Thursday, December 31, 2009

FNU first name and USA VISA

My visit to DMV on 29th Oct-09 and the aftermaths on account of FNU problem are shared with you all.

My first attempt to have LA Driver’s License under my J2 VISA
I was told by DMV official to wait until J1 gets the SSN (this is happened after the 10 days period as suggested by USCIS to have the SAVE to be transferred to Local Agents ,my spouse had already applied for SSN by that time.)
We have waited for 2 weeks to get the letter of confirmation from SSN but in vain, we enquired at SSA about the delay the reply was no data is available with them ! now it is almost a month plus since we are here in USA, mean time we are commuting by bus to school (two connection buses).As many of you know it was not that easy to live in USA without an OWN transporting means. We were compelled by the situation to visit the SSN for the second time to find out what was going on, we were told that “the query by SSA authorities returned no response from DHS”. This time my wife asked what do we do? Whom do we speak with for this? The Lady at counter told she is not sure but we may go to USCIS local office. Straight we went to the USCIS and explained about this situation, the Officer at USCIS told she has nothing to do with this! Guess what!!!Neither SSA nor USCIS has nothing to do with this, we Indians are trained or may have an inherited way of reasoning on such situation, my wife asked “then who is responsible?” Officer on duty asked my wife to leave the counter, upon hearing this my wife started crying, this changed the USCIS officer mind and she telephoned to Washington D C and spoke with someone and called her back to the counter and told now you are in “system”. (Which system? now I hope it must be SAVE) Good riddance, we came back SSA and requested to look into the application, but no progress, the same old status …SSA officer shown us a print out which showed the query response from DHS,,,we were at a loss and requested to try once more to our and the SSA officer’s surprise this time the query responded with the SAVE data and we were told in 2 week she will have SSN.

Having received the SSN we visited the DMV to get my application processed for license. (My wife had a little inhibition to drive that I had to get Driving license).By seeing my SSN letter for SSN denial, DMV official told that “this is not the required letter of denial. We had been sent to the DMV supervisor to have this discussed; she explicitly told this is not the letter she wants from SSA. Let me tell you guys that requesting, pleading, explaining the plight we are in only yield result so I requested “Could you please tell me what do I do now ? , she asked me, which SSA office I visited? I told the one I had been to, she directed me to go to The SSA Office near to the DMV office. I took Taxi, went to The SSA and got SSN denial letter which is technically 100% same as the old one but with a different format. Anyways I came back to DMV and showed the new denial letter which is in the format the DMV official are tuned with. They agreed and I now sat on a counter to start filling the application for License, The lady at counter easily opened “The Pandora’s Box there and let out the “Monster Curse FNU” she checked my Passport no “surname” checked my DS-2019 no surname and I-94 “no surname”,ON VISA FIRST NAME FNU AND LAST NAME IS XXXX YYYY. She consulted with the same supervisor; the latter exclaimed “ohh you are with another problem?” I have shown them my Indian Driving License and tried explain that XXXX is my first name and YYYY is my surname, they told they can’t do anything if I do not have a surname, or with FNU first name, but the DMV supervisor was helpful and let me wrote the computer test and I somehow got through the test, meanwhile she took all my papers and took Xerox and faxed to the DMV head quarters to have discussed with her superiors, I was told,”I will let you know by evening regarding this”. I left to my home with a heavy and disappointed spirit. I got a call in the evening from the supervisor telling that no decision from DMV yet and will let me know if any change happening on this.
Back at home I took to the internet and searched for the word FNU like moonstruck, I was taken aback by the letters from each Immigration forum regarding the issues of FNU name inconsistency in all immigration docs, spelling error, and most of all the peculiar nomenclature “FNU”. Let me write 2 links which thrown light to identify and resolve my problems:

