    Hi Sunil,

    I don’t know enough to comment on your case.

    On my visa my name still has the FNU. But all my subsequent documents – I-94, SSN, DL etc – has my name properly split and without the FNU.

    I am unsure how to handle cases where you don’t have a lastname. I would recommend contacting the passport office in India.


  11. Sandeep
    December 18, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    Hi Binil,
    I too have my name in passport listed like yours under Given Names I have Sandeep Mulia whereas my visa stamping says FNU Sandeep Mulia.Is it ok to enter in I-94 form First name as Sandeep and Family Name as Mulia ?? will this solve the problem.Will the Indian passport authorities in US insist on going for a new passport instead of an observation being made ?? Please let me know.


  12. Sandeep
    December 18, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    Hi Binil,
    One more thing did you have to go to an attorney to substantiate your claims of first name being Binil.Did you submit any affidavit or anything of that sort ??


  13. December 18, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    Sandeep, thank you for dropping by to comment.

    I think you can enter first name as Sandeep and Mulia as surname. But that won’t solve the problem. You need to have the observation added on your passport (similar to one I have got now).

    I did not have to go to an attorney or submit and affidavit. And no, you don’t need a new passport either – just an observation added to your existing passport. I did this a few months ago – so I am not sure if rules have changes since. But my wife and another friend got this observation added on their respective passports from India as recently as 3 months ago.

    IANAL etc.
    Good Luck!

  14. Sandeep
    December 19, 2007 at 5:54 am

    Hi Binil,
    Thanks a ton for the reply.I was just wondering if the US immig authorities scrutinize this.I know i will end up following the same process as you have.Since i came to know I-94 is the master control document referred for SSN and drivers license and also my petition has my name listed correctly first name and last name , So was wondering if i can use this as the a proof and fill up I-94.This will solve one problem at port of entry itself,Later on i need to get an observation done.
    How tedious are the processes at INS dept and SSN offices ?? I’m paranoid looking at the procedures here itself.


  15. December 19, 2007 at 7:42 am

    Hi Sandeep,

    Yes, you can write your name properly on the I-94 on entry – since the petition has your name in that format, it should not be a problem. The processes at USCIS office was straightforward for me (just make sure that you take an online appointment prior to going). Getting an SSN is straightforward too – once you have your name corrected 🙂

    If you have the option of getting the observation added to your passport while in India, I would recommend that.

    IANAL and other warnings,
    Binil 🙂

  16. Sandeep
    December 20, 2007 at 5:18 am

    Hi Binil,
    Thanks a billion for the help once again.No here they are suggesting to go for a new passport which i don’t want to at this time.
    You’re help regarding this FNU thingy was of great use.


  17. Sandeep
    January 3, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Hi Binil,
    I got an observation added on my passport.One thing that seems to have changed is they will ask you to write a letter stating how the name is , in passport and how it should be read and then get it attested by the notary who is just across the road.K C Corner (Landmark)


  18. January 3, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    Hi Sandeep,

    Thats great news! Thanks for posting.

    Bon voyage!

  19. Sushil
    January 7, 2008 at 10:26 pm


    Did you need to attach photo to the application for getting the observation added?


  20. January 8, 2008 at 1:47 am


    I think I did not attach a photograph to the application, although I am not 100% sure.


  21. gurnoor
    January 10, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    hii all,
    i am gurnoor kaur. i am facing a similar prob with the name and surname. the us helpline ppl told me to write FNU as first and middle name and my full name as surname as my passport doesnt have anything against the surname column! i dont have much time to get the passort corrected before applying for the visa.
    my query is THAT if i go by FNU this time ( i need just a 10-day visa this time)and need a visa later may be say after an year or so and i get my name and surname on my passport rectified by then…will i be able to get a visa then? or the FNU issue will hamper the visa procedue then?

    please reply, its urgent!
    thanks in advance!!!

  22. January 10, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    Gurnoor, IANAL, but my guess is that getting the visa now with the FNU would not stop you from getting a visa later with your correct name if you get the observation added to your passport in the interim.

  23. gurnoor
    January 11, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    thank you so much for the reply binil!
    i am indeed very grateful to you:) 🙂 🙂

  24. Sameer
    January 13, 2008 at 12:43 am

    Hi Binil – Thank you so much on posting the details and helping us out.We have a similar problem. I am on H1B visa and my wife is on H4 visa. My wife has the following details:

    Passport :
    Given Name : Divya Kishore
    Last Name :

    VISA :
    Given Name : FNU
    Surname : Divya Kishore

    I 94 ( Before leaving for India – she is in India right now)
    Given Name : FNU
    Surname : Divya Kishore

    We had applied for her drivers license card three months back and did not get it. We went to the drivers license branch and they said that her name in the drivers license application ( Divya Kishore ) does not match to her I94. I wanted to know , when she comes to US this time how should she fill her I94 document. Should it be as :

    Given Name : Divya Kishore
    Surname :


    the same way as it appears in her visa.

    Please advise.

  25. January 13, 2008 at 4:25 am

    Sameer, I am not a lawyer and my advice is highly likely to be inaccurate. 🙂

    Since you asked, I think Divya should try to get the observation added on her passport clarifying the split of her name into first name and last name. If she gets that done, she can write her name properly on the I-94 on when she gets back. If she does not get the observation, she should try to get her name on the I-94 the way she would have least trouble in future viz. given name: Divya and surname: Kishore. She can carry partially filled extra I-94 forms with her (she can ask the stewardess on the air plane), so that should the CBP officials have issue with that name she can quickly whip out another form. But IMHO, now that she is in India, try get the observation added.

    Again, IANAL.

    Good luck,

  26. Shankar
    January 15, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    Dear Binil,
    Appreciate this post of yours which has regained the confidence in me to get away with the ‘FNU – Curse’ from my Visa. In my case I already have got the SSN with ‘no’ First Name and Masilamani Shankar as my last name. Now I have problem getting the Driver’s license. Since my passport got expired in Sept’2007, I got the first name and last name corrected in my new passport. While the problem still lies with the I94 and my visa. My Question is:
    1. Whether I should get a note from Indian Embassy, similar to what you did, with the FN and LN correctly mentioned?
    2. Then go to the DHS/USCIS to get the I94 corrected (Is that possible)?
    3. After correction of I94, will the SSN office accept my application for correcting the FN and LN on their records?
    Please help.


  27. Priya
    January 17, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Hi Binil,

    I have the same problem as you had and I was checking the application form that u filled in. I was wondering where in the application form did you mention that your surname has to be changed to Thomas and First name to Binil David. Another doubt is which service did you put a tick mark on… Was it the Others (specify)? Kindly respond.
    Thanks a lot

  28. January 17, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Hi Priya,

    Thanks for dropping by to comment.

    > I was wondering where in the application form did you mention that your surname has to be changed to Thomas and First name to Binil David.
    Yes, I mentioned something like “Adding observation clarifying my first name as ‘Binil David’ and surname as ‘Thomas'”.

    > Another doubt is which service did you put a tick mark on… Was it the Others (specify)?
    Yes, I chose the “Others” option.

    Good luck!

  29. Sushil
    January 18, 2008 at 12:32 am

    I got the observation added in my passport by mailing the passport to SFO. Next step for me is to get it corrected in green card. Looks like I need to file form I-90. Does anyone know whether this name correction comes in the category of administrative error or do I need to pay the big fee of $370?

  30. January 18, 2008 at 12:51 am

    Shankar, I don’t know enough about the issues involved. Sorry, but I don’t think I can be of help to you.

  31. Pras
    January 29, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    I just got the endorsement on my passport to split my name. I went to the SFO consulate. You can do the process by mail too. I don’t think I will have to update my VISA or anything.. but going forward all my documents will be free from this FNU problems. Specially, next year when I am planning to apply for my Green card.

  32. Rajnish
    January 30, 2008 at 7:32 pm


    I just reached USA and I have got exactly the same problem with my name.

    In my passport:
    Given Name: Rajnish

    In my Visa:
    Surname: Rajnish
    Given name: FNU

    I have got my name changed in India last year from “Rajnish” to “Rajnish Sinha” and it is notarized with first class magistrate there and published in a leading newspaper in Delhi.
    But somehow I was not able to change the name in my passport.

    Now I am in USA and I entered the following details in my I-94
    Family name:
    First (Given) Name: Rajnish

    I am not sure as what was entered in system by the Immigration officer at the port of entry in Seattle.

    I am on H1B here and my original petition contains my name as “Sinha, Rajnish”

    Now I have to for applying SSN and I am not sure what name I should apply the same?
    Names are not matching in VISA and I-94.

    So far I have maintained my same name as in Passport and in I-94 as Rajnish.

    Can I use my name as Rajnish Sinha in SSN and produce the change of name affidavit?

    Please help if any of you have any idea about it.
    Thanks in advance.


  33. vidya
    January 30, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    I have the same FNU problem on my visa as i dont have a surname in my passport. I went to the SSN office and my application was rejected. Im here on H1b. I’m planning to apply for name split in my passport and then go and change my I94. Is this the right thing to do. Also can someone please give me information on what all we need to send to the indian consulate for this procedure. Im in houston right now and i read a lot of bad comments on the houston consulate on some community portal. Now i’m not sure if i should send it to this consulate.
    Please help.


  34. January 31, 2008 at 12:01 am

    Hi Vidya,

    Thank you for dropping by to comment. I did what you are planning to do – correct my name on the passport, then on the I-94 and then apply for SSN. I went to the San Fransisco consulate and the process was smooth (Pras and Sushil here also got it from SFO consulate). Please refer to map_boiler’s post (referred in my blog) to know details about the mail-in procedure. I do not know anything about Houston consulate. If you feel uncomfortable, try to get it done in person from Houston consulate.


    PS: AFAIK, the consulate is the office run by Indian government to help its citizens in a foreign country. They might have a bad reputation, well-deserved or otherwise, but is most likely not something to be scared of. So go in there and try to get the name corrected 🙂 Good Luck!

  35. vidya
    January 31, 2008 at 2:37 am

    Hi binil,
    Thanks a lot for the reply. I still have a query. I just spoke to a person who works at the indian consuate her in houston and was informed that the procedure to apply for name change in passport will take 3 weeks. I read in the above comments that it does not take so long to change the name. Also if i want my passport in 2 days it would cost me 130$ or the normal cost is 40$. I dont know if i got the right information.

    One more question, when i apply for name change i will have to sendmy old passport and get a new one issues. I thought it was just a note they would add into the existing passport. Correct me if i have the wrong information.

    Also how long will the whole procedure take?


  36. January 31, 2008 at 4:20 am


    You should not apply for a name change. A name change is an involved process. I am not surprised that it takes 3 weeks.

    I think what you need is a “adding an observation clarifying the name split into first name and surname”. This involves just adding a note on one of the pages of the passport (as shown in my blog entry). If needed, show the image in my post to your contact in the consulate.


  37. vidya
    January 31, 2008 at 4:40 am

    When did u do this whole procedure. Im asking this because the person from the consulate whom i spoke to told that the system has changed now and they are not adding te observation into the passport anymore.

    Also the one you have mentioned where i have to add a observation into the passport will takes a day or two right???


  38. January 31, 2008 at 4:47 am


    I did this in September 2007. Sushil and Pras got the observation added to their passports earlier this month (I am guessing so from the date they posted comments here). The procedure might have changed lately.


  39. vidya
    January 31, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Ok, I think i have the wrong information. I will stop by at the consulate today and check on the procedure.

    Thanks a lot for the help.


  40. vidya
    January 31, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    In the immigraton office do we need to show our pitition documents as proof for the name change in I-94 or only the passport with observation added is enough?


  41. January 31, 2008 at 8:44 pm


    At the USCIS office I had to show my petition papers and the passport.

    Did you the observation added to your passport? Please keep us posted.


  42. vidya
    January 31, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    Hi Binil,
    I havent gone to the consulate yet. My name is written wrong in the pitition paper also. So i dont know how i will resolve the issue. Since my given name has two parts, my pition docs have the first part as first name and second part as last name which is not correct for my case (It should have been the other way). Im really confused. PLZ help


  43. January 31, 2008 at 9:06 pm


    I have not faced the situation, so I don’t have much advise to help you.

    From what I understand if your name is F S, the petition has S F and the passport has F S as the given name and no surname. Is that right? Could’nt you get the observation added to your passport as S as the first name and F as the surname? Are there other legal documents which says otherwise?


  44. vidya
    January 31, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    Ya, the problem is there in the visa, pitition doc and the passport. So i have to file for ammendment of my pitition docs and get my name changed on passport. Once both of this is done, i have to get my I-94 corrected. This should resolve all the problems. (I hope:))
    Anyways will keep all of you informed.


  45. vidya
    February 1, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    I went to the Indian consulate today and they told they dont add observation into the passport anymore. So they asked me to apply for a new passport:(


  46. anila k v
    February 10, 2008 at 8:03 am

    i want to know about my passport approval

  47. Sandeep
    February 14, 2008 at 1:23 am

    Hi Binil,
    This ir regarding the query Sushil posted , Yes photo had to be attached to the Misc form.Hope this helps Sushil.

  48. subhash
    March 12, 2008 at 3:47 am

    hi Binil,

    i has applied for visa and its interview scheduled within a weeks time…the problem is my PO has aslo did the same thing and has not captured Surname…. so when i read the VISA I-156 please enter as it is filled in the passport. the i filled surname as FNU and middle and last as my complete name.
    can you tell me visa office would object for this???
    now when i called the help line they say 1 -12 question cannot be modiifed once freezed.
    can you please guide me…

  49. Balaji
    March 13, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    Hey guys,

    I too have this FNU issue more similar to what Binil has faced. But, I havent been lucky like him to get things corrected and still struggling. So, I wanted to share an Important information that will esp. help all who entering USA with this FNU issue. I also have a couple of queries to Binil and others. So, pls help me too!

    On my Indian Passport:-
    SurName: Balaji Sundaresan

    On my VISA:-
    LastName: Balaji Sundaresan
    FirstName: FNU

    On my I94:- (To keep it consistent with Passport and VISA, I entered):-
    FamilyName:- Balaji Sundaresan

    At SSN Office (I am in California, Sunnyvale):
    While applying, I gave FName as ‘Balaji’ & LName as ‘Sundaresan’. The SSN Officer got angry about the mismatch in application and asked me to maintain same. On doing so, the acknowledgment I received from SSN read my name as “UNKNOWN BALAJI SUNDARESAN”. I guess they put UNKNOWN in my FNAME of their SSN system (as most systems have FNAME to be mandatory). But, when I received my SSN Card, it only said “BALAJI SUNDARESAN”.

    Next, at DMV office to apply for DL:
    While applying, entered only LNAME as ‘Balaji Sundaresan’. DMV guys were not agreeing without a FNAME. They wanted to see my SSN Card and when i showed it they thought FNAME is Balaji and LNAME is Sundaresan and tried verifying in their system. Verification failed. I explained and requested them to put only LastName in their system to try it. It didnt go through. I then showed them the SSN’s acknowledgment which had “UNKNOWN …” and requested them to try and see if verification goes thro’. But, they refused to so as its against the Fedral Law to put UNKNOWN in the first name and said that if I need to such a kind of thing, I need to get a court order. They suggested me to go to SSN and correct it theit system to have FNAME as FNU as that’s what the Visa says.

    Thinking its better to correct the name in SSN itself to have my FName as Balaji and Lname as Sundaresan, I went back to SSN with the only one of evidence of my L1 petition that had my FName as Balaji and Lname as Sundaresan. But, they refused doing so as they say the Immigration system is only having a LNAME for me and I will need to correct that.

    Next, went to the local USCIS office to see if I can correct this. The guy at the USCIS was rude and he told me that the Immigration System is having my LNAME as ‘Balaji Sundaresan’ only because I entered so in the I-94. If I have to correct it, I have may to get an observation added with name correction or get a new passport with name corrected and re-apply for new I-94. To get a new I-94, I need to pay $320 as he says the mistake in I-94 was not made by Immigration System/Office and it was caused by me 😦

    So, nextly, I am gonna go to the San Franscisco India Consulate to get a observation added and retry my luck with USCIS office to change I-94 without paying (as I believe that’s how Binil and some of the other guys have been lucky).

    – Please split your name in I-94 because what you enter here goes into the Immigration System (I dont know what to suggest if you only have one word name like ‘Siva’ in your passport).
    – SSN needs to match the name with Immigration System as that acts as a input for them. They wont the change name unless its corrected in the Immigration system. Though your name in Passport or VISA have only the Lastname (or only GivenName in your passport), they dont bother much. So, the key is whatever you put in I-94.
    – DMV’s needs to match your name and your SSN number with SSN system.
    NOTE: A fried of mine, “RAGHU RAMESH” who has FNU in his Visa was coming from India to US 3 weeks back. I suggested him to split his name in I-94 during his entry. He did so and when he applied for SSN with FNAME as a Raghu and LNAME as Ramesh, SSN did not deny and processed. So, he’s gonna be fine with his name in SSN card and DMV should not have an problem too.

    QUESTIONS to Binil & others:
    I am planning to go to the Indian Consulate at San Francisco to get an observation added.
    1) Do they need a proof or some document that says F’Name as “Balaji” and L’Name as Sundaresan to get this observation added?
    2) Do I need to take an appoitment with Consulate?
    3) When I submit the Misc’ application form for this request, will it be processed immediately to get the observation added?


  50. March 13, 2008 at 10:38 pm


    Thanks for the comment. I hope your paperwork straightens out real soon. To answer your questions:

    1) I do not remember submitting any proof for getting the observation added to my passport. I do remember carrying all the documents I had, but I do not remember producing anything other than my passport. It has been more than six months, and I do not clearly remember what happened – but if I were to, I would guess that you don’t need any other documentation. People on other forums claim to have got the observation added via a mail-in procedure, and they do not mention providing any documents other than the passport.

    2) I did not take an appointment. I tried getting an appointment on the phone, but the phone was perpetually busy. So I simply tried my luck walking in to the SFO consulate. From what I observed of the office, walk-in should be very feasible option.

    3) They took the passport and my application at about 11am. They returned it with the observation added at about 4pm. The process – from what I saw – works like this: they take applications (visa, observation etc etc) in the forenoon. They work on it, and return the passports by evening.

    Overall it was a very easy process for me. Be confident. Good Luck!

  51. Sandeep
    March 13, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    This is in reference to the question posted by Balaji Sundaresan.
    In SFO Consular office ,They will ask you to write a letter saying how the name should appear and get it attested by a Notary.Don’t panic for notary.The notary sits just across the street
    Landmark is KC Corner and the Notary will charge $10 for attestation and the consulate charges $10.
    This was the exact process I followed in Jan 2008.Luckily i entered correctly in I-94 and got an observation added on time,So did not face any issues in either SSN or DMV.
    I-94 is the MAIN controller document.Name on I94 and Passport (observation or name should match) .
    Be there in San Francisco in the morning submit your passport , go to Golden gate bridge roam around and come back and pick up the passport at 4 pm.Indian Restaurant is just across the corner of Consulate in case you want to have food.
    As much as possible in Indian Consulate..say to the point , say i need an observation.Nothing else, otherwise they may start asking for other documents.

    Good Luck !

  52. Balaji
    March 14, 2008 at 12:51 am

    Thanks Binil and Sandeep for your quick help and support. I will goto the Consulate sometime soon and hope things go smooth.

  53. Naheed
    March 16, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    Hi All,

    First of all, i would like to thank Binil and Sandeep for having posted such useful information.
    Even I have the same problem as most of you all had/have.

    I was really happy to know the procedure Binil and Sandeep suggested to solve this problem.

    But, I was really upset to also know from Vidya (who had been to the consulate early Feb this year, as per her posting) that they no more add observation.

    I would like to know from anybody who has very recently gone to the Consulate and got the problem solved, to let us all know if the SF Consulate still doesn’t add observations anymore or they kindly have begun it again (instead of applying for new passport)…

    Also, to all who have recently got the correct name procedure done and Vidya, it would be nice if you could let us know the procedure you went through to get the new passport with the corrected name.

    It would be of great help.


  54. Balaji
    March 19, 2008 at 4:26 am

    Please note that Vidya had been to Houston consulate and not SFO. So, it was the Indian Consulate at Houston who denied adding observation. Read below for the update you would like.

    To All,
    I had been to SFO Indian Consulate today and got the observation added easily. Unlike Sandeep(who got it done in Jan-2008), I didn’t have to go the Notary for attestation. The Consulate told me to write a letter, indicating the way my name has to be read. So, all I did was submitted this letter and the misc’ application form, paying the 10$ fee. As suggested by Sandeep, I was there in the morning around 8.45am and proactivetly figured out the Notary office(which was K.C Travel at Geary Blvd) so that I can be prepared. As soon as they opened at 9am, I submitted the passport and the documents (there wasnt much queue as I was early and it just took 20mins) and they told me to come back at 4pm to collect the passport. In the meantime, I had some fun by taking the Ferry Ride at SFO. Overall, the experience was cool. Next, I am planning to correct my I-94 at the San Jose USCIS office. Will keep you posted once I try that.

    ~ Balaji

  55. Nitin
    March 27, 2008 at 8:53 am

    This FNU/LNU stuff is really creating a lot of trouble for all of us who have either full name unsplit in the passport or just a single name. I am going to write to USCIS requesting to come up with an article that explains all permutations possible and the best way to tackle them at different stages. It’s so confusing otherwise.

