A couple of more questions about missing surname in Indian passport or surname not matching with the name in certificates and documents.
I have posted several articles in the same topic, but I keep getting an email related to the same problem. Most people panic after reading a single blog post about the potential problem they can face when names mismatch (or empty surname) in the passport. And send an email or post a comment right away. I received a couple questions this week.
Read the following blog post on How to Change Name in Passport while in US (and how life gets complicated) before proceeding below. It will give an idea of the problems you will face while in US with the empty surname in the passport.
My name is Arun M V. I came to know that last name is important in US. So, did Indian passport will be issued in name format Arun M VXXX. Because the full name Arun MXXX VXXX is too much long. I have all the records as Arun M V. Is the name in GRE,TOEFL should be same as in the University application.
I have seen many people, University Faculty in US of Indian origin have their names in format Arun M VXXX. If the Indian Passport does’nt allow this,how it can be possible?
Or can I give my name as Arun VXXX eliminating my Middle name.
I have a problem/confusion. My name is mentioned as
Given Names: Pankil DXXX
Last Name: SXXX in passport.
My degrees have it as SXXX Pankil DXXX. I am already in US and working on H1B. So I have SSN which has my first name Last name. Should I be worried about having different names on these documents? I plan to take GMAT by end of 2010. Any information you can provide will be very helpful.
Surname – Passport vs Certificates
In India, we are used to having names with initials, instead of using Full Name. When applying for a passport, well those dang travel agents mess up the things, don’t they? Most of us unaware of potential problems that one can run into while applying for GRE Exam, TOEFL, F1 Visa, SSN, Driving License, etc.
Possible Name Combination’s
- Certificates – Arun MV
- Birth Certificate – MV Arun
- College Marksheets – MV Arun
- Documents – Arun V (or MXXX Arun VXXX)
You have to remember this – Name mismatch between a passport and certificates not a major problem at all. That’s something that can be will fix. Don’t worry about changing names in your certificates and documents.
Names in Passport
Having cleared one problem above, let’s talk about the name’s in the passport. I can think of possible variations
- Given Name – Arun
- Middle Name – MXXX
- Surname – VXXX
- Given Name – Arun MXXX
- Middle Name – Empty
- Surname – VXXX
- Given Name – Arun M V
- Middle Name – Empty
- Surname – Empty
Of all the above 3 possibilities, the last one is the most problematic. As long as you have a Surname in your passport, you will not have MAJOR problems. If there is no surname in your passport, stop right here and get your name changes in your passport first before going forward with any application or study abroad process.
Empty (or blank) Surname in Passport equals TROUBLE.
If you already applied for (or received) passport without a surname, get that fixed. Talk to the local passport office to find out passport name change procedure and get it done. NOW. You may have additional if’s and buts like
I already booked dates for GRE Exam? What shall I do?
The answer is the same, change the name in passport, rebuke GRE again. If you try to save GRE exam fees, you have bigger problems awaiting you.
GRE, TOEFL and College Application
Now, we have cleared 2 issues related to names (documents and passport). Now, let’s assume you have a passport with a surname that doesn’t match with the names on your documents.
- GRE, TOEFL, GMAT (or other exams) – Book dates based on the name in passport, not documents. Use the name as provided in the passport.
- College Application – Use the name as per passport. Remember that name in your passport will be your identity.
Going forward to use the name “as-is” from your passport. It’s absolutely ok to have different names from your degree certificates. The only university is going to use your certificates, but every other department is going to use your passport. That’s one of the reason, you have to include a copy of the passport front page with your application documents.
While filling out the college application, you will see a question (or similar)
- List other names used in your application documents.
You would have to enter various names used in your documents. If there is no such question, attach the additional page to list the various names in different documents. That document must clearly state that documents submitted along with the application will have the following names, which will be different from the the name in the passport.
The bottom line is this
- Your passport MUST contain the surname (last name)
- Name in GRE (TOEFL or IELTS or GMAT) score report should match with the name in the passport.
- Name on the Marksheets, Certificates doesn’t have to be Exact Match to Passport
- Aadhaar Card name is not an issue. It’s used only in India.
Series: GRE Registration vs Names
- What names to use when Registering for the GRE Test (this article)
- How to Register for GRE with Multiple Names
- How to Change the Name After GRE Registration (But Before the Test)
- How to change the name after taking the GRE Test
- Problems without Surname in the Passport, GRE, Transcripts and College Application (this article)
- How to Change the Name in the Passport in the USA (& why you should change)
- No Surname in the Passport. Apply to US Universities?
- If Last Name Changes, Would GRE Scores Become invalid?
- How to complete DS-160 without Surname in the Passport
- I changed my name in the Passport to avoid problems