I-20 Cannot be Issued Without Last Name in the Passport

Raghuram Sukumar Admission 13 Comments

Time and time again, students are facing the problem with Blank Last Name (Surname or Family name) in Indian Passport.

Here is an email from a reader who applied for Fall 2012. But, University will not issue I-20 without Surname in the passport.

Name of the person is edited.

No Last Name in Indian Passport

Recently I read several posts on your blog about the problems incurred in USA with a blank surname in passport. Unfortunately, I am also a victim to this and I became aware of this very late.

I have my passport with Given name as Mxx Sxx Myy and a blank surname.

I have applied to three universities for my graduate studies in the United States for fall 2012 admissions.

I got the I-20 confirmation from one of the university and hope to receive it shortly.

Recently, I got a mail form the other university stating that “Before we can issue an I-20 for Fall Admission, you will need to get a new passport listing a surname and send us photocopy of the ID page. Without this, it is is highly unlikely that you would be granted a visa.” It was after this only, When I came to know about the necessity of having a surname in the passport.

Fortunately, I registered for GRE and TOEFL with my last name as Myy and First/Given name as Mxx Sxx.

I got my name in score reports as Myy, Mxx Sxx.

But, I had applied to universities without a last name (lnu: last name unavailable).

Moreover, All my certificates from my Xth standard to my Bachelor’s degree holds my name as “Md Sxx Myy” ( Md is the initial for Mxx).

Now, I am planning to make my surname in the passport to appear as Myy and the first name as Mxx Sxx.

So, will it create any problem to my certificates and all or should i go for it? Also, Should I inform the universities about this now?

Adding Surname in Indian Passport

Please add Surname Myy in your passport.

You will not have any problems because your certificates have Md Mxx Sxx.

Read this article Missing Surname in Indian Passport  few times (line by line).

There are 2 ways to deal with the university saying

Without this, it is highly unlikely that you would be granted a visa.

You can forward the following question and answers listed in US Consulate in Chennai to the university

What if I do not have a first name? What if I do not have a surname?

If your visa is approved, visas will be printed as your name appears in your passport. If you do not have a first name or surname, your entire name will be printed on the surname field of the visa. Your first name will be printed as “FNU” (first name unknown).

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. 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.

But, you are more likely to face more problems without surname in the passport while in USA.

If you have additional questions about changing the name in the passport, leave a comment below.

Comments

  1. is it required to take gre even if the university i am applying to doesnt make it mandatory??…..will only ielts be the cause for rejection??

  2. I am interested to persue Phd in biology/biological sciences in USA . I have done Master in Life sciences (3.4 GPA) and Bachelors in Zoology(3.2 GPA ). I have also associate degree in clinical Research for new jersey (3.9 GPA )and SAS certified with 90 %.I have 3 years of pharma lab experience in india.
    I have GRE score of 282/340 (820) .
    Do I have chances of getting admission in Phd?
    Can anyone please suggest universities accepting low gre scores?
    what would be best approach for getting admission?
    I have taken GRE 3 times so far with 282/340 scored finally.
    Please suggest..

  3. I HAVE GOT I-20 FOR TEXAS AT ARLINGTON PLEASE ADVICE HPW IS COLLAGE AND LIVING EXPENCE HOW TO PAY TUTION FEE I HAVE GFOT ADIMMISION FOR MASTER IN AEROSPACE PLEASE ADIVICE

  4. @HSB, i am persuing my diploma in
    chemical technology in engg. from
    S.L.I.E.T, LONGOWAL, SANGRUR (Pb.). I
    wish to go for America for my
    degree.plz guide me & provide me
    info regarding test, visa, universities,
    cost, job etc. Plz reply immediately

  5. HELLO I WOULD ACHIEVE MY STUDIES AT D’YOUVILLE COLLEGE OF NY BUT I WOULD CAMING IN USA . I HAVE BACHELOR DEGREE IN SOCIAL SCIENCE I NEEDED F-1-20 FOR MY ADMISSION DYOUVILLE COLLEGE I NEEDED OF INFORMATION ABOUT F-1 FOR VISA

  6. Hello HSB,

    I got an I20 from Virginia Tech for Fall 2012. My name on I20 is;

    FIRST NAME: MANJOT PAL
    LAST NAME: SINGH

    I sat for my SAT as MANJOT P SINGH (the university said it has no problems with that). The name on My passport is;
    Given name: MANJOT PAL SINGH
    Last name : Blank

    if i change the name on passport and make it same as that on the I20; will the problem be solved?

    please Help ME!!

    1. Hey Manjot,
      My case is very much similar to yours….
      In my passport:
      Given Name : Ravneet Kaur
      Last Name : Blank
      But In I20:
      Given Name : Ravneet
      Last Name : Kaur

      Now at the time of filling DS 160, what should i write? As its written over there that if surname is blank in passport then i should write FNU in given name and Ravneet Kaur in Surname..!!!

      I read on many posts on internet that FNU as given name creates alot of trouble down the line.

      Please Suggest what should i write in DS 160 or shoud i get my passport reissued with changed name.

      Thanks

  7. Indian passport started using surname and then given name since few years back. Before that the names were written as it were used. To express correctly write as- First-name, second-name, Last-name.

    Many people have only two names, they used to fill up different forms as: First-name, No-middle-name, then last-name. Those filled up forms like this never got in to any US visa trouble. Names should be written as it is used without any abbreviation or initials.

    Indian passports should stop using the terminology -‘Surname’ to avoid complications. Instead they should use – First, Middle and Last name system. Father’s and mother’s are written separately, then why should bother writing surname?

    In some Indian states surname for men is used first and for others as last name. Women never use surname first but as last name. Women’s father’s name comes as ‘Maiden Name’ Women’s last name will be either father’s or husband’s. There are women who never use either father’s name or mother’s name as last name but their mother’s name, upholding matriarchal power. In surname column what such women will write, mother’s name?

    Who will modify the Indian passport?

  8. I am not trying to be insensitive or funny when I say this, but even if you are going to attend university in India, you should officially have a “first and last” name because you may wish to join an international society or research project, or work for an international company, and you DO NOT want your pay, authorship, visa, or other benefits to be messed up.

  9. Hi, I dont have a first name in my passport but the I20 issued for me has mentioned my first name as ” – ” but i cant enter this in my DS-160 application so i had to write FNU. What could be the consequence of this?

  10. I ve taken GRE and ielts without having surname in my passport,can I change my pasport details before reporting my score to university or shall I wait till I receive I 20?.thanks

    1. Author

      You have to work with the university to match your name from the application to GRE and IELTS score card.

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