    In the meantime, hope someone here, with his/her experience can suggest the best way in my case.My wife has no last name, just a first name (XYZ). She recently got her dependent visa (L2) and as expected it reads LastName:XYZ, FirstName:FNU. We are traveling to US some time soon. I thing someone without a lastname will surely have tough time at every stage in the US.We don’t have time to get things fixed here in India. What should be the best way to deal with her name issue:

    1. Should we just continue to follow the way it’s mentioned in visa? Or should we follow Passport?
    2. We have the marriage certificate ready. Should she file for post marriage name change with Indian embassy in US requesting to take my lastname? It’s an easy process I heard and she will have a new passport issued.
    3. We also have name change affidavit and Indian newspaper ad with XYZ ABC (her dad’s lastname) ready. Out of point 2 & point 3, we would prefer point3 if both are equally painful.

    How should we go ahead right from the point she fills in her I-94 until she gets SSN,DL,Bank Accounts, etc. Thanks!

  56. Naheed
    April 8, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    Hi Balaji,

    Thanx a lot for ur reply and suggestion.
    I totally missed that she had been to Consulate in Houston.
    I would be going to the Consulate in SFO sometime soon.
    All that u and the others have mentioned im sure is going to b of great help to me.
    Once I go to the Consulate and get the name split done, I will inform u all if the Consulate has made ne more changes.

    – Naheed

  57. fnu vijay raj
    April 11, 2008 at 5:12 am

    Hi Everyone,

    I was reading everyone’s comments and suggestions.I thought i will also share my case with u all.Please suggest me the best possible way.

    On my Indian Passport:-
    SurName: Vijay Raj

    On my VISA:-
    Surname: Vijay Raj
    FirstName: FNU

    On my I94:- (In my blindness i wrote as):-
    GivenName: Vijay Raj

    Now i need to apply for ssn.i only have a single name as vijay raj.Im planning to write first name as fnu and last name as vijay raj.To be consistent i wanna fix an appointment with uscis to change my FamilyName:- Vijay Raj & GivenName:FNU.

    Please provide me with your valuable suggestions.thanks in advance.Please help.

  58. April 11, 2008 at 7:19 am

    Vijay, why don’t you try fixing your passport too. That is what I did (and many others here too).

    = Binil

  59. fnu vijay raj
    April 12, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    Thanks binil for the reply but the thing is if i change it on my passport.Then the name on visa will b different.and when i go for driving licence they wont allow me to even write online test simply bcoz i will not get 6 points reason no consistent name on passport and visa.Please help.I ve taken an appointment to uscis to change my name in I94


    GivenName: Vijay Raj


    FamilyName:- Vijay Raj

    if i correct my name on I94 then my name will be consistent on passport,visa,I797,I94.

  60. Felix George Mathew
    April 15, 2008 at 4:27 am

    i read your post and i am in a pretty similiar fix

    On the passport

    Given Name : Felix George Mathew
    Surname :

    First Name : FNU
    Last name : Felix george Mathew

    on the I – 94 card :

    First name : Felix George M(abbreviated Mathew to M as there was no space to write that )
    last name : i left that blank

    and on my SSN : Felix GeorgeM LNU

    the worst screw up of all is that i cant get my tax refund for 2007 , they say that my records dont match

    But when i went to get my driver’s license the officer there sort of understood my case and he set things straight .

    in my license its Felix G(MIddle Initial) Mathew
    same case with my State ID :Felix G Mathew

    Any help on the above plight would be really helpful !!!!!

    I am based in chicago and one more question , how did you schedule an appointment with USCIS? i didnt find any suitable option pertaining to my plight in the website ? or did you call them?


  61. April 15, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    Felix, your case is slightly more complicated than mine, so I don’t know what you should be doing. I got the USCIS appointment via the infopass website.

  62. fnu vijay raj
    April 18, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    I went to USCIS office they gave me form I102 to do correction in I94.They will issue a new I94 and we have to pay 320$ fees for the correction to be done>We need to submit this I102 form at the any port of entry location but it is recommended that u go to your arrival airport and submit the form in the immigration inspection section between 9AM to 11AM.

    So now im going to change my name on I94.


    GivenName: Vijay Raj


    FamilyName:- Vijay Raj

    To be consistent.

    All who r going thru this fnu issue is better to be consistent in ur name aspect in all the documents lik passport,visa,I797,I94,SSN,Driving Licence,State ID(if any).

    So while writing ur names on ssn,i94 and any other docment write Family Name(Last Name or surname) as your name in my case Vijay Raj and First Name(Given Name) as fnu, only if u r facing with fnu problem.

    Thanks all,

    do giv me ur suggestions on raj_038@rediffmail.com or in this form itself.

  63. felix george mathew
    April 20, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    @ Vijay Raj,
    which USCIS office did you go to? because i will be going to the one in Chicago soon?.Also regarding the fees is it a 320 $ flat amount? and also is going to the port of entry a must ? Wont they correct the I – 94 name then and there itself ? I came in at the O’Hare airport Chicago , so does that mean i will have to reenter USA there or just go to the airport and meet the concerned immigration officials and hand them over the form?

    I am quite confused , it would be great if you could clear the same!


  64. fnu Shivnesh Raj
    April 22, 2008 at 12:19 am

    I went to the Port of entry office deffered inspection section Terminal B Newark Met the immigration inspection officer and rectified the change on I94 without any fees.All the Best to all.
    i hope this helps Felix.

  65. felix
    April 23, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    thank you Shivnesh !

  66. Riaz Nizami
    April 26, 2008 at 6:07 am

    hi all fnus….
    i have similar issue
    fnu on visa given name
    blank surname on passport
    m in a lil worse condition….my name has 4 parts and too big to fit in any form…
    i did not write my name on i94 at the port of entry as there was no room for it and i wanted to ask officer how do i write my name….but i forgot to ask and he forgot to check ….he jus stamped and gave it back…i realized this after 2months…..i went for StateID they did not accept my application coz of FNU …so i went to another DMV where even they were not accepting anyone with fnu….but when i went to the counter they did not see anythng(*their mistake) they jus took xerox and gave it back…and now its been more than 2months i did not get my id….
    i went again to that DMV they took my figerprints and photo again and told that i might have not been delivered to correct address so they told me to wait for 4 weeks …

    i dont know wats goin on ….

    i am going to india to get a new passport new visa and ………..

  67. Riaz Nizami
    April 26, 2008 at 6:08 am

    PS=== my i94 was blank till two months….i wrote my name properly on i94 and applied for ID

  68. Revathy
    April 26, 2008 at 12:29 pm


    I did read the chain of posts, and found it useful. In my case, I havent received the i20/visa yet. To get my i20 issued, I need to list my first and last names separately in the passport (passport issued in Bangalore).

    In my passport, currently Given Name is “Revathy Padmanabhan”. Surname field is blank. I have to change it to – Given Name – Revathy; Surname – Padmanabhan: just bifurcation of my name, not really a name change. Can you please let me know if there is a procedure to put an observaton stamp in my passport indicating my first and last names. If not, issuing of a new passport is the only way?

    Also to make matters complicated, my current address is different from the address given in the passport. Will it create problems? If I get a new passport issued for bifurcation of my name, can I also ask for a change of address simultaneously; or does it have to be routed as a different request.

    Please reply asap. Thanks in advance.

  69. April 26, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    Revathy, you might not have to get a new passport. You can get the observation added to the passport with your name split to first and last names.

  70. Revathy
    April 27, 2008 at 5:48 am

    Thanks Binil. What is the procedure. Any documents that I need to take with me? How many days will it take to get this stampled on my passport? Please reply.

    FYI – I plan to go to the Regional Passport Office, Bangalore.

  71. April 27, 2008 at 6:17 am

    Revathy, I am not sure what the procedure at Bangalore passport office is. I got the observation added from SF consulate, and the process was straightforward as described in my post. My wife added an observation to her passport from Cochin passport office – she tells me that the process was straightforward (done on the same day she made her request) but she knew someone in the passport office, so that helped. Try to get help from someone working at the passport office – these things get done lot faster that way. 🙂

  72. Riaz Nizami
    April 27, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    i have asked indian embassy at houston to issue a new passport with all corrections………and i m planning to contact US consulate at Mexico and get a new stamping while entering from mexico to US….as ppl do for F1- H1 transfer ……….do u have any idea whether i ll get this thing done or not….

  73. April 28, 2008 at 3:09 am

    No Riaz, I have no idea if that is possible. Best of luck!

  74. April 28, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    Hi Binil,

    Looks like quite a few people out here.
    I am a prospective FNU (:P). Here is how my name is in my passport as of today
    Surname :
    Given Name : xxx yyy zzz.

    Today i went to the passport office to get my last name zzz to the surname field . The PO said that there will be a police inquiry and it will take atleast 30 days to get it done. I refused to give him the passport and came back. The reason being, i cannot trust the passport folks. The situation is really unforeseeable. I met a couple of people who gave their ppt for name change and its been 2 months and they are still waiting for their ppt. It also depends on your luck.Some times its simple and some times its a pain

    I am planning to take the F1 Visa interview around last week of May. Lets say if i get the VISA the Last Name would be : xxx yyy zzz and the First Name would be FNU.
    After reading the above comments i see that if the I-94 is filled in the right fashion i.e. First Name : xxx yyy and Last Name : zzz things can still be right.

    So what do you suggest me to do . Take a chance and give the ppt for correction and pray or do the I-94 trick and in case it doesnt work try getting it corrected in USA. ?

    P.S. My classes dont start before Aug 15. THe only reason i want to attend interview in May is due to heavy rush in months of June and July .

  75. April 28, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    To add another thing Binil, the regional passport office doesnt make any hand Observations which means i will get a new booklet and hence the time

  76. April 28, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    Cyrus, when my wife went to the passport office in Cochin they told her exactly the same thing – that they are not adding observations on passports anymore. But she knew someone in the passport office, went via that person and presto – they added the observation! 🙂 I would recommend you do something like that. Getting your papers in order before you travel – especially since you have the time – is lot better than worrying about those once you are in US. Good Luck!

  77. Sandeep Mulia
    April 29, 2008 at 4:40 am

    I had earlier enquired at Bangalore Passport Office and they told me to apply for a new passport.After that I saw Binil’s blog and decided to get an observation added at SFO and do the I-94 trick.It luckily clicked for me.People at RPO don’t entertain observations as it fetches them very little money.A new passport means more money.Thats the bottomline.
    My only suggestion, If you want a new passport, ensure you have enough time before the appointment at US Consulate , Else get a FNU on Visa and then go for observation when in US and go for the I-94 trick(as this is *THE DOCUMENT* which people here look at and hardly care about Visa) as the info shared between DMV,Social Security and INS will enter the name in I-94.
    Try to have a proper name in one official document (passport) from India.


  78. Ram Prasad
    May 5, 2008 at 12:59 pm


    My wife has the same situation, She is on L2 visa and like to apply for EAD. She has FNU in her Visa but her I 94 has first name and last name written separately. If the Passport is endorsed as per I -94 , how can she change the name in the Visa. Would the endorsement affect travel back to US in future ? Please help

  79. Naheed
    May 6, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    Hi All….

    I have been going through the messages posted…. It has been very useful…
    Thanking all in the first place….

    And next, i would like to ask all those who have got their name corrected in their I-94, from the SAN FRANSISCO USCIS, as to how much did they charge for this service? and how much time did they take to give you the corrected I-94?

    Im sure Sandeep, Binil would be able to help me on this…

    Also, Balaji, did u get ur I-94 corrected? do keep us all updated on this….

    Moreover, I would want suggestions also as to which USCIS office could I approach based on all ur experiences at these offices…. I stay in Fremont, California

    would b grateful if nebody could reply at the earliest…. im planning to get it done this week….


  80. May 6, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    Ram Prasad, my visa still has the FNU thingy in there – but I have travelled to India and back. From my experience, it appears that there no need to correct the visa. Of course, IANAL and other caveats apply 🙂

  81. May 6, 2008 at 7:28 pm


    > i would like to ask all those who have got their name corrected in their I-94,
    > from the SAN FRANSISCO USCIS, as to how much did they charge for this service?
    > and how much time did they take to give you the corrected I-94?
    They charged me nothing, if I remember correctly. My visit to their office took about an hours time, I’d say. The USCIS officer looked through my papers and gave me a note which I took to the CBP office (in the same building) and the officer there gave me a corrected I-94 in about 10 minutes.

    > I would want suggestions also as to which USCIS office could I approach based
    > on all ur experiences at these offices…. I stay in Fremont, California
    I live in Santa Clara, CA and I went to the SF USCIS office. See the infopass website to get an appointment. Your visit might take longer if you simply walk-in; I’d recommend getting an appointment. Also, call them up and ask if you need clarifications – to my delight, I have discovered that government officials here are prompt and polite on the phone 🙂

    Good luck!

    – Binil

  82. Naheed
    May 9, 2008 at 6:31 am

    Hi All,

    Binil, I want to thank u for the info u gave all of us abt the name bifurcation as well as ur experience at the USCIS… I am planning to call them tomorrow and as u said il also take an appointment through infospeak….

    And just to share with u all,

    I had been to the Indian Consulate, SF yesterday to get my name bifurcated…. the same FNU issue that most of us r facing…. now thankfully the surname field in my passport has my last name entered correctly….

    Like all others who had been there recently, even i went to the Indian Consulate early at about 9.30am…. there weren’t too many pple….

    1)I had earlier downloaded the miscellaneous form from the website http://www.cgisf.org
    Filled the first page of the form… which is what the consulate requires for our purpose…
    2)Submitted along with this form, my 10th std certificate (which they asked for coz it has our name and birth date)…. birth certificate, a hand written letter stating how currently the name is in the passport and how should it actually be…
    3)Paid $10….
    4)Went bk at 4pm to collect the passport…

    Now, I have to go to the USCIS office to get my name corrected in the I-94….
    Im hoping that this also should go smoothly….
    Will share with u all my experience at the USCIS once i am done with the correction in my I-94..
    Unfortunately, Im unable to make it to the USCIS this week… so I guess I should be able to update you all in the coming week….


  83. Darshan
    May 9, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Hello All,

    I would appreciate some help in my slightly weird and complicated case…as with everyone in this forum, my surname was issued blank on a renewal passport…apparently the morons at the passport office in bangalore could not copy-paste my name into the new passport…so my surname was blank and all 3 words of my name was in the first name column…they took 2 and a half months for this renewal…passport was finally issued to me,which was very close to my visa date…i did not have confidence to apply for name change,so i kept quiet…my visa was again issued with FNU and all three words in surname…i therefore had to fill the same in my I-94 at O’Hare…

    then i applied for SSN…somehow,very surprisingly,my SSN was issued with no problems and with the correct ordering of the name…first name,middle name and last name perfectly bifurcated!!i was super-happy…but then i went to the BMV for license…they said my passport and i-94 and SSN dont match at all!! and they cannot use FNU on license…so now i am in chicago,went and got the passport corrected for $10 with an observation just as Binil…yday,i went to the USCIS office at Clark & Congress in downtown chicago…they said i have to file i-102 and pay $320!!! i dont want to pay that amount!

    Pls guide me what to do next…i was redirected to the Indianapolis office with an infopass appointment…but my port of entry was O’Hare… does this matter at all? pls help!

  84. Nandini`
    May 21, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Hi Binal

    My husband has a similar situation. In his passport:

    Given name: Venkatesan Rajan Bala

    In his Visa:
    Surname: Venkatesan Rajan Bala
    Given name: FNU

    in the 1-797 petition:

    Family Name: Venkatesan Rajan Bala
    Given name: No Given name

    I am guessing the form I-94 is filled in the port of entry. What name should he fill. To simplify matters once we get to the U.S will it help if he has done something from here.

    I understand that we need to get a notice from the passport authority with regard to the name change. Can you please tell me as to what I should do and what name to fill in the I-94


  85. May 22, 2008 at 3:37 am


    Your husbands case is different from mine. In his case his petition papers also mention the incorrect name; my name was printed correctly on my petition papers.

    Yes, I-94 is filled at the port of entry. You should try to get his name properly entered in the I-94. Since his petition papers also carry the incorrect name, the CBP officer might disagree with that – in that case, you can show the observation on his passport if there is one added to it. So my opinion is to get the observation added before you travel. (I have no real qualifications to give this opinion, so take this with all the usual warnings 🙂

    A picture of what such an observation looks like is given in my post. Procedures on how to get this done in US is detailed in my post, and also in multiple comments above. Nonetheless, you should try to get it done in India, because that would be much less hassle. Many readers here mention plans of going to a passport office in India and getting it done, but unfortunately, thats the last I hear from them. If you happen to try it, please drop a comment on how it went – you’d be doing an immense help to the next person in the same situation.


  86. Neil
    May 25, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    Hi Binil ,

    I am describing the scenario and later I will ask my question :

    Passport Status –
    GivenName : Neil Mrinal
    Surname :

    Passport Office that issued the Visa : Cochin
    Year of Issue : 2005

    Visa Status :
    1.L1b Visa

    Surname : Neil Mrinal
    GivenName : FNU

    But this Visa got cancelled as I left the company.

    Currently I got selected for H1b 2008 in lottery and will be going for it . I wanted to have the name bifurcation done, but as I have nt stayed at the current address(Pune) for more than 1 year , they are saying it cant be done , First I need to change the address, which will take a lot of time and have police verification at previous place of stay too.Somehow , i feel if i go for police verfication I will be in a fix and I will be missing my H1b .

    Please advice what should I do in such a scenario.

  87. May 25, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    Neil, congratulations on making it through the lottery! IMHO, it would be better if you get the observation added before you go for stamping your visa. You could then fill your visa application forms with your proper name.

    My wife and a friend of mine both got this observation added from Thiruvananthapuram passport office. When they first contacted the passport office, the request was declined; they were advised to get a new passport (which, as you rightly said, is time consuming and needless headache). Apparently, the officials discourage adding this observation. My friend knew someone in the passport office and got this done later on the same day.

    So my recommendation for you would be to contact the Cochin (apparently the observation can be added only by the passport office that originally issued the passport) passport office and try to get the observation added. If they decline the request, try to get it done via someone in the passport office. Some local travel agent in Kerala might be able to get it done for you, for a small tip, of course 😉

    Good Luck!

    PS: Please post a comment on how successful you were in getting the observation added. This would help the next person coming here looking for help.

  88. FNU LNU
    June 2, 2008 at 9:16 am

    Useful post.

  89. Cyrux
    June 6, 2008 at 3:18 am

    Hi Binil . Its me again
    So now i have got my F1 visa stamped on my ppt with a FNU , and hence i am now in the FNU club 😛
    Here is what the VISA looks like
    Surname : xx yy zz
    Given Name : FNU
    Ok, next thing i plan to do is to get my name right in I-94 . Just like the way it should be
    Surname : zz
    Given Name : xx yy
    So, should i proceed with the above format for my I-94
    If i do it this way there will be inconsistency between my ppt,Visa and I-94.I plan to my name bifurcated in my ppt once i reach US

    Also, i have seen most of the people mentioning about the Indian embassy in SF. Isn’t there an Indian embassy in other cities . I plan to travel to San Diego.

  90. June 6, 2008 at 3:36 am

    Hi Cyrus,

    Congrats on the visa! We last communicated here on the comments in late April. Did you try getting the observation added since then? Please let us know your learnings from those experiences.

    You can *try* writing your name properly on the I-94; most likely the CBP officer might not mind that. But make sure that you carry a second form filled out form with “xx yy zz”, to use your example, in the Given Name field. In case the CBP officer asks for the name exactly as in the passport, you can produce the second form.

    Indian consulates are located at Chicago, New York, San Francisco & Houston. The embassy is located at Washington DC, of course. The nearest one for you would be the consulate at San Francisco, which is about 500 miles north of San Diego.


  91. Cyrux
    June 7, 2008 at 9:05 am

    Binil, no I didn’t get an observation added. Like I said earlier, they strictly don’t add observations here. Just a new booklet to gobble more money. I didn’t want to take a chance and hand over my booklet to them. The passport offices are truly unpredictable here. Depends completely on luck to get in time. I have heard and read hundreds of horror stories about the passport office. Infact, there is a passport grievance section in the Times of India which carries 2-3 articles from various people facing problems with their passport services. So, didn’t want to take my chances and came back with my passport from their office.

    So , the matter still hangs on a *try* situation. Shall do as you advised. The I-94 forms are provided in the airplane itself or after reaching the port of entry ? Wouldn’t it be a problem to try and fill 2 I-94’s ?

    Thanks for your reply 🙂

  92. June 7, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    Cyrus, just before reaching your port of entry the stewardess typically distributes the I-94 forms in the air plane. Ask for an extra one.

  93. Rajan
    June 12, 2008 at 12:08 am

    Hi All,

    I just realized that I joined the FNU/LNU club today :D. Binil, Sandeep and others.. thanks a ton for the pointers for handling this very very stupid problem, which will just has a cascading effect in the future if it is not stemmed now. I have applied for my masters. Now I have just got my i20 which reads:

    Family name: Abc
    First name: Dhr
    Middle name: Rsp

    Now my passport reads:

    Surname: BLANK
    Given Name: Abc(village name) Rsp(father’s name) Dhr(my name)
    (according to south indian nomenclature)

    According to me, I think Dhr Rsp Abc (as in the i20), although not correct according to south indian nomenclature, will be on the lines of western nomenclature standards.

    Now, I have 2 questions for Binil:

    1) If I manage to get an observation from Pune (this is where the passport has been issued from), can i make the observation to read:

    Surname: Abc
    Given Name: Dhr Rsp
    i.e. opp of wat it is in the passport currently or will they entertain only the bifurcation and keep the surname as Abc and given name as Rsp(father’s name) Dhr(my name) as it is right now?