I am heavily indebted to these Guys. I am sure many people have come to these forums with FNU or other name issues but not many barring these two had explained after solving.
In simple words the steps are
· Correct the name in passport
· Correct the I-94
· Correct DS-2019 for J VISA category.
I could not figure it out what is the exact procedure for name correction in my passport, I called the Houston consulate office and to my great fluke I got a lady online. She advised mine is a case of “Name Splitting, and thus no requirement of News paper Advertisement”. She was in hurry and did not wait to ask the supporting documents which were to be sent for splitting name. Anyhow I researched around 1 week and finally arrived at a conclusion as:
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 plus copy of one letter from USCIS for my EAD card ,the third one was for my satisfaction)(I understand that a friend or a relative or spouse can give affidavit of Residence proof)
· 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 felt I am in a marooned Island when I was shopping to Walgreens for 35mm passport size photo, they have only 2 inch photo and that’s all. One kind lady on a different day shift was ready to do a little experiment with her system and we took 37mm snap finally after a lot of trial and error with different % of print sizes, Let God bless that ladies soul for what she had done for me”. I removed 1mm from each side. Warning …Friends, please never go to Online I had been cheated by this site and after much discussion PayPal refunded my money when I explained the problem on their costumer survey).
Please note that I had applied for EAD (I-765) on 9-10-2009 through E-file in which too I had written my name as FNU my fist name without knowing the danger in these 3 letters. And my request of evidence Letter came during this period and I sent all the required Documents with my old passport, I-94 & DS-2019, my name in each letter from USCIS had FNU as my first name and XXXX YYYY as my surname all these time.
I had contacted SEVIS help after reading a FACT sheet issued by USCIS on July-2009, they replied asking me to have the DSO or ISO to contact SEVIS department on this issue.

11-19-2009, passport renewal application is sent.
12-01-2009 I received new passport and old Passport, old one was cancelled.
Surprisingly a lightning fast service from Indian consulate at Houston during Thanksgiving week!

Upon received my new passport I visited my USCIS office to correct my I-94, though I knew CBP may do this, USCIS official told me to fill in I-102 and file fees of $320 and a wait period of 2.5 months, I lost all my hope of pursuing my career and staying back in USA with this, for I have been in USA more than three months and nothing is moving. Now my name in passport, VISA, I-94, & DS-2019 are different, What a mess I am in! I planned to go to the CBP deferred inspection location at my place and there I requested to correct my I-94, with my splited first name and surname, but officer on duty told he is unable to help me as this mistake is not committed by CBP and more over he is doing this just because DMV is not accepting my FNU name convention, but he took my new passport Xerox and took the DMV officer phone number and talked to the DMV supervisor, after some time he told that DMV is not able to give license if FNU is there on my VISA. I was depressed and returned to my apartment. I contacted the Chennai consulate where my VISA has been issued and I was told there is no procedure of VISA correction for FNU or anything else, if I need a change to new name I need to apply for a new VISA. I was exasperated and about to give up, I thought even flying back to home and coming back and while on re-entry I can get my I-94 corrected, this is what is told by my wife’s ISO or DSO, but I was worried whether I may be rejected re-entry as I have different name on my two passport.
Mean while I was more aware of the consequence of my EAD card coming with a FNU as my first name and that would lead to my SSN coming with the same FNU mess. My nights were shortened; I started to wake up by 4 am. I called the USCIS “1 800 number with my EAD receipt number and managed to get an agent on phone and explained my problem. Heaven bless that lady’s kindness that I was told by her that she changed my name properly as on my new passport. I requested her 2 times to reconfirm on my name correction as I could not believe my ears, and I was confirmed the same again by her.
After much deliberations I requested the DSO to re-issue a new DS-2019 with my corrected name, initially she was on that stand that I need to show the new I-94 and with that as a supporting evidence she will update my SEVIS data, but after listening to my predicament she issued a new DS-2019 on the same day, I was feeling like the FNU riddle is slowly getting solved.
On the same day, when I was issued a new DS-2019,without FNU, I could see my last updating date on my E-filed EAD was changed. After two days I got a letter from USCIS stating that USCIS still researching on my I-765 application and still need time, and my name in their system is updated as per my request, I received this letter with my proper name, there was no FNU before my name in this letter…. Holy mother of God I was saved from a peril so easily! With this boost of "FNU "name correction by USCIS I contacted an Immigration attorney(there are plenty of charity service u my go to and search) she advised me that my Non-Immigrant status is 100% legal and if DMV (which is a State ran organization) has an issue with such naming I may contact The Representative from my Parish/County to deal with this issue. I was happy with this revelation. On the next day I felt like going to THE DMV because I have not visited this DMV after I received my New Passport, DS-2019.To my great relief and comfort The DMV supervisor took my new passport and DS-2019 and in less than Half an hour I got my valid learners permit. She was telling that she was so glad that she could help me with this issue. I was flabbergasted, my joy knew no bounds, I left no stones unturned for my FNU name correction “ceremony”, God had shown mercy on me.
12-22-2009 I received my EAD card (I-766) with my correct name,without an FNU before my name , as the saying goes “when God gives it is plentiful enough to bring the roof down, (BHAGWAN JAB BHI DETA HAI CHAPPAR PHAD KE DETA HAI, (KODUKKARA ANDAVAN KURAI PILARTHUM KODUPPOM). I visited the SSA office and gave my application for SSN and the lady at counter only asked that “Oh your passport number got changed upon issuing a new Passport!” I told yes it is! That is all and now I am now waiting for my SSN to come.
Lessons I learned
Only one Lesson , Persistence and Perseverance will yield result with steadfast belief in GOD.
I made numerous Tele-calls in to CBP’s & USCIS 1 800 number and different attorney offices to find a way out for FNU NAME PROBLEM which is quicker and less expensive, but many have no clue and who had wanted $200 just listening to this problem and that too for 20 minutes.