    2) If I am not able to do the change in Pune, I can do the i-94 trick as Sandeep, Balaji and others have pointed out. But how closely is this document scrutinized by the authorities concerned at the port of entry? Also, can i enter the details as Dhr(first name) Rsp(Middle name) and Abc(Surname) (which is the western nomenclature)in the i-94 and get away with it and then get the observation in my passport at the consulate.

    In short, if the i-94 trick does work, what format of my name should i stick to, while entering details in the i-94 and in the observation at the consulate -> “abc, dhr rsp” or “abc, rsp dhr”?

    Thanks once again to all the people who have taken time and efforts to address this problem. Looking forward to your response.


  94. Rajan
    June 12, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    Hi Binil,

    I had another question. You had mentioned that your wife had got the observation made from Cochin consulate. Was this observation handwritten or was it printed like the one you have? I shall be highly obliged if you could answer this query.

    As an update, I approached a lot of travel agents in Pune today for helping out with the observation. But no one knows how to tackle this problem and all suggest that a new passport has to be made… Another observation I made was that the FNU issue has only been mentioned in the chennai consulate site and not in the other consulate sites.. this is strange since a lot many people go to other consulates too… so my fight against the FNU is still on.. will keep you all posted on the same..


  95. Rajat
    June 13, 2008 at 4:49 am

    Hello, I stumbled across your blog through the Internet. So here is my situation. I would really appreciate people’s thoughts.

    On my passport, my name appears as:
    Surname: Sxxxx
    Given names: Axxxx Bxxxx

    However, on ALL documents including my degree certificates from India, and all US documents (SSN card, driver’s license etc), I have used
    Surname: Sxxxx
    Firstname: Bxxxx
    Middle name: Axxxx

    In other words, Bxxx Axxxx Sxxx as my full name.

    Do you think I will have any trouble getting an observation changing my name to:
    Surname: Sxxxx
    Given names: Bxxxx Axxxx

  96. Rajat
    June 13, 2008 at 4:51 am

    Axxx is really another “family initial” that everybody in my family has.

    Bxxx is the name that I go by. everybody calls me Bxxx.

  97. June 13, 2008 at 7:14 am


    Thanks for writing the comment.

    1) In all cases I have known where an observation was added to the passport, they did not re-arrange their names – just bifurcated it appropriately. I don’t know if a re-arrangement of the name is possible from Pune passport office. I hope you get it done.

    2) If you fill your name in the I-94 as “Dhr Rsp Abc”, your name on the passport and the I-94 would be different. In that case, you can get an observation added by the consulate – but imagine the situation where the consulate refuses to re-arrange your name. You’d be in some fix then! I-94 is a very important document during your stay in US – please fill it with care.

    3) My wife added the observation from Trivandrum passport office. It was a handwritten note. Please take a printout of the image I have posted, and try showing it to your contacts in Pune. If needed, I can email you an image of the observation on my wife’s passport.

    Good luck!


    PS: I had a hard time understanding your example with “Abc Dhr Rsp”. I kept forgetting what the first name was in your example, what your fathers name was, and what your village’s name was. When you give such examples use either your real name or stick to something memorable like FIRSTNAME FATHERNAME VILLAGENAME. It’d make things lot more comprehensible 🙂 If you are a programmer, you’d appreciate the importance of meaningful variable names.

  98. June 13, 2008 at 7:15 am

    Rajat, I don’t really know if you can get an observation added clearing up your name. The best suggestion I have is to contact the consulate and ask them.

  99. rajan
    June 19, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    Hi Binil,

    Thanks a ton for the reply. I really appreciate it. Can you please send me the image of the observation on your wife’s passport? My mail id is [DELETED]. I’ll keep you updated on how things proceed.

    Looking forward to your reply.

    Thanks again,

    P.S. Sorry about the confusing example and thanks for pointing it out. I’ll definitely keep that in mind in the future. 🙂

  100. CM
    June 26, 2008 at 6:16 am

    I got my passport from chennai passport office. I had my1 surname changed before applying for the passport. I mentioned the change of surname in the passport application. They made an observation for the change of surname. But the problem is, it is stated that:

    “This holder has been previously known by the name”
    (PS: i never had a name change)

    Also my previous surname has been spelled wrongly. Will this be a problem when i apply for visa or in future? Can i have another observation done for this?

  101. Vinay
    July 2, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    I am in the same boat of fnu. I didnt step into US yet. I have come across a friend of mine who returned india as he faced difficulty in getting issued Driving license in US.

    He some how managed to get new passport with correct name format in US but the Driving license officer insisted him to get stamped on new passport as the current visa on old passport doesnt match to the name in the new passport. He somehow managed to get SSN after new passport issue in US.

    Anybody gone through visa stamping again, due to FNU issue on the valid visa in India.

    I am worried now if i get my visa stamped once again in india or not, as i didnt step into US, I would go about re-applying for a new passport in india with correct name format and go through visa process again.

    Please comment.

  102. Vinay
    July 2, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    I spoke with Chennai Consulate officer regarding this FNU case. They insisted me to go for new passport and go for stamping again.

    Plz Plz let me know your experiences, if any of you happened to go to chennai consulate again for restamping carrying new passport., after noticing FNU on your valid visa.

    On Old passport :
    Surname : Empty
    Givenname : XXXX YYYY

    On Visa :
    Surname : XXXX YYYY
    Givenname : FNU 😦

  103. July 2, 2008 at 10:20 pm


    My passport and visa had exactly the same issue you mention. But as my post details, I was able to get the observation added from the consulate and things worked after that.

    I am not aware of anyone who had gone for again for stamping after they got a new passport.


  104. Prashant
    July 2, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    Really good discussion guys..though didn’t see answer for one of the question..If somebody has done it, any pointers will be great..

    I want to get my Wife’s name (FNU case) corrected in the L2 petition too. What is the process for that? I have read that an amendment needs to be filed but didn’t find any such amendment form on USCIS site.

    She only had her first name in the passport hence both the petition and I-94 had her name as FNU HERFIRSTNAME. I am planning to get her name corrected in passport first by applying for a new passport at SFO consulate. Afer that, need to get her name corrected in the L2 visa petition. I-94 should get corrected when we re-enter US next year as current one is already expired.

    Has anyone got the visa petition corrected? Please let me know the process. Appreciate help from everyone.


  105. Vinay
    July 3, 2008 at 9:50 am

    Hi Gurus,

    I hold a valid visa with FNU under Givenname.
    I have applied for a new passport here in india and soon going to receive it with seperation of surname and givenname, as i had surname field left blank on my old passport.

    Reason for applying new passport: To be safe side and dont want to go through tough time in getting my SSN & Driving Liscense, as i have seen lot of our guys faced problems.

    Now my question is, would that be OK if i carry both passports with me and Start my Travel to US OR shall i go for Visa Stamping again taking my new passport.

    If you suggest me to start my travel with both passports, what should i enter in I94 form.

    Incase, If i carry my new passport for visa stamping along with old passport which allready has valid visa, do i face any issues at consulate in getting stamped on my new passport.

    On my petition papers, my name was split. I corrected passport with split names. Now only visa correction required or not.

    Please post your experiences if similar.


  106. July 3, 2008 at 4:09 pm


    I don’t know whether one should get the visa stamped on the new passport or not. You should call up the US Consulate in India and try to get this information from them. Please post here, whatever information you find.

    Good luck,

  107. Vinay
    July 4, 2008 at 4:34 am

    Hi Binil,

    I spoke to US Consulate here in India. She first stated that i would have corrected this before coming for visa stamping, as its mentioned allready on the website:-(. Later she stated that, if i have to correct it on visa, i should first get corrected on the passport first and re-apply for visa stamping as normal procedure.

    She left the decision to me, so as to get stamped or not, as some locations in US do accept and some do not.

    Now I am worried, if i again go for stamping, will it go smooth or will it get delayed/denied.

    Guys any experiences, please post here.


  108. Vinay
    July 4, 2008 at 4:38 am

    Binil, after you got it corrected on passport, your FNU still remained on Visa.
    But when you applied for Driving License didnt they stated that information on Visa and passport not matching.

  109. July 4, 2008 at 4:40 am

    Binil, after you got it corrected on passport, your FNU still remained on Visa.
    But when you applied for Driving License didnt they stated that information on Visa and passport not matching.

    No, I did not have a problem with the DL. They only checked my SSN, I-94 and passport; I don’t remember them looking at the visa ever.

    • Myt
      December 20, 2011 at 7:10 pm

      Hi Binil,

      They did look for the Visa name and my application was rejected for the reason above stated … 😦

  110. Vinay
    July 4, 2008 at 4:08 pm


    Will i have any problem at port of entry, if i carry old passport with valid visa and new passport without visa and enter my name in I94 as per the new passport.

    • sunil
      December 24, 2011 at 7:37 am


      did u go for stamping or returned to US with FNY visa ?

  111. valter
    July 10, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Hi Binil,

    Pls suggest asap as I have only 4 days before visa stamping.

    I too have a FNU prob, thanx to passport authorities in India. In passport my name is as follows:
    Given Names: xxx yyy zzz

    The 1st time I visited US, there was no prob (Think I was lucky). L1 visa, SSN and I-94 said:
    Given Names:xxx yyy

    Now I am going to US again. But now visa will come as (because the DS 156 form says so):
    Surname:xxx yyy zzz
    Given Names:FNU

    Pls note my SSN, which I got last time is:
    Given Names:xxx yyy

    Now, in the I-94 should I enter as:
    Given Names:xxx yyy

    Will that solve my problem? However I my visa will remain as
    Surname:xxx yyy zzz
    Given Names:FNU

    Will this be fine for me to get a DMV, since I already have a SSN?

    Pls let me know

  112. July 21, 2008 at 7:39 am

    I had an email conversation with Binil, and I am copy pasting this on his blog for the benefit of others:

    Read your post on the FNU thing. See my case is like this.

    My name in my Passport is kinda messed up
    Surname: Aditya also known as (yeah they actually wrote that as my surname!)
    Given Name: Aditya Ramgopal

    So the visa guys put my name as First Name: FNU Last Name: Aditya Ramgopal

    Now the funny thing is the name that I actually wanted which is Aditya Ramgopal (Aditya being first, and Ramgopal last) was put right in my SSN thanks to my I-20 and my I-94. (My I-20, my I-94 and my SSN all have the name I desired)

    So the only things messed up is my visa and my name in my passport. So my question is, does changing my name in the passport a good idea? And then heading for my drivers licence. Or will they still look at my visa name and go by that?

    Your thoughts would be of great help.
    – Aditya


    From what I have heard, they will look at the SSN and I-94 mostly. Also, if they think that the passport needs correction they will say so – and deny your application to get a DL. So my suggestion is to go ahead and try to get a DL. If the authorities refuse to issue you one, you can try correcting the name on the passport (My guess is that the name on the visa really doesn’t matter if you have it on the I-94 as desired).

    IANAL and other warnings apply 🙂


    The point is I had my instruction permit created based off of my VISA, they denied my DL after I gave my test when they tallied my IP and SSN and it didn’t match. I pleaded my case and they said that they look at the visa which is kinda weird. According to them the name on the IP must tally with that of the SSN. The DL guys told me to either change my name on the visa or that on my SSN.

    So you think I should get a name change on the passport and then re apply for the test?

    – Aditya


    This is real weird. Typically the visa is used to enter the country. The I-94 is what lets you stay in the country.

    What I would recommend you is to try another DMV office – this time try to get the IP based on the name on your I-94. If they refuse, you can try getting the observation added on the passport and try again. And if they absolutely need the visa to be changed, ask them how you should proceed to get that done. I am not aware of a process of changing the visa short of getting a stamping again.

    Good luck,

    Ok thanks a lot anyway. Just one final question, is an ‘observation’ as good as a name change? And is that procedure complicated, or it is as simple as you mentioned in the blog post?

    – Aditya

    The observation is not a name change; it is just a different bifurcation of the name. A name change is an involved process.
    Adding the observation – at least in San Fran Consulate – is as simple as I mentioned my blog. 🙂


  113. Shankar
    July 30, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Hai Binil. I am applying for passport . My name is Shankara Raman . S . I dont have a family name . I am not sure of what to write in ‘Surname’ field . Should i leave the surname field blank . I will be relocating to US shortly .
    My fathers name is ‘Sundara Raman’ . My name is ‘Shankara Raman’.Raman is not my family name . So kindly guide me .

  114. July 30, 2008 at 10:31 pm


    Thanks for dropping by to comment.

    As my post and comments here indicate, one would run into trouble in US if ones name is not bifurcated into first+lastname. I am aware that the notion of a family name is unknown in many parts of India. So you have to decide which poison suits you better – running into trouble with the records in the US or mis-representing your name. It is a personal choice to make; one I would not dare advise on.

    Best wishes,

  115. Win
    August 2, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    Hi Binil,

    You’ve probably got the best and the most relevant info regarding the FNU topic covered on the web. I needed to ask you a question. On my Indian Passport, my given name is written as my first name plus my last name and my surname column is left blank. I think they didn’t consider “Kaur” as a last name. I got my visa with FNU as my first name and my given name as the last name. I leave for the US on a study visa in a week from now. In my I-20 form, my last name is written as Kaur and first name as it is. It is written the correct way in my SEVIS form and academic certificates as well. My birth certificates just states that that’s my full name. Even my college in the US lists my name correctly with Kaur as last name. So should I get the observation added to my passport before leaving India, or could I just go ahead and enter the correct way on the I-94?
    But even if I go have the observation added, how would I get rid of the FNU on my visa? And are observations still being added, or do they issue a new passport because then that would be so strange carrying two passports with visa with FNU in the old one, right?
    Kindly assist. Thanks. Have a good day!

  116. Abhijith
    August 3, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    Hi!! Even i am in the FNU category!!
    My passport says:

    My VISA
    Surname: Venkat Abhijith Gali
    Given name: FNU

    My I20:
    Last Name: GALI
    First Name: Venkat
    Middle Name: Abhijith

    My I94 Wrote according to I20
    Last Name: Gali
    First Name: Venkat (no column provided to write middle name and while filling I94 i asked CBP officer he suggested write as first and last name as i20 he did not check the name on stamp i guess or passport )He was looking on photo and me lot of time

    Went to DMV maryland and they said names did not match. they suggested to go indian embassy.
    Went to indian embassy in DC they were rude and they said its nothing to do with them
    Then went to USCIS office in fairfax… After explaining they suggested to correct my passport and make correction in I94 by paying 320$

    Then went to Indian Embassy, they told to fill form and pay 10$ …Slipt the name as in correct order
    They added the observation like this
    This person name should be read as
    Last Name: GALI
    Middle Name: Abhijith
    First Name: Venkat

    With this correction, my name matchs with the I20 and I94 (there is no middle name)
    Now I need to apply for visa in CANADA/MEXICO/India…
    I would like to ask u guys did u anyone for fresh visa for name change and where did u applied and whats the procedure….

  117. Win
    August 3, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    Hi Abhijith,

    Did you apply for a name change on your US visa also, or does it still exist as FNU? And were you able to get a SSN without getting the observation on the passport?

  118. Win
    August 4, 2008 at 12:08 am

    Hi again Binil,

    In addition to my previous entry, I’d like to say that am not looking forward to getting a Driver’s License. I would just require a Social Security Number. So if I enter my name on I-94 as on my I-20 the way I want, would I still need to get the observation made? Actually am asking because I’ll be near the Indian embassy when I enter the US but will go to a different state when I apply for a SSN later? Kindly suggest.

  119. August 4, 2008 at 3:14 am

    Hi Win,

    > So should I get the observation added to my passport before leaving India, or could I just go ahead and enter the correct way on the I-94?

    IMHO, you should try to get it added in India itself. Although my wife and a friend of ours managed to get it done in India, I am told by many people here that the authorities in India discourage adding the observation. In that case, you can get it added in US, as my post describes. Nonetheless, if this is your first trip to US and if you don’t have friends and family here, it might turn out to be a hassle. The problem has an inherent catch 22 – you need these papers most in the first few weeks here, and that is exactly the time you have most trouble running around bureaucracy in a foreign country!

    > But even if I go have the observation added, how would I get rid of the FNU on my visa?
    You can’t, and from the experience of couple of people I know, you needn’t. Just make sure that you get the name right on I-94.

    > And are observations still being added, or do they issue a new passport because then that would be so strange carrying two passports with visa with FNU in the old one, right?
    I can’t answer this question – you need to inquire with the authorities in India. Be aware that a name change is a quite involved process – and you don’t need it. I am told that the passport authorities hate admitting that it is a clerical mistake on their side – they typically urge people for a “new passport with name change”. Insist that this is not the case for you – *all* your other records have the right name except the passport and that you need an observation added correcting *their* mistake. Of course, applying some “grease” to get the wheels of bureaucracy in motion might also help 😉

    >In addition to my previous entry, I’d like to say that am not looking forward to getting a Driver’s License. I would just require a Social Security Number.
    Unless you have a disability which prevents you from driving, I’d recommend not shutting this window too early. A DL double as a “state ID” and age proof document too. Even if you don’t plan to drive, there are occasions where you might need a “state ID”. For people who don’t drive they do issue ID’s (without the permit to drive). When you try to obtain such an ID, all the issues mentioned while obtaining the DL rear their ugly head again!

    > So if I enter my name on I-94 as on my I-20 the way I want, would I still need to get the observation made? Actually am asking because I’ll be near the Indian embassy when I enter the US but will go to a different state when I apply for a SSN later?
    You might get away with it – or you might not. The US Consulate in India explicitly states (see my post) that you may run into trouble with an “FNU visa”. So my recommendation would be to get an observation added.

    Finally, should you need an observation added here, it is possible with a little effort. I mean, the bureaucracy is much nicer to work with here (even the Indian consulate!). So work on it, and don’t worry too much. Good luck in your higher studies!


  120. August 4, 2008 at 3:32 am


    My experience is *almost* similar to yours, except that I had to correct the I-94 too. Why do you need to correct your visa though? My visa still has the FNU in it, but I did travel to India and back late last year. From what little I know, a visa lets you *enter* the country, but the I-94 is what governs your stay here. Did they refuse you a DL without the corrected visa? Can you try again with, say, another DMV?


  121. Win
    August 4, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Hey Binil,

    Many thanks for answering my queries. I am currently on the website of Regional Passport Authority in India. Am looking at the Miscellaneous Form. There are two options that suit my situation:
    “Request for Additional Endorsement” and “Any other services”. (http://passport.chd.nic.in/miscell.pdf on Page 4). What do you think I should choose? I found out that the fee for such miscellaneous services is about Rs. 300. I tried calling the passport office but no one’s picking up so far. Would be grateful if you could suggest.

    From my understanding, I should choose Additional Endorsement because it would be similar to a validation or observation, right? Kindly help. Thanks and have a good day!

    P.S.: Thanks on the advice of Driver’s License. Actually I was not looking to buy or drive a car in the US for the next four years, but yes I could run into problems, good point. Thanks.

  122. August 4, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    Hi Win,

    I think you should choose the ‘Request for Additional Endorsement’ option. But that’s just my guess; the best thing to do would be to ask the authorities themselves.


  123. Abhijith
    August 4, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    Hi binil!!! Now i am going to apply for the DL once again!! I dont know what will they say this time and U entered the US after making the obeservation in the passport…thenhow did u get rid of FNU in visa???

  124. August 5, 2008 at 5:24 am


    My visa still lists my name with the FNU – I have not changed it. I took my DL in California in January, and did not run into any issues because of my name in the visa.


  125. Win
    August 5, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    Hi Binil,

    So I tried calling like seven or eight numbers of the Regional Passport Office but either it’s busy or no one picks up. That’s rude. I went with the Additional Endorsement option and submitted the form in the morning and was told to collect it at 5 in the evening. And when I got it back, they said they no longer add observations and that I have the option of either getting a new booklet or going to the Indian embassy in DC. I asked several people in the passport office but all said the observations are no longer added. In the meanwhile, I got in touch with a travel agent and he said the same thing — no more observations! Imagine I had to travel to the Passport Office and spend the entire day in a different city from home and all in vain.
    So am going to go with filling the I-94 correctly and then go to the embassy in DC to get the observation. Hopefully everything will go well. Will keep you guys posted.

    And yea, I called the VFS and checked with them if I would need to get the FNU changed on visa after getting an observation added, and they said there was no need; just the observation would be ok.

    And for information, I checked out passports of my relatives and all of them had surname field empty but in their Canadian, UK, and Australian Visas, the surname and first name columns were filled correctly. Weird!

    So now am going to see if I can get an appointment at the consulate in DC. If I can’t, I’ll just walk in and see what happens!!

    Take care

  126. abhijith
    August 6, 2008 at 1:42 am

    Hi @above!!

    There is no need for the appointment !! I made an observation just 1 week back!! All u have to do goto indian embassy and tell the name split !! they will ask u to fill miscellaneous form and u need to paste photo on it and pay 10$!! And they will say to collect the passport evening… regarding FNU in visa mailed to the chennai consulate and vfs … they told me to apply for visa after an observation….


  127. abhijith
    August 6, 2008 at 1:43 am

    Thanks binil, I will apply for DL and SSN in a week!! I will you know my updates here!!

  128. Win
    August 6, 2008 at 4:17 am

    Hey Abhijith,

    Thanks for the info. The VFS I called was the customer care and they said an observation would be enough and no need to get visa changed. And Binil also has FNU on his visa and had no problems so far. Let us know how the process for DL and SSN go.

    Take care

  129. Win
    August 7, 2008 at 12:13 am

    So I have emailed Indian embassy in Washington DC regarding the observation and awaiting their response. Will keep you guys updated.

  130. Win
    August 7, 2008 at 3:39 am


  131. Win
    August 7, 2008 at 3:41 am


  132. Win
    August 7, 2008 at 3:45 am

    Abhijith, did you get the observation added at the embassy in Washington DC (without the appointment as you said)?

  133. Win
    August 7, 2008 at 4:00 am

    Ok I got it. It’s First Name Unknown.

  134. Abhijith
    August 8, 2008 at 1:40 am

    Hi win!! I went directly and i was to split my name… they will give one form and u need to pay 10$ and paste one photo!! thats it!!

  135. Abhijith
    August 8, 2008 at 1:41 am

    correction : I want to split my name!!

  136. Win
    August 8, 2008 at 9:56 am

    Oh cool; thanks Abhijith. I’ll be leaving for Washington DC soon to get this done. Should the photograph be passport size?

  137. August 8, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Win, yes, you need a passport size photograph. I have linked to the PDF of the form in my post. Fill it out (carry a few extra blank copies, in case you need to correct something), affix the photograph and have $10 change! 🙂

    Good Luck,

  138. Win
    August 9, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    Hey Binil,

    Thanks a ton. However, am going to the Indian consulate in Washington DC. Would the miscellaneous form still be the same? The one posted here is of the Indian consulate in San Fransisco. I couldn’t find any on the Washington DC consulate website, and they have still not replied to my email.

    Many thanks,


  139. Win
    August 9, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    I guess the form would be different and no luck on the DC consulate website. Guess I’ll have to go in person with all the other things you mentioned.

    Will keep posting with updates.

  140. August 10, 2008 at 12:37 am

    Win, I think the form would likely be the same. It doesn’t hurt to carry one filled out with you 🙂

  141. abhijith
    August 14, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    Hi!! Update from my side… Got my linence named as VENKAT ABHIJITH GALI without FNU

  142. Win
    August 18, 2008 at 3:25 am

    So my I-94 is correct. And am going to the embassy tomorrow for the split. And Binil, the form listed here says US Consulate in San Francisco, so I probably should not carry it. And the DC embassy has not yet replied to my email.

    Everything’s going cool till now!!

    And congrats Abhijith!!

  143. August 18, 2008 at 4:44 am

    Win, best wishes!

  144. sds
    August 19, 2008 at 7:12 am

    Tremendous work guys – I am sure it would have helped many FNUs. Keep it up.
    Though I, rather my wife and Children are foregoing this process.
    Let me brief:
    All of us applied for US Visa, Under E2 category and got approved. During the Visa interview, as my wife’s and two children’s passport had “Surname” column, they issued me “denial of Visa” and advised to endorse in the passport by providing a Surname. My passport has no trouble in names, as both the name fields in the passport have names. Now I am in the process of name change and might take three weeks or more for my family members.
    Now my query to blog contributers is:
    HAVE ANYBODY FACED THE INTERVIEW WITH WHOLE FAMILY AND RECEIVED DENIAL OF VISA FOR FNU REASONS? IF SO, IN SUCH A CASE OF FAMILY APPROVAL NOTICE, WHEN MY PASSPORT HAS NO TROUBLE OF FNU AND OTHERS HAVE, Can I alone request for printing the visa? Will the US embassy do? After necessary changes in the passport of my family members I shall request US Embassy for visa printing later.
    Any experience – You suggestions and replies please…!

  145. August 19, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Sds, sorry to hear about your experience. Nope, I haven’t heard of such a situation (but then, I am no expert really! :). Wish you all the best in untangling this.


  146. Win
    August 20, 2008 at 11:38 am

    Hey Binil,

    Thanks for your good wishes. So I filled the miscellaneous form page 1 that they give. me and fixed my passport-size photograph and requested a name split observation. Gave $10 and they asked me to collect it at 4:30 in the evening. So job done!!

    I’ll apply for a SSN when I get to college this week!

    Will keep you posted.

    Take care,


    • July 20, 2010 at 11:16 am

      Hi Win,

      Can you please suggest if you had to change VIS Aalso. Or is it fine iwth FNU in it.


      • July 20, 2010 at 1:51 pm

        @Vikas, I had the FNU on my visa for couple of years (before I got it renewed) and I did fine.

  147. August 20, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    Congrats Win!! One hurdle crossed with ease… good luck on the rest! Keep us posted.

  148. JP
    August 30, 2008 at 3:30 am

    Hi Binil,
    Sorry to add to your list of comments here, but I would appreciate any help I can get. I am currently on my third passport. My first passport has my name listed correctly. However, when renewing my passport at the Chennai office (and getting a second passport), the officers there made a mistake and left out my last name. My first name is listed correctly in this second passport but last name is blank. As a result, any visas I have on the second passport are listed as:

    First Name:
    Last Name: LNU

    The folks at the Chennai office refused to correct it even after I went there in person and requested that they do so. Since this was a few weeks before I was about to leave for the US, I thought I’d just wing it and see what happened. Things went ok – my SSN, State ID, etc. all my have both my first name and last name in the proper places. As mentioned earlier, it’s only the visas on the passport that are the problem. So I thought I’d just wait until I had to renew the passport again.

    Now, since my second passport is about to expire, I reapplied for a third one, making sure to list my name correctly in the application to the Chicago consulate. I didn’t mention the name issue, since I figured the less fuss I made about it, the better. They issued me a new passport (my third one) – unfortunately, this one is just the like the second one. My first name is listed correctly, but last name has been left blank, though all the supporting documents I provided have both names. Now I am trying to decide whether:

    a.) to use the miscellaneous services form and ask them to add my last name to the passport, or
    b.) if I should go through the entire name change procedure, publishing advertisements in newspapers here and in India, etc. However, I am not changing my name – my last name was left out by mistake. Every other legal document I own has both names listed currently.

    Any suggestions, Binil or anyone else? And thanks for your help and patience in advance!


  149. August 30, 2008 at 4:27 am

    Hi JP,

    My sympathies. If I ever have a daughter, I’ll never marry her to a boy who has anyone in his family tree who worked in an Indian passport office! 🙂

    I don’t know the answer to your question. From what I have read, they add the observation only for name splits; in your case one part of the name is plain missing, so they might not add the observation. Nonetheless, since a formal name change is significantly more hassle than getting the observation added, I would suggest trying to add the observation first. If you get declined, you can try showing your first passport and argue your case forcefully. You need try for the formal name change only if the observation window is shut for sure.

    Having said that, I suspect that your name is already mistakenly entered in some database somewhere – the error in the second passport can be attributed to a clerical mistake, the third one just can’t be ignored as a mistake. If you know someone working with a passport office or consulate, you might be able to get an explanation on how your name got butchered two times in a row. If there is a genuine problem, its one you need to get addressed in the long run.

    Good luck! Keep us posted.

    Warm regards,

  150. JP
    August 30, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    Thanks, Binil. I’m going to try the miscellaneous services form and see what happens. I’ll definitely keep you posted!

  151. salman khattak
    September 10, 2008 at 1:09 am

    Wow… Just today at my work (a community technical college in Canada) we (Enterprise Systems) were asked to resolve this issue for the international admissions dept. The admissions dept. was adamant that there some Indian students who do not a have a surname. I said that I am from Pakistan (a geographical neighbor) and I have never heard of such a case. After reading your post, I can safely assume that it is usually a human error at the passport office. However, can you verify that indeed there is no such case where a person has only one name, like for example ‘Madonna’? 🙂


    Salman Khattak

    September 10, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    I am having the same problem. Can some1 post or mail me the exact miscellaneous info. form that they had submitted in order to get a name observation done on the passport. Can sme1 tell me d xact documents needed to get this done? Can this b done by post or do i need 2 go 2 d consulate personally or can i get it done from a friend who stays in Houston?

    September 10, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    If possible, can sme1 gimme a contct no by malinig it 2 balasubu87@gmail.com

  154. JP
    September 12, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    Binil – here’s the update. So I did send the miscellaneous services form and gave them a *very brief* rundown of the situation in a cover letter. I told them twice in the cover letter that the name issue was a clerical error. But, apparently, that wasn’t enough. My application was returned today with a note saying I should do the legal name change and then reapply.

    On the bright side, it didn’t take them too long to process it – only about 6 – 7 days. Additionally, they returned all my materials including the fee. So the only thing I lost was mailing charges. 🙂

    Subrmanian Sankaran, if you are looking for forms just Google the name of the Indian Consulate you want and go to the website. All forms, instructions, etc. should be there.

  155. September 12, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    @JP: Aww, I am sorry to hear that. A name change is an involved process, I am told. Wish you all the best to untangle it all real soon. Keep us posted!


  156. Unknown Jaswant Kumar
    September 17, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    As you said that you went to Newark CBP office and recieved corrected I-94. Was this I-94, which needed correction from CBP issued before passport correction (“Name Change” or “Split of Name”) ?

    I got new passport with corrected “Surname” and “Given Name”, but USCIS and CBP both are saying that the change which is making my current I-94 incorrect (At least thats what I figured out from SSN office, when I went to correct my name in the SSN record happily after (Un-)Known Jaswant Kumar), is result of my “Name Change” or “Split of Name”, so I have to fill I-102 form and pay fee $320 and send it to appropriate processing center.

    I really appreciate Binil’s effort for starting this topic and supporting all the queries.

    Did anybody filled I-102 form with $320 fee and got corrected I-94 form ? How long this procedure takes ? Is there any special cautious required while filling the form ?

    Any information in this regard is appreciated.


    • Karishma
      August 6, 2009 at 3:34 pm

      Hi Jaswant,

      I just wanted to know whether you got the i-94 corrected.. If yes, how? I went to the USCIS office in Chicago for correcting my i-94 and they gave me form i-102 to fill.. They asked me to mail form i-102 along with my oroginal form i-94 to Nebraska USCIS office. I am not sure whether it is safe to do that or not. And if they issue me a new i-94, how will they deliver it to me? do you have any idea? any help is appreciated..

      Thanks and regards,

  157. September 20, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    Hi Binil,

    your post in future may be used by USCIS as in FAQ 🙂

    I have few queries, try how many can you reply…

    My passport and other things are ok but in my wife’s passport first name contains XXX YYY and surname is blank now when we go for stamping she will def. get FNU as first name.. Now in US, how hectice is to do this bifurcation and if they need any document as when i read comments like the last one he has been asked to pay $320… and as in dependent how importants is FNU in SSN or oher places, I dont think she will go for driving licences….

    It will be great if you can add me on gmail. i entered my email while filling this post or thru my website

  158. September 21, 2008 at 1:01 am

    Hi Jaswant, this comment might be helpful. Vijay has also left his email, so you can try writing to him for details.

    Good Luck,

  159. September 21, 2008 at 1:10 am


    You can have the FNU on the visa, fill out the I-94 correctly, and get the name bifurcated when you get to US. I am aware that Win, one of the readers here, got this done recently. Please see some of his/her other comments too.

    Unless your wife has a physical disability which prevents her from driving, it is always reasonable to assume that she might need a driving license some time. Furthermore, even if she does not plan to have a DL, she will need to go through a similar process (minus the driving test, of course) to get her state identification card.

    Good luck,

  160. September 21, 2008 at 4:50 am

    Thanks Binil for quick reply…

    For name bifurcation, does they need any document proof as i checked the website no much details are available.


  161. September 21, 2008 at 11:28 am

    Hi binil, how did u made the request on form 1 of misc services as their is no option to select split name and it ask for applicant’s name as in passport.

    refer this link

  162. September 21, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    Nisheeth, in the form choose “Other” and specify the service as “Bifurcate name into first & last names”.

  163. nishpreet
    September 21, 2008 at 5:43 pm
  164. Win
    September 29, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    Hey Binil,

    Sorry about writing after such a long time. You know how busy the first month of college could be! So I have not yet applied for a SSN, but had no problems opening a bank account, which was my main concern.

    Your blog was definitely the best on the FNU topic and has surely helped all of us!!


    Take care,


  165. Rajesh
    October 10, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Hey Bini,
    I have also same FNU problem. I am india and will travel next month. My PPort Name is GivenName: Rajesh Kumar, SurName:Blank. My Visa Stamping is Surname:Rajesh Kumar and GivenName:FNU. I am thinking to change my Passport name by amending in same passport as GivenName:Rajesh, SurName:Kumar.
    Please suggest is there compulsory to change also visa stamping. If yes then it is risky means complete process will follow again or not.
    what happen if i don’t change my stamping name but change name in passport. Thanks if you can answer quickly.

  166. October 10, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    This is a wonderful and helpful forum. It has helped me a lot in resolving the FNU conflict I had in my records.

  167. October 11, 2008 at 8:00 am

    Hi Rajesh,

    For me, I haven’t had a need to change the visa. My visa still holds the FNU name. I guess nothing bad will happen because of that – at least I am hoping so 🙂

    The important things are:
    1) Have the observation added on the passport
    2) Fil out the I-94 form with the correct name.

    Good Luck,

  168. Amit
    October 20, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    Hello binil,
    this is my case

    SurName (Blank)
    Given Name : xxx yyy zzz

    Family Name: XXX YYY ZZZ
    First NAme . FNU

    First Name XXX YYY
    Last Name ZZZ

    iam here for just 3 months on L1, i have applied for SSN, Don’t need a DL as my roomie has one, is it ok to just leave it like that? do i have to get anything corrected? if so i’am planning to get it done in india will it be ok?

  169. October 20, 2008 at 7:48 pm


    IANAL, but having this corrected will help you. If your SSN application is declined, then you might have to get the observation added. If not, and since you don’t foresee a need for a DL, you can wait til you get to India to get this fixed.


  170. JP
    October 22, 2008 at 3:29 am

    Hey Binil,
    So here’s another update – I finally got a legal name change done through the court system here in the US. It’s a pretty easy process, but not a cheap one. Now I am going to try to get a newspaper in India to publish a notice about the name change.

  171. October 22, 2008 at 5:28 am

    Congrats JP!

    Since you mention is it easy, can you please outline the steps needed for a legal namechange? Also, please post links to information elsewhere on the web, if you are aware of any.

    Hope it all works out well for you soon!


  172. Khue
    October 23, 2008 at 7:02 am

    Hi,Binil. I’m Vietnamese (in Southern California) and I have the same problem about the first name FNU on my visa when i renewed my visa in Mexico. My problem is the same with other people about difficult in taking permit test at DMV. It’s really suck because i did try 4 times at DMV, and called, then went to USCIS ( they gave me a form and told me to give the DMV to fill out, then it’s incorrect form), so nothing hasn’t done for 2 months. Thanks, you just made my day when I found your explanation on the internet after all my hard work. Do you think it’s ok for me to get an observation added by Indian authorities to my passport at San Francisco consulate (Indian consulate)? If not, do you have any suggestion for me to get an observation ? Notice: My I94, SSN have correct name ( my real name).
    Thanks and have a nice day!

  173. October 23, 2008 at 7:38 am

    Hi Khue,

    You should get the observation added to the passport from the Vietnamese consulate. Good luck in getting it sorted out.


  174. Khue
    October 23, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    Hi,Binil, thanks for your fast replying. I found the Vietnamese consulate website in SAN FRANCISCO, CA. The website doesn’t tell anything about this type of thing, so I emailed to them for explaining the FNU on my visa. Hopefully, everything would be ok.

  175. JP
    October 24, 2008 at 3:36 am

    Binil – you’re right – this might be helpful to someone. So here goes:

    To do a legal name change in the US, you have to apply to the court house of the county where you are staying. Details of the procedure (e.g. forms to fill out, payment, etc.) will all be on their website. I would give a link for the whole process, but since there appears to be minor variations depending on which part of the country you are in, it might be better if you just googled for your county court house. In my case, they held an official hearing (which wasn’t really that big a deal). All I had to was show up for it and answer a few basic questions along the lines of “Are you sure you aren’t changing your name to evade the law in some form?”. The whole process took only about 10 minutes and then they gave me a couple of copies of the official document endorsing the name change. You should probably get a couple of these if you go through the name change. They will be useful for asking for name change on other documents in the US. And you will need this document to publish a notice in the newspaper in this country about your name change.

  176. JP
    October 24, 2008 at 3:42 am

    Oops…I hit enter before I finished typing that last comment. So continuing where I left off….

    Remember to change your name on all legal documents you own after going through this process – SS card, driver’s license, etc. – and get the appropriate number of copies you need for this process. Some of these name changes may need to be done within a few weeks of your court date. So make sure to note all these details down.

    I still have to carry out the next part of publishing notices in both a newspaper here and in India. I am going to tackle that next week and let you guys know how that goes.

  177. Khue
    October 24, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    hey, Binil. I talked to the Vietnamese Consulate, but they didn’t let me to get the observation for my passport. I knew they didn’t know what i talked about for this problem FNU on the first name. Do you have any suggestion for helping me getting out of this thing? DMV said that on the government system, my first name is FNU. It didn’t match up with the passport so they couldn’t give me the written test. I have no idea what to do now. My hope just becomes confusing each time.
    Thanks for your help,

  178. October 26, 2008 at 5:49 am


    I am sorry to hear about your plight. Did the folks at DMV offer a solution to correct your name in the US information systems? If they don’t know themselves, they might be able to tell you who (USCIS?) might know.

    Good luck,

  179. October 26, 2008 at 5:51 am


    Thanks for the detailed writeup. Good luck with publishing notices! Please keep us posted.

    Thanks again,

  180. Tushar
    November 18, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    Thank you very much for the info, Binil. I noticed that I had the same FNU issue with my first name on Nov 14th 2008. Checked your posts, went to the SFO consulate (from LA) on 17th and got my passport endorsed with the name correction the same day. Thanks again.

  181. JP
    November 23, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Hey Binil,
    I managed to get the name change published both here and in India finally. To get it published in India, it was pretty easy. I contacted The Hindu via this email address on their website – inetads@thehindu.co.in . They replied promptly and sent me a template I could use and a price quote (I paid online using a link they sent). They also sent me a copy of the paper on the day on which it was published. Similarly, for my local newspaper, I just called them up and asked for the Classifieds section. I emailed them the identical notice I had sent The Hindu and they too, took care of it within a couple of days. Both notices cost about $65 each. Now all I have to do is wait for 30 days and mail everything to the Indian Consulate again.

  182. November 23, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    JP, congrats on getting through the hurdle!! You are getting close, way to go man!

  183. Raghuveer Singh
    December 26, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    Hi Binil,

    I am Raghuveer Singh. In my passport my given name is written as Raghuveer Singh and Surname column is blank. US university sent me an I-20 showing First Name- Raghuveer, Surname- Singh. Then I notified to university they told that surname can not be left blank and they sent me new I20 showing details as follows
    First Name (Given name) Raghuveer Singh
    Family name (Surname) RAGHUVEER SINGH.

    I had to fill FNU in first name and Raghuveer Singh in Last name in DS forms. As per I-20 I filled SEVIS form as First Name- Raghuveer singh, Surname- Raghuveer Singh. I have booked VISA interview date which is on Tuesday.

    As surname is important in the US so I requested Passport Office to split my name as
    First Name- Raghuveer, Surname- Singh. They are now ready to give one certificate showing my correct name as
    First Name- Raghuveer, Surname- Singh.

    I have one I-20 which US university sent me earlier showing same detail of my name as First Name- Raghuveer, Surname- Singh. Can I use this older I20 which is having same sevis number? If I use new I20, in which Raghuveer Singh is written in first name and surname column, then it will contradict my revised passport name section. Which I20 I should use? Do I need to get correction in SEVIS forms also? And what to do in DS forms?

    Please reply me at the earliest

    Raghuveer Singh

  184. December 26, 2008 at 10:28 pm


    You need to write to your university and ask them if it is OK to use the older I-20. I don’t know what pitfalls there are in using the older I-20. It is holiday season here, so many offices are closed for vacation. Nonetheless, you should try your luck calling up the concerned office of the university on Monday (which would be Monday evening your time in India).

    The DS forms already have the incorrect name. Is it possible to cancel the apointment with the consulate and take a new one? That might give you ample time to correct the DS form, and get clarification from the university.

    Apologies that I could not be of much help. Good luck!


  185. Raghuveer Singh
    December 27, 2008 at 4:12 am

    Hello Binil,

    Thanks for your reply. I am thinking to take my visa with FNU and but before I leave to US I will take certificate from passport office regarding splitting of my name. With this note I will be able to fill I-94 and SSN correctly.

    On the other hand if I go to visa consulate with splitted name then one thing is sure that I will get my name prited on visa page without FNU and I have to produce new I20 where my full name is written in both the column of first name and surname because I think that VO can view online I20 from sevis number mentioned on I20 by using their software and I doubt university might have updated my I20 there. Though there will be mismatching on I20 and sevis fee receipt. I can explain at security checks that I got my name splitted recently whereas my older full name was followed in previous documentation.

    What do u think which approach is correct? what is ur personal opinion. My course are starting so I can not cancel appointment.

    waiting for your reply


    Raghuveer Singh

  186. Krishna
    December 29, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Hey Binil,

    Thanks a lot for this awesome post which is still serving the purpose for hundreds like me with the same problem. !

    I am planning to go to SFO consulate to get the observation added in my passport. (Name bifurcation is the issue here..)