My I-94 still has old name, but with my EAD card came with proper name and my SSN application received without any hiccup on FNU name mis-match I now believe that USCIS has my name corrected in SAVE (Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements)
"This is not legal advice."

Please be aware that I am neither a Lawyer nor an Attorney ,this page should not be considered as legal advice


  1. HI,

    Thank you for the information provided by you in the Blog. I am currently having same problem as you have mentioned.

    This information has brought light to me.



  2. My wife, before we got married, had her name misprinted on her passport in India.

    Given Name: Neeta Kaur
    Surname: Blank

    First Name: FNU
    Surname: Neeta Kaur

    In Visa
    First Name: FNU
    Surname: Neeta Kaur

    First Name: Neeta
    Surname: Kaur

    First Name: Neeta
    Surname: Kaur

    When she went get her driving license, they would not make her one as her name is not
    consistent on Passport, visa, I20, SSN, I94.

    After we got married we applied for her new passport (couple of weeks back)

    First Name: Neeta Kaur
    Surname: Rajpal

    She has to graduate apply for her EAD/OPT card. If we apply now (before we get her new passport) we will have to apply it with her name as
    First Name: FNU
    Surname: Neeta Kaur

    We have couple of questions -

    1. if we apply for OPT now (with the name having FNU), will we be able to get her name changed on EAD card once we get her new passport with corrected name? If yes, how?
    2. will it cause any problem later on with her employment or anything?
    3. will she be able to get a driving license and how?

  3. An Employment Authorization Document (EAD card) is also known as a work permit. The employment authorization document is issued by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and is issued to show your legal right to work in the United States. The application for employment authorization is also known as form I-765.

  4. Hi,

    Could someone please help me out,i am in real trouble with FNU issue. Below are details

    I don't have any first name in my pass port as well in my visa, for visa i filled DS 160.

    Given Name: FNU
    Last Name: Atta Ul Bari

    In I 94 its

    Given Name: Atta
    Last Name : Bari

    In SSN:

    Given Name: Atta Ul
    Last Name: Bari

    I am in US on H1B/I 797, my name in my petition is right in the way as it should be.

    I will really appreciate if someone can guide me. I am dark hole now and don't know how can i make this right.

    Many Thanks,