    What I would like to know is the way to correct the I-94. Currently my I-94 matches the passport (i.e. only first name and NO last name).

    If I understand correctly
    1. the CBP office located in the same building as the USCSIS office can get this corrected and issue a fresh I-94 with bifurcated name.
    2. No extra proof/evidence is required.

    Please correct me if my understanding is wrong.



  187. December 30, 2008 at 8:27 am

    Hi Bijin,

    Thanks for dropping by to comment and the kind words! To answer your questions:

    1) Yes, you are right
    2) You need to carry your H-1B petition papers. In my case, my name was correct (i.e. in the bifurcated form) on my petition papers.

    From what I have read here in the comments, you can get your I-94 corrected. If the need for correction was due to some error from your side, you need to pay about $300. If the mistake was from their side, it is done free of cost. In my case, the “Olena incident” might have caused them to do the correction free of charge. So be prepared with the fee when you go to USCIS.

    When my SSN application got rejected, I was initially very frustrated. But looking back at my experience, it was a fairly straightforward process which took just 2 trips to SF. So, stay calm; this should work out well soon for you. Wish you a happy and prosperous 2009 ahead!

    Best Wishes and Good Luck,

  188. Vijay Raj
    February 3, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    Hi all,

    I was reading everyone’s comments and suggestions.I thought i will also share my case with u all.

    On my Indian Passport:-
    SurName: Vijay Raj

    On my VISA:-
    Surname: Vijay Raj
    FirstName: FNU

    On my I94:-
    GivenName: Vijay Raj

    as i needed ssn and driving license,wen i initially came to US.

    I went to the port of entry in the deffered inspection section,corrected my I94 as

    Currently on my I94:-
    FamilyName:- Vijay Raj

    Now i felt that as my name is consistent on passport,visa,i94

    i applied for ssn

    got my ssn as
    FamilyName(last name):- Vijay Raj
    GivenName(first name): UNKNOWN

    then applied for driving license and they asked me to show passport,visa,i94,ssn,debit card of US bank,birth certificate for 6 point id program.they inspected all documents for quite a long time.

    after that they issued Driving licence with a new name
    FamilyName(last name):- Vijay Raj
    GivenName(first name): Vijay

    Now my passport is abt to expire and im applying for a new passport.as per the discussion i will have to split name with first name as Vijay and last name as Raj in the new passport.

    after getting a new passport, i need to correct i94,ssn and driving license also visa and i797 with proper names.im not worried abt visa and i797 as im converting my visa this year(applying for a new visa) they will automatically be changed.Now i need to change I94 then ssn and then DL which is not easy i know.If u have any suggestions let me know.

    This is my case it helps to somebody

  189. Neil
    February 19, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Hi Binil,

    Hope you can remember me , see the comment no 86. Its really long , but finally I got the observation done on my passport from Pune Passport Office.

    They were reluctant initially , but I kept on pressing hard , and finally one day the Passport Officer gave me the observation.

    So, now based on my case , I can say that you can have observation done on your passport from any passport office in India irrespective of the City it has been issued.

  190. grace
    March 3, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    Hi binil,
    i have a question , My name on Passport Says Grace E varghese on the given name column, and i dont have a surname there, But On my L2 visa it says in the place of Surname as grace e varghese and given name as FNU. and on my I94 i wrote my name as Grace E V in the First(given name) and left the family name empty, When i went for an ssn application , they Denied giving me one as they say the name Section is different in the visa and on I 94, Hope you understood my doubt , any idea what to do next? Please help me!
    Read your BLog and felt i am in the same boat as you!

  191. March 4, 2009 at 3:41 am

    Grace, you indeed are in the same boat, from what I understood!
    My blog entry describes how I proceeded with the problem; you might want to try the same. First, get the observation added on your passport from the SF Indian consulate. Then, contact USCIS to correct your I-94. You might be required to pay some money (about $300) for this based on some comments I read here.
    Once the passport and I-94 are corrected, apply for the SSN. Please check the blog entry and the comments to it for more details. Good Luck!

  192. grace
    March 4, 2009 at 4:53 am

    Thanks For ur Prompt reply.. Will try out .. Then Is it necessary to change the name on the VISA? Thanks again!

  193. March 4, 2009 at 5:38 am

    @Grace: Nope, you need not change on the visa. The visa lets you enter the country; once you are in the country, there is little use for it except to prove that you originally entered legally. The I-94 is what establishes your right to stay legally in the country.

    IANAL etc.

  194. Grace
    March 11, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    Hi Binil,
    I sent the Form to SFO Yesterday By US Postal services,Only thing we Didnot know we had to activate something For tracking our stuff, anyways hopefully it reached by now!We had sent it by priority mail. Will let yu know how it progresses! Btw wat is IANAL ?sorry

  195. March 11, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    Grace, Good Luck! You did not mention it, but I hope you send your passport also along with the form. 🙂
    IANAL = I Am Not A Lawyer.

  196. Grace
    March 12, 2009 at 1:55 am

    Oh ya binil!i forgot to mention i posted:
    2.A Letter mentioning I need an Observation!
    3.The form i downloaded on SFO website.
    4.Cashiers cheq for 10 dollars.
    5.Return envelope
    Ya now i m waiting to see by when they would sent it back to me, Then i have to go the Immigration People to get my I94 done!
    Oh thanks for the Clarification of the Abbreviation!IANAL! I like dat!

  197. Luke
    March 18, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Grace, I am on the same boat as you are. So, any update ? Did you receive the passport with the observation added.Do let us know.

  198. grace
    March 18, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    Hey Luke,
    I did Sent it,But I forgot to Keep a Tracking Check on it! so We dont know Wat is happening to it actually, Waiting patiently.. and praying all ges well.. Hope you get yours on time too..

  199. grace
    March 25, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    Hi all,

    I had sent my passport for splitting of name, i Got a call from passport office saying i need an affidavit along with the rest of the documents, Does anyone have any idea where to get the format for this AFFIDAVIT??

    Please let me no at the earliest!


  200. Luke
    March 25, 2009 at 5:31 pm


    You can get the AFFIDAVIT from the San Francisco website,Here is the link – http://www.cgisf.org/Forms/SPECIMEN%20AFFIDAVIT.pdf

    Which embassy did you sent ? Is it to the Washington DC ?

  201. grace
    March 25, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    Hey thanks Luke!!
    So is It the same for splitting of name as well ?I sent to SFO. WEr did u sent? Did You get your Passport..

  202. grace
    April 20, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Hey all,

    I got my Passport with the name rectified today!
    Thank God!
    Next have to get the Visa changed!


  203. grace
    April 20, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    Not visa , i meant I94 changed, have taken an appointment with USCIS, Let see wat happens next !

  204. April 20, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    Congrats Grace! Good luck at the USCIS office. Are you going to the SF USCIS office?

  205. grace
    April 20, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Nope , I am going to Phoenix USCIS office

  206. grace
    April 21, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Hey Binil,
    Any idea wat all to carry to USCIS office?


  207. April 21, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Grace, take your petition papers, passport and I-94. If you have a birth certificate or any other similar document you think would help you establish your legal name, it would be a good idea to carry them.
    Also, I think USCIS charges about $320 or so if the error in your I-94 is your own fault (I don’t know how they would consider your case), so you might want to carry that.
    Finally, when I went to SF USCIS office, I forgot to leave my cell phone behind; they won’t let you take the cellphone inside the building. I was confused for a few minutes, but I was soon told that there is a pub next door which rents out lockers, and I left my cellphone with them.
    Good Luck, and keep us posted!

  208. Grace
    May 5, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    Hey Binil,
    Atlast Got my I94 corrected, By God s grace~
    They did not charge us!
    Though i had taken 320 dollars , my passport , and documents for name proof like birth certificate, But they didnot ask anything.

    The Duty officer Just Simply did it for me!
    Got to Go to the SSN office in 10 days from now, as it takes time to update!

    Anywys thats the update from my side!


  209. Sharmin
    May 11, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    To all FNUs,

    I had the same problem. But I was a bit luckier to get my I-94 corrected soon without correcting my passport. Luckily for me, the I-797 had my lastname and firstname. I showed it to the immigration office and they updated and gave me the new I-94. Due to that I got an SSN within 6 weeks of my arrival here. The problem started when I looked for a DL. They initially thought that I played around with the I-94 and told me that I will never get a license iff I bring the original I-94. I told them that this was updated by the immigration and they told they did not know anything like that. I talked to their boss and pleaded him to verify with the immigration dept. He was a kind guy and verified my immigration records in no time. But my DL has “FN LN FNU” as they told that without updating the VISA they cannot have my name printed as FN LN. I was told by the USCIS that inorder to update the VISA, I need to update my passport which is quite understandable.

    I am working in Kansas now and nearer to Chicago than in Houston.
    Now Questions time… :o) Please answer if any of you can help me out.

    1. As per the website, jurisdiction for KS falls under Houston Indian embassy. Is it possible for me to go to Indian Embassy, Chicago?

    2. Is it possible to update the Passport names without going to the embassy? I mean, by mailing? If yes, how?

    3. Above Binil has mentioned about miscelleneous application and Luke mentioned about affidavit. Are there any other documents needed to be submitted for updating my first name from FNU to the real one?

    4. If some one has recently got it done from Chicago Indian embassy, would you please instruct me what all things need to be done. The reason for asking is, the rules and systems have been changed much since Binil got it done. One of my friends told me that I will have to fill the online form (a very big one) for anything and everything. I am so confused. Please help me.


  210. May 12, 2009 at 1:16 pm


    1. I think you should be able to go to any of the embassies. Please call them up and confirm before going there, though.

    2. There is a mail-in procedure. Quite recently, Grace (see comments above yours), did it via mail. I also link to a comment on another forum about mail-in procedures in my post.

    3. None that I know of.

    4. Obviously, I can’t help there. 🙂

    But don’t worry – you should try to call up the embassy and ask for help. It is very hard to get the SF embassy folks on the phone, so I had to actually make the trip to SF – but things might be different at Chicago.

    The folks at the embassy, once I got to speak to them, were very helpful. In fact, coming to think of it, that is their main job – helping Indians abroad – isn’t it? 🙂 So try calling them up and ask them your questions.


  211. Grace
    May 22, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Hi Binil,
    Just wanted to Say that i recieved my SSN yesterday,
    so the Run is over!
    Thanks for the Guidance!
    God bless you !

  212. Blaze
    June 3, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Hello Binil,

    Thanks for the great info and the comments on this page.. it reduced my doubts.

    I booked for my visa interview today with First name as FNU and LN as Blaze Vincent. My Wife is also attending the interview with the same problem.

    Can I add an observation to the passport after stamping my Visa before leaving to US as i will have 2 more months before i leave to US? Then if i am successful, i can use this to enter in I-194 right?


  213. June 3, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Hi Blaze,

    Yes you can get it added before you travel. Please see Neil Mrinal’s comments above.

    Best Wishes,

  214. Blaze
    June 4, 2009 at 3:16 am

    Hi Binil,

    Thanks for quick reply. My situation is a little different.

    Since my Visa Interview is Next thursday (7 more days) and I have filled all my forms as FNU Blaze Vincent, I have 2 questions:

    1. If i can get this observation added within one week, can i get my Visa Stamped as Blaze Vincent or will this create problems again while stamping?
    2. If I get the observation added after the Visa Stamping before i fly, can i write my name properly in I-194 onwards? In this case, only my Visa will have the FNU thing. What problems will this create?

    Thanks for understanding!

  215. June 4, 2009 at 3:48 am

    Hi Balze,

    1. I don’t know. I would imagine that they will use the name you filled out in the forms.
    2. Most probably. The idea is that you can use your actual name on the I-94 and *if at all* the officer at the port of entry raises an eyebrow, you can show her the observation and most likely she will let you use your actual name on the I-94. The point of getting the observation added before you travel is that then you can justify using the name on the passport, should someone ask you. My wife had the observation added on her passport while she was in India, wrote her name correctly on the I-94, and the officer at the port of entry did not ask her about it.

    IANAL etc,

  216. Blaze
    June 5, 2009 at 3:17 am

    Thank You Binil..

    I spoke to the VFS office in India.. they told me that we cannot change the name in passport once Visa is stamped. We have to go for Visa Interview again.

    However as per the VFS and also the American Website, we can have our name changed after booking for Visa Interview but before the Interview and explain to the officer during interview so that we can get the correct name stamped on the Visa.

    Hope this helps others!!


    • June 5, 2009 at 5:34 am

      Blaze, I suspect that what the VFS officer meant was that changing the name on the passport after the visa is issued will not have an effect on the visa; one needs to go for another visa interview should one need a visa with the changed name. Is that what the officer said?

      I ask this specifically because my wife got the observation added on her passport after she got the visa.

  217. Blaze
    June 6, 2009 at 3:23 am

    Hello Binil,

    From the VFS Officer and from others who are in US, i understand that it is absolutely important to have the same name in Passport as well as in Visa to enter US.

    The VFS Office told me that after getting visa if you change name on the passport, your visa will be cancelled and you have to get a new visa.

    However i understand that after reaching US if you get this observation added, it will not be a big problem as US people will consider Form I-94 more important than Visa.

    Hope you got me!

    Did your wife travel to the US after getting the name changed?


  218. June 6, 2009 at 3:42 am


    Yes, my wife got the visa, then got the observation added and then travelled to US in 2007 November. She filled out her correct name on her I-94 and the CBP officer did not ask her anything about it. I am told that CBP is stricter now, so maybe it does make a difference now.

    I hope you can get the observation added before your visa interview.

    Best Wishes,

  219. Sunil
    June 9, 2009 at 8:50 pm


    Thank a ton for such a helpful post about this menace called FNU…!
    I have tried to do whatever i could as mentioned in the posts but still the ppl in DMV are saying that they cannot give me the Driving license.

    My Passport Given Name: Sunil Kumar
    Surname : …

    But i got the observation added from the Indian Consulate in SFO ….

    My I-94 has the name in correct manner… with No FNU
    My SSN is also correct with No FNU

    It is only the Visa which has FNU mentioned before my name.

    But when i went today for the DMV test they refused to give me the license.

    Now What should I do ? Does Name in the Visa matter more than in I94 ? What should i show to the DMV guys to get the process ahead ??

    Or Do I have to get the Visa stamped again to get out of this mess ? IS it possible to do that while staying in US ?

    Thank you


  220. Sunil
    June 9, 2009 at 9:05 pm


    It seems that abhijit also had a similar problem…

    Where did u guys apply for the DMV ?? which DMV office ? I’ll also try my luck out there.

    I am located in SFO Bay Area…



  221. June 11, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    Sunil, I had a similar situation, but the Santa Clara DMV did not ask me any questions about the name being different on the visa. My suggestion to you would be to try a different DMV.

    Good Luck!

    PS: Please keep us posted on how this goes.

  222. Sharmin
    June 11, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    Hi Sunil,

    No one can refuse your application for license since you have a valid photo identity issued by the government of US. The only thing is, when they issue, the name would appear like FNU Sunil Kumar which you will have to bear with. This you can get updated when the visa is re-stamped or updated later. If the officer rejects it again, I guess you can escalate this to the DMV officer who would be sitting may be in the same office. You will also get his phone number from the website for the respective state/city. If possible, request that officer who rejected you to give permission to talk with the BOSS.


  223. Sunil
    June 15, 2009 at 7:30 pm


    Well… I went to the Santa Clara DMV and there after a long discussion with the DMV officers, they allowed me to give the test and said i can get the DMV in the name of FNU Sunil Kumar.

    I was ok with that and cleared the test with flying colors… BUT when i went to collect the permit after the test, the guy again refused to give me the license as the name didn’t match with the SSN and I came back.

    I took an appointment with USCIS thinkin that if i go through the name change process of I-94 (though my name is already correct in I-94) they will probably change the records in the system and that will reflect in DMV.

    But there the immigration officer said that my arrival records say my name as “Sunil Kumar” only so there is no need to change…!! Uffff… Man … I was in such a soup….

    I went to Santa clara DMV again today and told the officer tht i need to collect my DMV. I told her that i have been to USCIS etc etc…then i don’t know what she did and what she saw (probably my old B1 visa by mistake) and gave me the DMV with the correct name !! 🙂

    I don’t know how these ppl work but perseverance and persistence does seem to pay off.

    Anyways, I have also consulted a immigration lawyer and according to her the proof of your legal presence in US is I-94 and hence DMV has no business looking at your visa.

    Thanks to all the people who have posted here… It has been of immense help.


  224. Tanuj
    June 28, 2009 at 3:11 am

    Hi All,

    I had a question on FNU thing which is present on my wife’s L2 Visa because of incorrect name in her Passport.
    Her EAD came with Last name as “First Name” and First Name as “Last Name”, her SSN also has same format as EAD.

    I applied for her split of name through mail to SFO consulate, and got a new passport with her name split properly into all the required columns. She needs to carry both old and new passports though as visa is still valid and present on old passport.

    But her Visa still has FNU, is there any process to fix this Visa which is valid till mid of next year 2010.

  225. Karishma
    July 6, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Hi all,

    First of all a BIG thanks to Binil for sharing your experiences and starting this thread..

    I am also facing the same FNU problem. I have got an observation added in my passport from Chicago consulate bifurcating my name. Next I have to get my I-94 corrected. While taking the appointment through Infopass which is the option that I need to select in the ” Please select the Kind of Service you need” page? Can somebody throw some light on this, please??


  226. Rajesh
    July 31, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Hi Binil,

    Good to see a detailed write up on this issue.
    Me and my wife both are “Single” named . Rajesh FNU and Anamika FNU. I entered USA August last year and my wife in October. Intrestingly I got through all process procedures without any additional documentation. I am wondering if have been very lucky 🙂 . Although I have to explain why Rajesh Rajesh on my SSN and have to go through secondary at airport checks but no documentation required so far.

    • Sheeba
      September 25, 2009 at 4:04 pm

      Hey Rajesh, I too have a similar problem like yours. I have just a first name and middle name and no last. What information did you enter in I-94,SSN,Tax returns?

  227. July 31, 2009 at 4:27 pm


    In your case, isn’t the FNU attribution “genuine” – as in you only have one name, with other parts unknown? Out of curiosity, how is your name spelt in your birth certificate, degree certificate etc?


  228. Uday
    August 17, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    One more Victim of FNU!
    Though I have a surname but for some mistake its missed from all documents…
    My passport has surname field blank and my VISA read FNU Udayraj. But when I went for SSN , the officer asked me to put my fathers last name as my surname to avoid DMV problem so, My SSN read the correct name (My legal surname missed all these days)
    But as usual santa clara DMV refused saying VISA has FNU and they do not consider SSN as the proof, trouble started…

    Now I plan to get my missing surname on passport, for which I plan to visit SFO embassy but, I have this issue:
    – what document will embassy need to confirm that the surname I am quoting is correct as I dont have any document proof. Do I need to get a name change affidavit before applying?
    Request some of FNU victims to help me on this.

  229. ramps
    September 24, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Hi guys,
    my case is a little interesting….
    my name on passport is
    given name: XX YY ZZ
    though my actual last name is “ZZ” and first name “XX YY”
    i got my first US visa – L1 in 2007 and i didnt face any problems then and on my visa i got the name as following
    last name:ZZ
    first name:XX YY
    and thats what I entered in the I94 and got my SSN and DL – all correct. I came back to india 2 years later and changed company.
    now this new company sent me to get a business visa(B1).
    unaware of this FNU problem , I went to new delhi embassy and got B1 visa which says following
    last name: XX YY ZZ
    given name:FNU
    When I saw i was like ‘ wtf’ and i searched over the internet and got to this post.
    Can some 1 suggest what should I do to avoid any problems when I got to US for business visits. what should I write on I94 at the port of entry?
    Does any one know whether the chandigarh passport office will add ‘observation’ stating my correct surname and first name.


    • September 25, 2009 at 5:55 pm

      ramps, if you are coming to US on short business visits, it does not really matter. If I understood you correctly, you already have a SSN and DL with the correct name. You should try writing your name correctly on the I-94. If the CBP officer raises an eyebrow, show your SSN. If he insists on you writing your name on the I-94 exactly as on the visa, well, tough luck. But if the visit is short, it really doesn’t matter, IMO. IANAL etc. 🙂
      Having said that, getting the observation added on your passport would help. Life situations can change quite abruptly, and getting the name on the passport corrected is a good idea, don’t you agree?! BTW, I recently renewed my passport, and on this new one the name is written correctly.

  230. Sheeba
    September 25, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    I never thought my name would become such a problem.
    My name is Sheeba George (FirstName MiddleName). I dont have a surname. My name is printed correctly in the passport as
    Given Name:Sheeba George

    I have got a h1b visa stamped with
    Surname:Sheeba George
    First Name:Unknown

    I am travelling to US in october.I am wondering how to proceed from now on.If I don’t have a last name,then what should I enter in I-94,SSN,Tax returns. If i dont have a driving license, i will manage.But I can’t avoid the other 3 documents.

    Please help. I am not even sure who would be the official person to ask these queries to.

  231. September 25, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    Sheeba, as I joked about it the post, the last name might be non-nullable column in some database schema. I am unsure how to go about fixing the name if you don’t have a lastname.

    If i dont have a driving license, i will manage.

    Don’t be in a hurry to conclude that. If this is your first visit to US, you _might_ be surprised how different the public transportation systems are 🙂

    • Sheeba
      September 26, 2009 at 7:44 am

      Well yea, i am a database person, so i know what a non-nullable column can do 🙂
      Till now, I had no clue about FNU. But since yesterday, even before my tickets to US have been booked, I am worried about this thing…

      Doesn’t anyone here have the same problem?i.e. no last name??SOS!!Help!F1!

      Well, I will have to accept defeat somewhere, so I will let go of the car 🙂

      • Sheeba George
        October 14, 2009 at 5:12 am

        Update:I got my visa without the FNU.
        Given Name:Sheeba

        I called up VFS and asked them to get it corrected to below to match my passport, but the are refusing to do so! 😦
        Surname:Sheeba George
        Given Name:FNU

  232. Kartik
    October 7, 2009 at 6:48 am

    Hi Guys,

    I’m facing this same problem of FNU. let me explain my situation.

    Given Names: Kartik Sayee

    H1B visa:
    Given Names: FNU
    Surname: Kartik Sayee

    When i entered US, in my I-94 i wrote as
    First (Given) Name: Kartik
    Family(Last) Name: Sayee

    Now, in the first week i went to the SSN office and they took my first name as ‘Kartik’ and last name as ‘Sayee’. I was really happy that i didn’t face this problem. But the problem came when I went to the DMV office today to give the DMV test they refused my application as my Name in the visa did not match with their database.

    So to solve this, i went to the SSN office and asked them to issue me a replacement card with my Name as FNU Kartik Sayee. I don’t know if this was the right approach but i have initiated this. The reason i did this so that i can get my Driving licence. So that if my SSN has FNU Kartik Sayee which is same as per my H1B visa, then i would get my licence from DMV.

    Please advice wht i need to do. URGENT HELP

  233. October 7, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Kartik, your SSN and I-94 seems to have the correct name. IANAL, but adding the observation to the passport should solve the problem.

    Good luck,

    PS: Please refrain from using phrases like “URGENT HELP”. I am sure you did not mean it that way, but it comes out as impolite and demanding.

  234. Kartik
    October 7, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Hi Binil,

    Thanks for your comments.

    Actually as i was having a problem in the DMV office, they said for them their source document is the Name on the H1B visa. On my Visa the name is as follows
    Given Names: FNU
    Surname: Kartik Sayee

    when they keyed in my SSN number and the above name, it did not match as my name in the SSN is as follows
    First Name: Kartik
    Last Name : Sayee

    So to solve this problem, i went to the SSN office yesterday and asked them to change my Name as given below.
    First Name: FNU
    Last name: Kartik Sayee

    The DMV suggested this, as after doing this the names both in SSN and visa would match and my driving licence would be issued.

    I just want to know one thing, once i get my driving licence then i’m all done. Is ithere a problem if my SSN has FNU Kartik Sayee as my complete name. Like will it have any implications to me in future.

    Please suggest.


    Kartik Sayee

  235. October 7, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Kartik, I am really not qualified to answer your question, so take this with a huge dose of salt. You might run into problems in future if you have the FNU name on the SSN.

    In general, the more documents you have the FNU mentioned, the more trouble it is. Legislations can change, and a problem in your name ignored by the authorities now can later raise eyebrows. I can narrate something from personal experience – I have visited US thrice before 2007; on all three occasions my visa had the correct name. Only when I went to get my visa in 2007, did they put the FNU on the visa. Also, if you search the web, you can find lots of people who have SSN, DL etc, but are facing issues now while applying for GC.

    So my advice to you would be to not put FNU on the SSN; instead go to the consulate and add the observation on the passport. Once you have done that, you can go to the DMV and try to argue your case more forcefully. Also, I am surprised that they look at the visa instead of the I-94, which AFAIK is the document that authorizes you to stay legally in the country. Furthermore, remember that you can go to any DMV to get your DL – so you might want to try your luck at another DMV. If you read the comments here, there are people who have done that successfully before.

  236. Tanuj M
    October 7, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Can someone throw small ray of light if anyone knows how to tackle my situation?

    Tanuj :
    Hi All,
    I had a question on FNU thing which is present on my wife’s L2 Visa because of incorrect name in her Passport.
    Her EAD came with Last name as “First Name” and First Name as “Last Name”, her SSN also has same format as EAD.
    I applied for her split of name through mail to SFO consulate, and got a new passport with her name split properly into all the required columns. She needs to carry both old and new passports though as visa is still valid and present on old passport.
    But her Visa still has FNU, is there any process to fix this Visa which is valid till mid of next year 2010.

  237. Kartik
    October 8, 2009 at 1:58 am

    Hi bimal,

    Thanks. I go to the SSN office tomorrow and ask them to reinstate my name in the SSN directory as before. i.e. First name: Kartik Last name: Sayee
    This was the name which they issued me when i first applied. 2 Days back i had asked them to change it to FNU Kartik Sayee. Now i’ll get that reinstated to the original one. So that should not be a problem.

    For the drivers licenece I have the H1B petition which states my name clearly as
    Sayee, Kartik. This is correct because in US they use last name first and then first name seperated by comma.

    So i can show them the H1B petiton and ask them to issue me a DL based on that. WOuld that be ok ?

    Thanks for all the support till now. Really appretiate.

    Kartik Sayee

  238. Sheba K
    October 15, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Is there anyone here who has only given name in passport and who has submitted notarized affidavit for splitting name in passport?

    I am having trouble filling up the form.

    Any help would be welcome


  239. Sharmin
    October 15, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    Hi Sheba,

    I have done it. What help do you need?


    • Sheba K
      October 16, 2009 at 5:36 pm

      Hi Sharmin,
      I am travelling to US next month and I already have the visa stamped correctly as Surname:KMhd Given Name:Sheba (Surprisingly, I was anticipating FNU but didn’t get it). I just want to know the format of the affidavit in case I run into any trouble while applying for SSN and need to reissue a new passport.

      I have only first name and last name and both are present in Given name section of passport. I need to reissue my passport with my name split correctly in given name and surname. As per this url a notarized affidavit is required http://indiacgny.org/php/showContent.php?linkid=229&partid=223&sub=sub3

      Since mine is not a name change, I am having trouble what to put in old name and new name since technically name still remains the same. i.e. old name is also Sheba KMhd and new name is also Sheba KMhd.

      • October 16, 2009 at 5:54 pm

        Sheba, are you sure that you want a new passport issued? My name on my passport was in the same form as yours, and I got the observation added to the passport to get past issues with SSN etc. My wife, other friends, and many people here in earlier comments seems to have gone that route.

  240. Sheba K
    October 16, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Yea, I have been thru the comments on your post. I haven’t initiated the re-issue of passport. This is just in case I run into any problems in getting SSN.

    The NY Embassy site doesn’t mention anything about adding observations. It just says that passport has to be re-issued even in the case of splitting of name.

    Since my name on the visa has been splitted correctly, I am hoping I can enter the same in I-94. But then I don’t know if it will cause any issue in getting SSN since passport has surname field blank.

    Binil, ur post is a blessing and a curse..I was so blissfully unaware abt the name issues in US until I came across ur post. But its a great help too! 🙂

  241. bhaws
    December 28, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    hi i m another “fnu” victim.in my first passport i had the observation made for the spelling mistake in my name.then after marriage i got my passport renewed(hoping to get everything straightened out)but the delhi passport people wrote my whole name in given name and surname blank.i entered on F-2 and hav “FNU”as my given name on visa.
    i wanted it to be corrected and also the I-94 which also has “fnu” and since my status has changed frm F-2 to H-4 i hav “fnu” in in tooo.wat shud be done?? i hav my first passport with my names bifircated.will that be enough to get an observation on the new passport?how do i get my I-94 and H-4 corrected?? plz do reply.thanx 🙂

    • bobymath
      January 1, 2010 at 7:42 pm

      I hope you may submit your old passport which has an observation with normal application , I think may be Miscellaneous form and get the New passport have corrected name. As Binil said I-94 correction is at discretion of CBP officer, if they have not made this mistake they may not do the correction. If you are planning to travel get the new I-94 via writing your correct name upon re-entry, or you need to file I-102 for I-94 correction which may take month, anyways you need not worry you can get rid of this slowly, just go through the blog http://bobymath.wordpress.com/2010/01/01/chronicles-of-an-fnu/

      • bhaws
        January 2, 2010 at 10:48 pm

        hey boby i got the observation added that too free of cost :).i showed the person there that i had my name corrected once before also so he went with my 2 passports and brought them back with my name corrected.i m going to india in may.i guess whn i will be back then i hav to write the correct name.is that alll?and yeah my H4 application has my name as “fnu” so i guess whn i go for stamping i can submit an application with correct name.meanwhile i hav applied for a driving liscence but its only a permit.once i pass driving test i will hav a DL with “fnu”.so i m planning to give the driving test once my visa and I-94 r updated.

  242. bobymath
    January 1, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    I am very much thankful to this blog from Binil,which in turn made me write my story of FNU http://bobymath.wordpress.com/2010/01/01/chronicles-of-an-fnu/

  243. Gaurav Gupta
    January 6, 2010 at 5:05 am

    On my passport my Given names section has Gaurav Gupta and the Surname section is BLANK. I got an observation added before applying for the visa with the Surname as Gupta and Given Name as GAURAV. Now, I have got my L1B visa stamped but my Surname on the visa reads Gaurav Gupta and Given Name reads FNU. Please let me know how can I get this corrected and the implications if this stays as it is.

    • January 6, 2010 at 6:15 pm

      Hi Gaurav,
      If u r not r stillin India u can get ur VISA corrected , conditinally that u made ur observation done before the VISA interview, make an appontment again with the consulate who had done ur interview, one more chance of getting rid of this is , write ur correct name in ur I-94, then in all docs asI-94,if u r in USA now asu got ur observatin done ,u may need to goto USCIS to proceed frther

      • Gaurav Gupta
        January 11, 2010 at 1:24 pm

        Thanks Bobby… I got it corrected.

  244. Jyoti
    January 11, 2010 at 6:11 am

    Hi Binil,
    First of all our post gave me lot of confidence as I thought I was the only one with this problem. My case is bit different and I would request any possible help on this please :

    Name in Passport –
    Given Name : Jyoti

    as per Visa US guidelines my L1 B stamp had my names as

    Given Name : FNU
    Surname: Jyoti

    I didnt take this seriously and thought this was routine, on my port of entry I filled my I 94 as Jyoti in Given Name and left the Surname Blank. No FNU was entered anywhere.

    When I went to SSN office, I got my SSN in first attempt and it says Jyoti FNU.
    now this does not match my Visa L1 B details and I had problem in applying for my DMV.

    My concerns are not obtaining a Driving license but will this info create any issue when I file my tax returns ?

    What can me steps taken by me to correct this now, on the other hand should I really take this as issue because SSN office never ever asked me any questions ?

    Please let me know whom can I contact to get a confirmation on my case..I plan to stay here for my one visa stretch and hope that everything works on fine…any help or info which can be provided would be greatly appreciated…thanks once again.

  245. Jyoti
    January 11, 2010 at 6:14 am

    another Question I would like to ask is what should I keep my name when I am travelling…does this create any problem while boarding flights internally in USA ?

  246. January 11, 2010 at 7:36 am

    Hi Jyothi,

    I don’t foresee the taxman refusing your money because he disapproves of your name. 🙂

    Yes, you should try to get this sorted out when you have the time now, IMHO. Typically these issues crop up when you are busy getting something else sorted out (GC, change of status etc etc), and you might not have the time then. So try to get these sorted out as early as you possible. Even if you don’t foresee any trouble right now, the authorities can change rules abruptly – so it is better to fix the problem early.

    You are unlikely to face any issues during domestic air travel within the US.

    I am not a lawyer so take everything I said above with a pinch of salt.


    PS: Where you denied a DL at the DMV?

  247. Jyoti
    January 11, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Hi Binil,

    thanks for the quick reply and I must say you have been a saint helping folks like me out.

    Can you help me with these additional quesrios below :
    (a.) Can I get SSN reissued again ?
    (b.) how can I get my name corrected and even if the same is done in passport my how will I be able to get the same corrected on my L1 B stamp ?
    (c.) Is it not safe to use FNU – FN and Jyoti – LN in SSN ?

    I was denied a DL by OHIO DMV at Cincinnati, though I only gave one try till date.

    • sumit
      September 20, 2010 at 9:48 pm

      So did you get this thing resolved? I mean did you get rid of FNU?

  248. Venkatesh Gopalarathanam
    January 12, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Hi Binil,

    Your posts have been very helpful for people who have faced/ are facing the blank Surname issue in their passports. Prior to visiting your post, i thought it is only me who is facing this 🙂 . Your solution to name splitting , by having an observation made as against re-issual of the passport has given me some confidence to deal with this issue. I was told by the immigration team of my company to have my name corrected on my passport before i take up my Visa interview, to which most people suggested that it would be a re-issual of the passport. Let me try this suggestion of yours and see if it works.


    March 17, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    Hello binil ,

    Thanks for the intiative to put your pain in black in white , so it helped many in last 2 years , I am also a victim of this ..
    I know i need to get it corrected from indian embassy .. but not sure about I-94

    This is my status :
    Passport :
    Given name : sunil kumar
    last name :

    Visa :
    Given name : FNU
    Last name : sunil kumar

    I-49 :
    Given name : sunil kumar
    last name :

    Its 4 week i applied for SSN , i did not recieved it yet .
    I went to SSA office , they ask me to put the observation here from embassy .. but not sure if this is denied (some guys above get the SSN even they have the name like this)

    Now , if i get the observation from Indian embassy as read
    First name : sunil
    last name : kumar

    Do i need to change that on I-49 as well ?


      March 17, 2010 at 8:18 pm

      I meant as I-94 (not I-49)

    • March 30, 2010 at 2:01 pm

      @Sunil, Yes you might have to get it changed on your I-94 too. I wrote this post in 2007, and I don’t quite know how the rules have changed since.

        March 30, 2010 at 4:16 pm

        I went to Washington embassy , but they said .. they dont add observation any more.

        I am processing for news paper ad , and to change my correct surname once for all .

        Thanks for your reply ..


      • boby
        March 30, 2010 at 9:47 pm

        I went to Washington embassy , but they said .. they dont add observation any more.
        I am processing for news paper ad , and to change my correct surname once for all .
        Thanks for your reply ..

        Hello Sunil,

        You may able to get your new passport here in USA then go to the USCIS for I-94 correction , ur name is only mis-printed you need not give news-Ad, this is what I was told by Houston Embassy, I got old my passport cancelled and got the new one, you may mail me on bobymathew@hotmail.com , for further clarification , this is a pain before going to do long process , u may consult with an attorney, but those cut-throat guys will charge u for just listening ur situation…
        good luck

  250. SHEILZA
    March 30, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Hi Binil,

    I got the same problem.
    I got my visa (H1-B) stamped in october ‘2009.

    My details in Passport:-
    Name:- Sheilza gupta
    Surname:- blank

    Petition details:-

    VISA details:-
    LNU ,Sheilza gupta

    whereas the correct name is :-
    Name:- sheilza
    Surname :- Gupta

    I went to US last year in november and was deniied an SSN becoz of the name mismatch.

    Right now, I am in India.Please let me know what to do.I am planning to get my name corrected in the passport by submitting a name correction application (they call it application# 1) . Do I have to correct my petition and Visa both accordingly.

    Thanks in advance for the help.!!!

    • March 30, 2010 at 2:08 pm

      @Sheilza, When I went through this FNU issue in 2007, I did not get my visa changed. I had the observation added on my passport and the name corrected on the I-94. My petition already had the correct name.

      The info here on my blog is likely to be outdated. You should get the observation added on your passport while you are in India. Also, you should contact the nearest US consulate and inquire if you can get the visa changed. You can speak to your employers lawyers and see if the name can be corrected on the petition. When you are traveling back to US write your name correctly on your I-94.

      IANAL etc.

      Good Luck!

  251. FNU LATHA
    April 6, 2010 at 5:22 am

    Hi Binil,
    Your post is like an Oasis in a desert. It definitely is a moral booster for the people who are going through similar NAME change issue..
    My wife is on F1 visa and she has the same issue. She does not have a last name in her passport. We are planning on applying for a new passport requesting them to add my last name as her last name since we are married. Do you see any issues with it?. You probably may not know the answer but, would Indian consulate give back the Old passport along with the new one(changed)?…Once we get the new passport we would need to get the I-20 changed right?….

    Pls share any more information with regards to this case…

    Thanks a bunch in advance

    • April 6, 2010 at 6:15 am

      As you guessed, I do not know the answer. But if you had asked me to guess, I would say that they will give the old passport back, probably marking its pages as “void” or something similar. I said so because you might have existing visas stamped on the old passport, so there must be some way to use those with the new passport, dont you think?

      Good Luck!

  252. SHEILZA
    April 6, 2010 at 6:27 am

    Binil, thanks a bunch for your kind advice…!!!

  253. April 6, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    Hi Binil,

    Thanks a ton for your blog. This helped me where even my own HR folks were clueless as to what needed to be done.

    I too faced a similar issue where the Surname in the passport was blank and it did not match the name in my visa and I-94. As suggested, I got it split at SFO consulate. They not only issued a new passport reflecting the correct name but also renewed it 🙂

    Once again, thanks a lot for all the help and advise.

    Shirish L.

    • April 6, 2010 at 11:37 pm

      @Shirish Pleased to be of help 🙂

  254. Rohan
    April 14, 2010 at 2:51 am

    Hi Binil,

    Thanks for your post. I, too, am a victim of this ridiculous practice. I’ve had no problems on my previous F1 visas, but all of a sudden on my H1B I got the glorious FNU installed as my first name and now I’m having trouble renewing my driver’s license.
    Can you tell me one thing, you got your I-94 changed, but did it have any effect on your actual H1B visa stamp?
    Thanks again,


  255. Esther
    May 4, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Hi Binil,

    Your blog is indeed a blessing for those who have come under the curse of FNU…My husband and I went to get a California ID from DMV and only then we realised the seriousness of this issue…They looked at my name (FNU) on the visa and said my name on the ID will also be FNU…As per the rules they have to issue the ID with the name on the visa and not on the I-94 (my name on I-94 is correct). Well, there was no point in getting an ID which has FNU as my name on it and we left DMV without proceeding further with the application…We had absolutely no clue how to go about this…I came back home and searched the net for some direction and there I came across your blog…Well, I was relieved beyond measure to see in your blog that the situation is not that bad…I totally appreciate your spirit to share this concern which I’m sure has turned out to be a blessing for many…A personnel thank you from me for this blog…

    I wrote a letter to the Consulate General of India, SF and they replied saying they would add an observation note to my passport with my name correctly split into surname and given name…I also mailed the US Consulate in Chennai asking whether I should get a new visa stamped for which they did not give a clear reply…They said ‘if you are interested you may apply for a new visa’…I hope it is not absolutely required to get the visa changed though it may be required to get a local ID and driving license in California…Is your name still FNU in the visa? Have you managed to get a driving license?

    • May 4, 2010 at 6:06 pm

      @Esther, Thanks for the kinds words!

      Yes, I got my DL. I had the firstname on my visa as ‘FNU’ when I got the DL in 2007. Get the observation added to your passport and try going to the DMV with it. If you get turned down, try going to another DMV. From what people have told me, there is very little standardization on what the DMV accepts as your valid name. For instance, my case, they took the name (from the observation) on my passport as my correct name. If everything else fails, you might want to get a new visa, but that is a PITA from what I heard.

      Couple of warnings though. Firstly, this post was written in 2007 and rules might have changed since then. Also, I know next to nothing about these legal things, so take my advice with a large dose of salt 🙂

      Good Luck!

  256. Harsh
    May 12, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Did you get your SSn with FNU?

  257. Harsh
    May 12, 2010 at 10:35 am

    I have the same problem
    Given Name: xx yy zzz

    Surname: xx yy zz
    Given Name: FNU

    I am going to US for only about 2-3 years and have no plans to settle down. So if my documents in Us contains FNU I dont mind.
    With this thinking what do you think I should put in I-94 , SSN, DMV application?
    Please help

    • May 12, 2010 at 1:22 pm

      > I am going to US for only about 2-3 years and have no plans to settle down. So if my documents in Us contains FNU I dont mind.
      Harsh, please be aware that the FNU issue affects people who are visiting the US for short durations also. For instance, with the way your name is printed on your passport and visa, you might be denied an SSN (I was). Without an SSN your employer (if you will be working in US) won’t be able to pay you.

      IANAL, but I would recommend that you (1) get the observation added on your passport while you are in India and (2) write your name correctly on your I-94 (i.e. as is in the observation on your passport).

      Have a nice journey!

  258. sumit kumar
    May 13, 2010 at 10:35 am


    I have applied for a student exchange program for texas. I am facing a similar problem. The first name is sumit kumar and the surname is blank. The university people are asking for the name they should enter DS 2019 form. Please tell me what to do? Can an observation be added in any passport office or the same passport office where the passport was issued. I am currently at Chennai.

    • May 13, 2010 at 1:54 pm

      Sumit, I don’t know the answer to your question 🙂 Please contact the Chennai passport office and see if it can be done there. Good Luck!

      PS: If possible please post a comment here when you find out the answer to your question.

  259. boby
    May 13, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Hello Sumit,
    I had the same problem as u r in india , get passport observation done or a new passport and always get ur correct name in DS-2019 , because if u go with an incorrect first name or surname on DS-2019 ur VISA too come ERROR. This is the best time to correct ur name issue.

    • sumit kumar
      May 13, 2010 at 3:48 pm

      @Boby: Do you have any idea for the process of observation.

      • boby
        May 13, 2010 at 3:55 pm

        if u r in india , go to passport office with SSLC BOOK, or birth certificate and correct.It is a correction ie no affidavit needed , if they ask just make an affidavit for name splitting.

  260. Neel
    May 14, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Hi All, My wife’s actual name is XXXXX (First Name) YYYYYY (Last Name). Her passport is from hyderabad. Dhe got it done, 5 years back. In her passport, Surname is empty and the Given Name is YYYYYY XXXXXX. Since I have my L1B Blanket so she filled up DS-160 for L2 Visa. We never knew of the problem. During her Interview the consulate spotted the problem and asked her to get it rectified at the passport office. Today we recieved her Passport with the Visa Stamping. The Visa mentions, Surname – YYYYYY XXXXXXX, Given Name – FNU. My Immigration team in my company told me not to correct the name now in the passport as then we have to correct the Visa also. We are leaving for US in 2 weeks. We have only 10 working days left. Also we are based out of Kolkata. So what should we do now? Will there be a problem with my wife’s SSN, I-94, DL, etc.? We are really worried and don’t know what to do.

    Bini your post is really helpful. Thanks for posting it. I am really frustrated as nobody is able to guide me on this.

    Please let me know at the earliest, so that I can do the needful quickly.

    • May 14, 2010 at 4:53 pm

      Hi Neel, adding the observation on the passport is not “correcting” your passport – it is just an extra note on your passport – see the image of my passport above. Getting it done while you are in India would be better – but if you are absolutely pressed for time, you can get it done when you come to US. The trouble with that though is that you’d be in a new country and you would have many other tasks to get done when you first set shop at the new place.

      As my post indicates, the problem is not insurmountable. First try the Kolkota passport office. If they don’t agree to do it, try the Hyderabad passport office. If neither option works out for you, try getting it done in US. Ask help from your employers – they might have contacts in the passport office. Ask around your colleagues in India if someone has enough “pull” in the passport office to expedite the process through the bureaucracy. Also, find out from your colleagues in US where the nearest passport office is. From my experience, the Indian consulate officers in US are polite and helpful – but the catch is that it wastes a day of yours. Relax and try to do the best you can. Good luck and bon voyage!

  261. Neel
    May 14, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Hi Binil, Thanks a lot for your prompt response. Even my company’s immigration dept. took a day to get back to me. Well I still have one fundamental question. Even if I get the observation page included in the passport before leaving India, what if my wife gets stopped at the Port of Entry at US for having her name as First Name XXXXXX and Last Name YYYYYY in her passport observation page but having FNU in her Visa. That’s the logic my immigration team here gave me here. Even the passport agents at Kolkata are saying that it’s not req. to change anything in passport as long as the Full Name is mentioned even if its mentioned as Given Name. Also given the fact that I belong to a BEP Company I am not supposed to get in touch with the Consulate directly, to check with them regarding the same. Also can you please clarify one more thing? While entering US will my wife be handed over a form for her I-94? What if she fills her name accurately in I-94,will the immigration guys allow that given that she has a FNU in her Visa?

    Once again, thanks a lot Binil for spending the time and effort in reading my query and responding to the same.

    By the way, I guess since I would be working at NJ, so my nearest Consulate will be NY

    • May 14, 2010 at 5:41 pm

      @Neel, IANAL, but my guess is that your wife won’t be stopped by CBS officers at the port of entry – relax! 🙂 At worst they will insist that she writes her name in her I-94 exactly as mentioned in the visa. But, your wife is likely to be allowed to use her correct name on her I-94, from what people have told me in the comments here. But filling out the I-94 correctly won’t solve your problem – when she applies for her DL, I think she might run into the same issue (I am not sure about this point though).

      Nonetheless, I can’t see how adding the observation on the passport is going to harm you in any way. Think of it as a remedy to a genuine mistake made in her passport. Government rules change all the time, so it is best to get your documents done properly when you have the chance.

      BTW, as I mentioned, I don’t know much about these legal formalities – all I can say for sure is my own experience. So please take whatever I write here with a generous helping of salt. 🙂

  262. Neel
    May 15, 2010 at 4:19 am

    Hi Binil, Thanks once again for the prompt response. Well here’s what I have decided to do. Get a go ahead from my immigration head here and proceed accordingly. Even I think you are right, that getting an observation sheet added with the correction is the best alternative. If not in India, then I get it done in US. Will definitely post later what exactly happened for the benefit for the folks who will go through this is future.

  263. May 18, 2010 at 7:49 pm


  264. JP
    May 21, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Hi all,
    One more FNU here.. I benefited a lot from the insights shared here so I thought I should share my experience as well. Here is my situation

    Firstname: ABC XYZ

    Visa: FNU ABC XYZ
    My I20 was ABC(First) and XYZ(last), So I filled up my I-94 as ABC(First) and XYZ(Last).
    Everything went on smooth from here on I got my DL and SSN without FNU.

    I live in Austin and went to Austin DPS and Social security office.

  265. Sandhya Venugopal
    May 24, 2010 at 1:30 am

    Hi Binil,

    Even I am in the same soup. Even my SSN got rejected for name mismatch. what are the things that i need to take to the Consulate Office, Washington to add the observation page to my passport and how long do they take to add the observation to ppt.

    Could you please post a reply.

    • Sunil
      May 24, 2010 at 3:42 am

      Hello Sandhya ,

      This was the same condition for me , i am in Washington NOVA
      You can try your luck ..

      As my experience with Washington Consulate .. ,My application was denied for split of name .. i have to ad the newspapers in india & US and then a name change application ..

      I got a new passport .. but still i have to change the I-94 and SSN ..

      You can try again in SSN office , because if you have a better luck next time .. you can ge the SSN with FNU name atleast .



    • May 24, 2010 at 4:43 am

      Hi Sandhya, I went to the SF Consulate Office; I am not sure how different things are with the Washington office. I remember taking my passport (of course!), mark sheets, H-1B petition documents, employment documents and the completed miscellaneous form when I went to the consulate. I don’t precisely remember which of these documents they looked at (it happened about 3 years ago, so the details are a little hazy in my mind). They returned my passport the same evening, with the observation added.

  266. Sandhya Venugopal
    May 24, 2010 at 5:14 am

    Thanks Sunil and Binil. U r rite Sunil, I may get an SSN with FNU, but I dont want that to happen. This FNU issue may become troublesome at some point because, I need to apply for DL also. So, I want to get it corrected asap. Me giving a try on this wednesday. let me Check with the Consulate. Hope things sort in a simple way as happened with binil.
    Do we need to take an appointment before we appear the consulate?

    Sunil and Binil, Could you share your numbers if you ppl have no obligations. Pl send your contact numbers to sandhya.v12@gmail.com. I would like to talk on this, so that things are clear before I go to US Immigration dept. I have taken an appointment with them on June 1st.


    • sunil
      September 21, 2010 at 12:45 am

      I can undestand this sandhya , but for me getting the SSN was more important to start my paycheck ..
      if you are in position to wait .. its better !!


  267. Asma
    May 25, 2010 at 3:08 am

    Hello everyone,

    My husband has the same issue like Binil. Actually his
    First name : Nazeer
    Last Name : Babu
    But in the passport and the visa stamping it has
    Surname : Babu Nazeer
    First Name : FNU
    Now when he applied for the SSN card he received 2 SSN cards. One as (Babu Nazeer) and other one as (Babu Babu Nazeer) few months back. But when filing the IT return for last year. It is rejected from the state and we are not getting any credit score on our account. Due to this problem. what can be done????Pls help

    • July 6, 2010 at 8:35 pm

      Asma, you can try adding an observation on his passport, and then correct his name on his passport.

      • Asma
        September 28, 2010 at 9:16 pm

        Hi Binil,

        I saw your post today only. As the issue has not been resolved. So he needs to go to the Indian consulate in SFO and get this done? After this observation how do we correct the name in Visa,SSN and Bank account and DL?
        thanks in advance

  268. Pooja
    July 6, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Hi Everyone/Binil,

    I read this thread and really got too worried.
    My problem looks same. I am planning to go to US in august. Have got my Visa as FNU Pooja. My passport has “Pooja” as first name and blank in Last name.
    My I-20 has Pooja Pooja duplicated in first and last name as university does the same for all people with only first name.
    Now I have my I-901 and DS 160 where I mentioned same as I20.
    At the time of filling I-94 what should I fill in my first and last name.
    Also tell me if I will have to face many problems with this FNU.. I am really worried and have no time for passport and visa change. Any suggestions?

  269. July 6, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Hi Pooja,

    Do you have a last name which got omitted from the passport, or is it that you do not have a last name?

    > At the time of filling I-94 what should I fill in my first and last name.
    I don’t know.

    > Also tell me if I will have to face many problems with this FNU
    You might run into trouble when you attempt to get your SSN and drivers license (or state id, if you don’t plan to drive). Both documents are important if you plan to live in the US for more than couple of months.

    If possible try to get these fixed while you are in India.

    Good luck!

  270. vm
    July 7, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    hi binil
    even i hav the same fnu isssue,wen i contacted passport office they asked me to apply for miscellaneous services to split my name.my dout is after splitting my name in passport… how am i supposed to change it in my visa?? as i still have my first name as fnu in my visa…am not in a situation to go to india now to restamp my visa..so splitting name in passport but still havin fnu in visa ..will that create problems till i get it restamped?
    please help

  271. vm
    July 7, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    but in my I94 i filled my name correctly as first name and last name separately ..so no issues wit I94

    • July 7, 2010 at 6:57 pm

      That is splendid – so, once your passport has the observation, I don’t expect you to have trouble getting your SSN and DL.

  272. July 7, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Hi vm, it has been a while since I went through the process described in this post, but I did not have to change the name on my visa. When I got my SSN and DL I had the FNU on my visa. Good luck!

  273. vm
    July 8, 2010 at 12:03 am

    thanks binil for ur reply.

  274. Jacob
    August 30, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Hi Binil, on my passport too I’ve my entire name in the Given Names field. Today, I went to Delhi RPO with an application for adding the Name Bifurcation Observation in my passport. However they are not aware of such a service and asked me to apply for a new passport instead. I’ve very little time on me to apply for and get a new passport (worst case, the new passport will have some new error).

    I want to try my luck again at the RPO.

    1. Could you please email (jacobkjoseph at gmail dot com) me the image of the observation on your wife’s passport?
    2. Should (can) I directly meet the RPO (the security gaurds outside the RPO’s cabin didn’t let me meet him. They asked me to go to the PROs. The PRO I met asked me to meet the Deputy RPO. The Deputy was ignorant of Name Bifurcation Observation)?
    3. Invite someone who got the Name Bifurcation Observation done at Delhi RPO to share the process and their experience.

  275. Mukesh Kumar
    September 7, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Hi Binil,

    I would like to thank you for putting FNU information in blog.
    I have similar issue in my passport
    Given Name is : Mukesh Kumar and Surname is blank.
    My passport has been issued from Raipur , Chhattisgarh RPO.
    When I asked them about adding observation , they denied and suggested me to get new passport under tatka scheme. But getting a new passport may take 2 weeks there.
    Problem is that , they dont know about name split observation as such.
    How should I convince them?
    Is there any government website which tells about observation in case of name split so that I can show it to RPO guy.
    Can you please send me the observation page which your wife had in her passport.
    My email id is [ mukeshksahu at gmail dot com ]

    Mukesh Mukar

    • sunil
      September 21, 2010 at 12:42 am

      Hello Mukesh ,

      Binil already have the observation page added in blog post ..


  276. Jacob
    September 7, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Hey thanks Binil for sending me the snapshot! After a lot of running around, I finally managed to get a hand written observation note from the Delhi RPO 🙂

    Things fellow LNU/FNU buddies can (re)use from my experience:

    1. The officials may say anything from “what observation note?”, “we stopped putting observation notes on passports”, “go get a new passport”, to “get lost”. Don’t lose hope. Keep trying. Be persistent, confident and prepared. Carry all the originals, completed-forms, enough photographs, and sufficient photocopies with you. It takes time and effort to convince the babus occupying government seats to do the job they are paid for. Keep your smile 🙂 Someone will just click right. Explain your situation to that person. Explain the urgency and why you can’t go for a fresh passport application. As mentioned in earlier posts, it is possible to get this done in US, but do that only if it is impossible to get it done while you are here.

    2. Once you get the observation note, always send a copy of it wherever you send your passport’s front cover page. This is to ensure that your name appears right (sans LNU/FNU) in new documents.

    3. Following is the application I submitted. You may want to chop shop this for yourself.
    September XX, 2010
    Delhi, India

    The Passport Officer
    Regional Passport Office
    New Delhi

    Application for Name Bifurcation Observation

    Respected Sir,

    On my passport my name is listed as:
    Surname :
    Given names : JACOB KXXXXXX JOSEPH

    Please add the following (or equivalent) Observation note to my passport:


    Passport Details:
    Passport No. : XXXXXXXX
    Place of Issue : Delhi

    Jacob Kalakal Joseph

    PS: This is not to be confused with a Name Change request.

  277. sumit
    September 20, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Hello all and Binil,
    First of all thanks for this log and answering the queries of fellow FNUs.
    Yeh .. i am one of FNUs too but with a different story.
    Here it goes –
    Name in HSC/SSC marksheets – “SUMIT”
    Name in Degree – “SUMIT”
    Name on Passport – Given Name- “SUMIT”, Surname – “”
    Name on Visa – First Name- “FNU” LAst name – “SUMIT”
    Name on I94 – First Name – “SUMIT” Last Name – “”
    Name on SSN First Name – “UNKNOWN” Last Name – “SUMIT” (CARD shows only “SUMIT”. I think this is a system defect. In order to show only one name on SS Card they have to enter “unknown” in the first name field. (surprisingly ur ss verification process will fail if u dont mention first name as “unknown” )
    Name on DL – First Name – “SUMIT” LAST name =”” (I had to make the ssa manager and DMV manager meet each other and got the DL only after 1 month)
    Name with employers/Bank accounts/Lease etc – First Name- “SUMIT” LAst name – “XXXXXXX”(my real last name which actually is not in any certificates) .

    Yeh, Its really complex.
    So now i want to change the name to my full name. This is a problem and has to be corrected once and for all.
    I have been in US for 3.5 years now.

    Is there anyone with ONLY ONE NAME in passport who got it corrected? Please get in touch with me @ sumit.khurr@gmail.com

    Anyone know the steps i need to follow to get my last name added to my name?

    • sunil
      September 21, 2010 at 12:34 am

      Hello Sumit ,

      I added my last name in the passport in washington consulate ..
      You have to apply for reissue of your passport with new name .. IANAL , This is my story .. how i did it !!

      Step-1 : place a newspaper announcement of the name change in a local US newspaper (where you live today) as well as a newspaper in India (preferably in the city where your Indian passport shows you were domiciled)

      Step-2 : Submit your application / passports / applicable fees, the two newspaper (one US and 1 from India) pages alongwith the notorized “Change in Name” Affidavit

      Make sure you have the Newspaper original copy with marked ad by pen , photocopies/notorized copy are not accepted

      You can get your passport in 2-4 weeks

      When placing the ad in the US, the local newspaper placed it .. i just called any Washington times and send them the proper info by mail .. they placed the ad and sent a notorized copy to me .. For india .. i asked my brother but you can do it online as well , search in google !! Make sure everything should be in english even if you put the ad in Hindi newspaper in your local area !!

      Step-3 For SSN , you have to have I-94 with new name to match with USCIS database .. I visited india after changing my name in passport .. but you have to follow the process mention here in the blog ..

      Parallel , when you have a new passport .. you need to change your name with your utilities and bank accounts .. so you have proof of your new name in DL

      Step-5 DL , i am not sure about this .. as i applied with my correct name .. I think if you have all the changes above .. you should not face problem in changing the name in DL ..

      For Visa , you dont need to change the name .. you just need to carry both passport while travelling until visa is active .. You can apply with good name in renew process ..

      Hope this will help you !!

  278. sharath
    September 22, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Thank you Binil for such a useful post and constantly updating it with your comments.

    I have also joined the FNU club courtesy of Bangalore RPO and our immigration team. Anyways thanks to this post I plan to apply for observation note in Bangalore. My visa has FNU in the first name but I hope by having an observation note in passport my other documents will be taken care of.

    Thanks Jacob for the application template. I shall use the same. Also could you please update me if you provided any other documents with this application? or what all documents do I need to carry “just in case”?

    • September 30, 2010 at 5:33 am

      Sharath, I hava no more information than what was posted by Jacob. Good Luck! Please keep us posted how things went for you.

  279. cheriyan
    September 29, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Hi Binil – Another FNU victim here…I just came to the US, because of the I94 and VISA name conflict the SSA has refused my SSN application…Do you know if the San Francisco consulate still take “Observation” request? I am worried if I will have to go through the new passport route…


  280. cheriyan
    September 30, 2010 at 3:27 am

    Hey Binil – One more question! Did you have any issue with getting the DMV because the name in the VISA and SSN was different??

    • September 30, 2010 at 5:35 am

      Yes, the SF Consulate do handle requests to add the observations with corrected name – I got mine done at SF. Once I got the observation added and the SSN done, I had no trouble at the DMV (Santa Clara). Good luck!

  281. rena
    October 18, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Reading this section with interest,Binil!. My issue is the same but with a twist. my passport shows name as,


    but visa: FNU,Xxx-Yyy

    Subsequently DL too reflected the FNU thing and other headaches followed:-) In this case, can i clear this thru I94 at the time of travel or should i get this corrected at the consulate now(since in all likelihood it’s a miss on their part)? Moreover can this be furthur resolved at the time of stamping?…my take being then the passport and visa will actually reflect the correct name.
    kinda anxious so will appreciate the input.

  282. Karan
    November 1, 2010 at 7:21 am

    Very helpful indeed. Thanks!

  283. AstralSeer
    November 10, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Does anyone know if NYC consulate still add Name -Split observation to the passport?!!!!

    Please let me know this if you are aware of it.

  284. AS
    November 12, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Ok so NYC consulate is no longer making any observations. To fix the FNU issue in the Indian Passport, you now have to make a new passport.

  285. Golda
    November 20, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Hi Binil…was under the ‘curse of the fnu’ but got it solved thanks to this blog…so here goes…First we took copies of Binil’s passport page with the observation on it, next a print of the faq on the vfs site which clearly states we should get an observation made in such cases. Also a written application requesting for such observation to be made and the misc. form 2 filled out with the correct name. Then off to the Cochin Passport Office.
    The lady at the info counter was very nice but said the usual things …’we don’t know this’, ‘we dont do this anymore’, ‘u need to get a new passport/ new booklet ‘ etc…We said we had visa interview next week with same passport etc etc…yadi yada she moved us along to the regional passport officer…he was helpful too n attested the forms …asked us to pay a fee of Rs.300 each and moved us along to the next stop…all went smoothly took us a day but we got the observations made and passports back at the end of the day 🙂 I think its just important to make them understand that we do not want a new passport/booklet under any circumstances. Thanks Binil and all.

  286. January 3, 2011 at 4:46 am

    I must thank everyone who posted their experiences in this thread and big cheer to Binil to kick start this. Amazing work and the best documentation on the internet about the wretched FNU problem. I shared my experience on my blog http://rmsguhan.com/blog/fnu-to-you-too/. Happy new year.

    • January 5, 2011 at 8:26 pm

      Thanks for posting this Subramanyan. This post was made in 2007 and I suspect that some of the information in here is dated. These days, the SF consulate asks for a affidavit along with the application to split ones name.

      Happy New Year!

  287. AK
    January 4, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Super helpful post. Thanks Binil! I was able to get the observation made in Washington, DC (1/4/10). The documents I took was the misc form, a document to verify US address and copy of the US visa. Was able to get everything done on the same day. The DC embassy is a lot faster now ever since they outsourced a lot of their visa work to a location in Georgetown.

    Thanks again!

    • AK
      January 4, 2011 at 11:16 pm

      A quick follow up to the above post–the date should read 1/4/11

    • January 5, 2011 at 8:23 pm

      Thanks for the update AK.

  288. January 7, 2011 at 7:38 am

    yes, i had to get the affidavit done, It was a good thing that i was prepared before i went there, so when my turn did come, it was hardly a 5 min process. Now, i passed my DMV and have got my State ID with proper name. So everything has straightened out

  289. Sukhdev
    January 20, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Hi Binil

    This thread was very helpful. My whole name was printed in given name in passport. I have FNU in my VISA.

    I got corrected my name in passport (by splitting), I-94 and SSN.

    Today I visited santa clara DMV to get corrected my name in DL and DL renewal. Lady refused to renew my DL. She asked me to correct name in I-797 (Notice of action).

    Any suggestion on this will helpful.

  290. kamalpreet kaur
    March 21, 2011 at 12:48 am

    hiii in my passport i was given my first name kamalpreet , last name kaur & my surname place was empty. USA immegration write FNU on empty space of surname.i don’t know what i do???

    • Jagadish
      March 26, 2011 at 2:39 am

      I am also facing the similar FNU issues, is it possible to get the observation added in the existing passport in Houston consulate. Thanks for you help

  291. jagadish
    March 29, 2011 at 12:00 am

    I am also facing the similar FNU issues, is it possible to get the observation added in the existing passport in CGI Houston. Thanks for you help

  292. Aparna
    April 8, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Hi Binil,

    I had a question with respect to my I-797A form/I-94 (H1 petition letter). My H1 was approved since 1st October 2010. In my I-797A (H1 petition letter) my name was printed as First Name: FNU (First Name unknown) and Last Name: Aparna Nandakumar. This is an error from USCIS because they failed to see the observation regarding the distinction in my first name and last name on the 7th page of my passport.

    It is when I had applied for an SSN card in October 2010, I got to know that my change of status from H4 to H1 in USCIS records has not happened because in my H4 petition letter/I-94, my name is printed as First Name: Aparna and Last Name: Nandakumar. Hence, my SSN is not issued since. I received this notification from SSN office on December 2010.

    Soon after this notification from SSN office, I reached out to online customer service department if USCIS. I raised 2 service request asking them to refer to the 7th page of my passport for the observation details but both the times USCIS have replied back saying they cannot honor the request since the last page of my passport has Given Name- Blank, Surname- Aparna Nandakumar. Please note that the service requests were raised since December 2010, however USCIS takes minimum 60 days to answer each service request and hence it has been delayed since. My attorney and my employer also emailed and wrote to USCIS Vermont office a few times with all the supporting documents, for which we never got a reply. We also went to the USCIS local office (Boston branch) taking an Infopass appointment, but they were also of no help. All they asked us to do was to write/email/call the USCIS customer service department.

    Since my SSN is held up because of this, I cannot file for my taxes or get a driver’s license or even leave the country.

    My question to you is.

    1) What is a way to expedite this process and receive a rectified 1-797A?
    2) How can I get USCIS to refer to my 7th page of my passport to see the observation?

    Seek your expert advice to sort this issue. Appreciate your time and effort.

  293. sanil
    June 4, 2011 at 5:35 am

    Hi Binil,

    First of all thanks for having such a platform to discuss and help each other.

    Me too has the same problem.

    Passport :

    Surname :
    Given name : FNAME MNAME LNAME

    Visa :

    Given Name : FNU

    i-94 :

    Surname : FNAME NAME LNAME
    Given Name :


    When i went to California DMV, they said they go by the visa and it has an FNU, which does not match the SSN. They told i need to correct my SSN to include an FNU so that both should be in sync.

    I realize that, putting FNU in SSN is a very bad idea, which will put me in trouble later.

    So i’ve decided to try in different DMV which is far away.

    My question is DMV guy can take either the passport / visa or I-94 as Standard name. Is there anyway by which i can make sure he take’s my passport or I-94 as my correct name ?

    For filling out the License form, if i give the ID card number as Passport number and country India, will they consider passport name as my standard name ?


  294. sanil
    June 14, 2011 at 3:04 am

    Got it.. tried in a different DMV.. it worked out… 🙂

    • Sunder
      June 18, 2011 at 6:32 am

      Hi Sanil,
      I am having the same issue and DMV denied my DL because my Visa has FNU.
      Did you split the name for the second DMV ? Or did you keep the whole name as las name?

  295. AN
    June 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Hi Binil
    Thanks a lot for putting this up and keeping it alive for so long!! Great help indeed !! and thanks everybody for all the valuable information provided.

    I have a question
    my name in passport and visa are as follows
    Given Name – aaa
    Surname – bbb ccc

    Will I have any issue in getting SSN/DL with the above format?

    And when I fill the I-94, how should I fill it?
    Should I fill it as FN – aaa, MN – bbb, LN – ccc or should I keep the middle name blank as below

    FN – aaa, MN – blank, LN – bbb ccc

    just want to be on the safer side
    any help would be appreciated

    Thank you all once again

  296. June 22, 2011 at 12:20 am

    @AN, I think you should use:
    Family Name = bbb ccc
    Given Name = aaa

    Good Luck!

  297. surya
    June 30, 2011 at 6:50 am

    Hi Binil,

    Thanks for starting such a wonderful tread. One more FNU case here. My Name is
    First Name: AAA BBB
    Surname: CCC
    But at my passport it is like
    Given Name: AAA BBB CCC

    My university printed my name at I20 as
    First Name: AAA BBB
    Surname : CCC

    I went to passport Office Bhopal from where my passport has been issued to add observation at my passport. But they did not consider this. They are saying that I have to apply for new passport. I met to passport officer as well and shown your sample passport also but the lady did not consider that and ask me to apply for new passport. Two whole day I tried to convince those passport office guys but they did not add observation at my passport.
    Then I decided to go with FNU as my first name and corrected it later in USA as I don’t have enough time to apply for Passport and get new one.
    I asked my University to send me another I 20 with given name : FNU and last name: AAA BBB CCC but Counsler from University is saying All international students applying to University without a surname are issued an I-20 with one of their names, usually the name in common with the father, as the surname. Your I-20 is correct as issued. I have heard that name at I20 and passport should be same.
    Can I apply for VISA interview with this I20? If I can then what I should fill in DS160 my passport name or I20 Name?
    Will VISA Officer will consider my case?
    Please advice

  298. Parvinder
    August 3, 2011 at 6:46 am

    I am sponsoring my Spouse and filled I130 . Just received a letter from NVC with the changed name of my spouse. I was so shocked and surprided to see that. Really worried now , started checking all these blogs of friends like me. Well, The Visa of my spouse is not processed yet because it is still in process , I haven’t even paid the fee. Could you please tell me how can I get my Spouse’s FNU name corrected? Please help

  299. JK
    August 15, 2011 at 2:44 am

    I was able to get the observation made in CGI Houston on 12 Aug 2011. The documents I took was the misc form, a document to verify US address and copy of the US visa. I got it on the same day.

    • August 15, 2011 at 7:35 pm

      @JK congrats! Thanks for updating the information, so that it would useful to others reading this post.

    • SG
      March 18, 2012 at 2:48 am

      Hi JK,

      I am heading to CGI Houston too for this same problem. Other than these documents you mentioned, was there anything else required ? Also, what did you book the appointment under – Name Change ?

  300. Rahul
    August 22, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    I have only one single name in all my docment
    My Passport has it
    Surname :-
    Give Name :- Rahul

    When my Petition was field the name given as
    LNU, Rahul

    When i filed DS160 form , Last Name was mandatory and its been field as

    In My Visa i got it as FNU,RAHUL

    and I-94 also has it as FNU, RAHUL

    I am going to apply for SSN and i am thinking to go in SSN office with name as FNU, RAHUL

    any suggestion before i go to SSN Office, please let me know

  301. MD
    September 30, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Guys ,
    Here is my story
    H1-B and Now GC ( FIRST NAME : First name last name -combined
    LAST NAME : LNU(last name Unknown)

    Indian Passport : Only GIVEN NAME : First name ,last name (combined)

    SSN office : Rejected to remove work autorization caluse ..reason all documents mismatch
    They are correct ..But so far with these mismatch –got the GC

    In tHE process of correcting passport : Advertise ads in Us and india ,got affidavit and sent to cicago conuslate for correction – in progress
    Next : – File i-90 for GC replacement
    Visit SSN office and remove the work permit caluse

    In the meantime , I have job change ….most likely E-VERIFY TNC as SSN and GC names
    does not matches .. There will be some issue but may need to send GC copies ,SSN copies etc to Department which will issue TNC —<NOT NEW FOR ME ..I always get this till i kill the source problem in passport)

    No issue in travel so far …Question asked most of the time …what is LNU
    Always explained no surname in passport so it is last name unknown ..no further question asked.

  302. Harapriya
    October 4, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Even I have the same problem of FNU.And my SSN says Unknown XXXXX.

    But this year I had a problem with tax filing and when I called SSA they say I have last name and middle name but no First name.Somehow I managed at IRS and got my tax returns.
    But Iam not sure the person at SSA was right!!!

    But the recent EAD card issued to me carried the same name as I-94 form.(tats my correct first and last name).

    Except EAD all the other docs like paystub,insurance,bank accounts carry a different name.

    I will be visiting to india in december,So was little confused what to write in I-94 this time .

    Will there be any problem while applying for H1 in the future with all these issues?

    Please answer.


  303. FourierSeries
    November 14, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Hi Binil,
    I had a question about the whole FNU Girish Sanmad I-94 that we fill when we enter the US. (My Given Name is Girish Sanmad and Surname is Blank)
    I had the exact problem as everyone here getting my social security card. I got an amendment on my SSN card finally and I was suggested that I enter the name as
    First Name : Girish
    Family Name : Sanmad
    so that I don’t face this in the future. My I797 states FNU Girish Sanmad.

    Now I have been filling in my name as suggested First Name : Girish Last NAme : Sanmad for the the last 4 years while my I797 is FNU Girish Sanmad. IS this any cause for concern?

  304. November 22, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Hi Binil

    I have a similar issue but with a different scenario. My Name is Praveen Padman

    in my passport it reads as
    Given Name: John Smith ( not my real name)
    Surname : Blank

    My visa has the following, So does my i-94
    Given Name: FNU
    Surname: John Smith ( Not my real name)

    However i’ve never had any issues with getting my SSN or Driving License
    My name is proper as – John Smith.

    now i got my H1 approved and my name is spelled as

    First Name: John
    Last Name: Smith

    I am flying to india for my marriage and would get my H1 stamped.

    WIll this discrepency in my name cause issues?

    please advice


  305. sunil
    December 1, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Hi Binil,

    Once we split our name does the H1b visa with FNU name remain valid ? do we need to get restamped if we travel outside US ?


  306. Syam Sathyan George
    December 15, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Mashe, Kalakki.
    This was one genuine post worth sharing and reading.
    Great to know a lot of people got the same mess that i went through.
    My passport was also issued from Cochin and had the same problem.
    Passport officials were bunch of arrogant crooks, I am having an older passport, surprised to see they do the same mistake even these days!

    I had to go to the Border Security Deffered Location office in TX and correct the I94 to match the Visa (not the passport). And then the SSN verification passed after 1 month.
    Now i am still moving around with International license, going to Atlanta DMV on coming saturday, hope its going to work.

    Syam Sathyan

  307. Akarsh
    January 12, 2012 at 7:33 am

    Hi All,

    This is a great blog, addressing the greviances of FNU issue people. As everybody here I also have the problem. I have stil not gone to the visa interview and I want to get this sorted out before I go for the interview. However the passport authorities in India are stating that they will do not do a name bifurcation and will only reissue a passport. I do not want this and just need a name observation like how many of them have done above. Is there any process or procedure or some way to get the correction done on the passport rather than applying for a new one. If anyone of you has followed a finite procedure please let me know.

  308. Shyam
    January 30, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Hi Binil,

    I am also having the same problem that you had. FNU as last name and “UNKNOWN” in SSN.
    Currenlty I am in India, what should in write in my I 94 form when i am visitng US next time.

  309. J Thomas
    January 31, 2012 at 5:55 am

    This blog has helped me. I too had similar issue. See my blog for how I solved it


    • Akarsh
      February 21, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      Hi Thomas,

      Thanks for the blog, I am planning to go to the Indian Embassy in Washington DC, could you please let me know the documents that needs to be carried to get this observation done, I have not applied for my SSN yet.

      Akarsh V

      • Sangeetha
        April 2, 2012 at 4:50 pm

        Akarsh :
        Hi Thomas,
        Thanks for the blog, I am planning to go to the Indian Embassy in Washington DC, could you please let me know the documents that needs to be carried to get this observation done, I have not applied for my SSN yet.
        Akarsh V

        Hi Akarsh

        I am on F2 visa and have the same FNU problem. I called the Indian embassy in Washington DC and they said that a new passport will be issued and they do not do observations anymore. Can you let me know what was the reply you got?
        Did you get a new passport?
        If yes, then is the visa on the old passport valid or we have to get the new passport stamped again?


      • Sunil
        April 2, 2012 at 5:06 pm

        Sangeetha ..

        You will be getting the new passport .. but you have to follow the name change procedure or split of name procedure .. your visa on old passport will stay active .. no new stamp , you have to keep two passports all the time traveling ..


      • Sangeetha
        April 2, 2012 at 6:25 pm

        Thanks a lot Sunil… Just to confirm, after I get my name changed in the new passport all I have to do is to get the I-94 corrected and after that I can have my First name as Sangeetha in all the documents like Driving licence etc :).. I wish I knew about this back in India.

        Thanks again for your help.


      • Sandeep
        April 3, 2012 at 6:47 am

        Sangeetha – I think we may need Visa re stamping in case we plan to go back to India

  310. Shyam
    January 31, 2012 at 7:22 am

    thanks for the reference.
    Will this cause any problem if going stamping(for extension) in India

  311. Sandeep
    February 11, 2012 at 5:04 am

    Guys Please help !

    Given Name – FNU
    Last Name – Sandeep Singh, on US F1 visa.

    NY consulate has told me that they will issue only a new passport with split name. So when i get new passport do I need to get new F1 visa as well from Indian US embassy ????

    I want to fix this before i get SSN and DL here in Boston. Please help !!!

  312. bobymath
    April 2, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    People find below.

    In simple words the steps are
    · Correct the name in passport
    · Correct the I-94
    · Correct DS-2019 for J VISA category.
    NB: for Name Splitting, and thus no requirement of News paper Advertisement”.

    passport Renewal
    You need to fill the online passport application form and print the PDF submit along with the documents which are below.
    · Covering letter with subject name splitting
    · Original passport (with VISA ,I-94 on it)
    · Passports First & last 5 pages Xerox copy
    · Name splitting affidavit
    · 2 proof of residence(I kept, Rental Agreement copy, and an Address proof Affidavit
    · Money order for $60,single money order for both passport renewal and return postal charge(via FedEx)
    · 3 copies of 35mmX35mm passport size photo, one affixed on application. Including this total numbers are 3.

    I requested the RO to re-issue a new DS-2019 with my corrected name per my passport
    The DMV supervisor took my new passport and DS-2019 and in less than Half an hour I got my valid learners permit.

    I got My EAD with correct name initial mails from USCIS had FNU on it , I believe changing on my DS-2019 changed my SEVIS data and USCIS data got updated, but I called and made sure with USCIS representative that my name has changed from FNU to my correct name, they confirmed it.
    to read more go here


  313. Sangeetha
    April 4, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Sandeep :
    Sangeetha – I think we may need Visa re stamping in case we plan to go back to India

    Are you sure Sandeep, because I confirmed with the Indian embassy and they said that the visa remains valid. If the visa remains valid do we still have to get it re-stamped when we travel to India?


    • Sandeep
      April 4, 2012 at 8:58 pm

      @Sangeeta – Indian Embassy says that but US Consulate says if something in your new passport has changed you need to get visa again. I am getting mixed answers on this 😦

      Dear Sir/Ma’am,

      Thank you for writing to us,

      Kindly note if you are holding a valid US non-immigrant visa in an expired Indian passport, you may carry both your expired and new Indian passport together and travel between India and the United States until the non-immigrant visa expires. You do not need to obtain a new non-immigrant visa.

      NOTE: In case of any change on the passport viz. Name/Age/Gender/DOB after the issuance of a US visa, the applicant will have to apply for a fresh visa.



      U.S VFS Helpdesk Team – Delhi

      • Sangeetha
        April 4, 2012 at 9:39 pm

        @Sandeep- seems like a mystery… Few mins back I also received a mail from Indian embassy stating that the visa remains valid but they wont be able to tell about the re stamping situation, I will have to consult with the US authorities. Got this reply from them:

        “dont know that, pls check with US authorities, visa remains valid on cancelled ppt”

        I wish there was a way to get the observation done, things would have been much simpler.
        I am in a hurry to get this done, I have to file for the ITIN number for tax purpose and I am clueless what to fill as my first name or last name.

        Do you have any idea how to fill the tax form ?

      • Sandeep
        April 4, 2012 at 10:12 pm

        Nopes I am student MBA in BU and I havent started working yet . So I have a bit of time to fix stuff. though I will be filling tax forms but I dont need SSN etc yet.

      • bobymath
        April 4, 2012 at 10:09 pm

        I had the same problem, passport renewed with name bifurcation, this not a name change, I travelled to India with New Passport and old passport with VISA on it.

        In simple words the steps are
        · Correct the name in passport
        · Correct the I-94
        · Correct DS-2019 for J VISA category.
        NB: for Name Splitting, and thus no requirement of News paper Advertisement”.

        passport Renewal
        You need to fill the online passport application form and print the PDF submit along with the documents which are below.
        · Covering letter with subject name splitting
        · Original passport (with VISA ,I-94 on it)
        · Passports First & last 5 pages Xerox copy
        · Name splitting affidavit
        · 2 proof of residence(I kept, Rental Agreement copy, and an Address proof Affidavit
        · Money order for $60,single money order for both passport renewal and return postal charge(via FedEx)
        · 3 copies of 35mmX35mm passport size photo, one affixed on application. Including this total numbers are 3.

        I requested the RO to re-issue a new DS-2019 with my corrected name per my passport
        The DMV supervisor took my new passport and DS-2019 and in less than Half an hour I got my valid learners permit.

        I got My EAD with correct name initial mails from USCIS had FNU on it , I believe changing on my DS-2019 changed my SEVIS data and USCIS data got updated, but I called and made sure with USCIS representative that my name has changed from FNU to my correct name, they confirmed it.
        to read more go here


      • Sunil
        April 4, 2012 at 10:34 pm

        Hello Sandeep ,

        I am using my visa with my old name for last 2 year , visited international 3-4 times .. and never faced any issue with travelling with my both passport ..

        I have L1 visa .. not sure about your visa type ..
        HTH ..

      • Sandeep
        April 4, 2012 at 10:36 pm

        @Sunil – Thanks Man, Just to confirm you also got a new passport with split name and used old visa to enter US without any problem ?

        Thanks guys for helping !


      • Sunil
        April 4, 2012 at 10:39 pm

        New passport with last name added , old cancelled passport with valid L1 Visa containing name as FNU xx xx
        Works well for me with L1 visa ..


      • Sandeep
        April 4, 2012 at 10:41 pm

        Sweet ! Thanks Man !

  314. bobymath
    April 4, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    write to me at mathew.bobbie@gmail.com for any further assistance, I know how much this is eating one with FNU on VISA

  315. Sangeetha
    April 4, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Sunil :
    New passport with last name added , old cancelled passport with valid L1 Visa containing name as FNU xx xx
    Works well for me with L1 visa ..

    @Sunil- Thanks a lot!!

  316. Sandeep
    April 18, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    I-94 fixed ! Passport Fixed ! Thanks a lot everyone !

    • Sangeetha
      April 19, 2012 at 12:01 am

      Hi Sandeep. Congratulations !!
      As you know I am in the same situation, I really I could talk to you in detail about this. Coluld you please email me your number at h_sangeeta@rediffmail.com. Please let me know when you send the email.

  317. Vinanti
    July 16, 2012 at 7:02 pm


    First of all, great post. It is helping several of us get over their problems with FNU. It is indeed a curse. My situation is slightly different,

    Surname :
    Given Name: XXX YYY

    L1 Petition (I797)
    Lastname: YYY
    Firstname: XXX

    Firstname: FNU
    Lastname: XXX YYY

    Firstname: XXX
    Lastname: YYY

    Firstname: XXX
    Lastname: YYY

    Driver’s License
    Firstname: FNU
    Lastname: XXX YYY

    DL is issued, but it is incorrect and doesn’t match the SSN records. Everywhere it is correct, but got a mismatch in the DL.

    I have been going back and forth to DS but there has been no positive response yet.

    Please advise if I need to follow below steps,

    1. Correct my name in passport using the split name criteria
    2. Go back to DS and get the Driver’s License corrected.

    Should I also get the Visa corrected? If yes what is the procedure for that, if you are already in US.

    Please help as time is running out as my drivers license can get cancelled due to mismatch of SSN and Drivers License.


    • Sunil
      August 25, 2012 at 3:10 pm

      IANAL , Your steps is correct ..
      Your Visa name can stay same .. you should not face any problem ..

      I was not aware (or i dont think) if DL can be cancelled .. if they dont match between SSN and DL .. what i know even DMV request to provide your SSN as a proof but they dont count it as second proof in the application .. you have to have another proof like I-797 ..

  318. vinanti
    July 26, 2012 at 6:02 am

    any reply is appreciated

  319. Rishabh Srivastava
    August 25, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Hi Binil/all,

    So I have joined FNU club. Would appreciate if someone could help me on this. My situation is:

    My actual name:
    Given Name: Rishabh
    Surname: Srivastava

    On my passport ‘h’ missing from firstname and ‘a’ missing from surname:
    Given Name: Rishab
    Surname: Srivastav

    Observation done in my passport to correct the spelling of my name:
    ‘Holder’s name on the first covering page is to be read as: “Rishabh Srivastava”.’

    Name on my I797 petition: Srivastava, Rishabh (which is correct)

    Name on my H1B visa:
    Given name: FNU (Dont know how it became FNU)
    Surname: Rishabh Srivastava

    Now my question here is that will I be facing any issues at the port of entry? What name should I fill in I-94, the correct name or the name as per visa?

    Also what could be the problems I can face while applying for SSN and DL?

    Your suggestions highly appreciated.


    • Sunil
      August 25, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      Hello Rishabh ..
      You fill up the correct name on I-94 .. IANAL, I think you should not face problem of getting SSN,DL with your good name ..

      For me , You have problem somewhere in Visa applications .. if you have time .. plz correct your Visa with correct name .. you might face many problem if dont correct these ..

  320. Harneet
    September 6, 2012 at 3:45 am


    I am facing same issue.

    In Passport:
    Given NAme: harneet singh
    Surname :
    In Visa
    First Name : FNU
    Surname: Harneet Singh

    I have plans to travel to US in less than a month. What should i enter in First Name and Last NAme fields while booking tickets so that I have no problems in immigration and at Port of Entry.

    Its very urgent and a quick reply would be a real help


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