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How to Change 'FNU' Name on a US Visa for an Indian Passport?

Updated: 2 days ago

If you've ended up with an FNU (First Name Unknown) name on your Indian passport in the US visa and want to know how to change it, you're in the right place.


First thing, you need to fix your Indian passport, then update the rest of your documents like SSN, Drivers License, State ID, and your US visa. Below are a few options for changing the name in the Indian passport in the US.


Table of Contents: Indian Passport Name Change




NAME SPLIT

You can request a re-issuance of your passport (based on the change in personal particulars) if your first and last names are combined. However, this solution is only possible if you already have a legal first and last name, but there was a mistake when you applied initially for an Indian passport.


ADDING SPOUSE NAME

You can add your spouse's last name to your passport if you have recently married. You need to apply for the re-issue of your passport in this case as well.



DURING NATURALIZATION

Another option is to change your name during the naturalization process when you become a US citizen. In this case, you will be losing your Indian citizenship as India does not allow dual citizenship.


However, this option may not be feasible for everyone due to the lengthy process and waiting times, particularly for individuals from countries like India with long priority date wait times. See current wait time.



NEWSPAPER ADVERTISEMENT

In some cases, individuals may explore the option of placing a newspaper advertisement to correct their name on official documents. However, this method typically involves legal processes and may require assistance from a lawyer.


This process involves petitioning the court, publishing the name change in a local newspaper, and attending a court hearing. Once the court approves the name change, you can use the court order to update your passport and other official documents.



In a previous blog, I detailed how to survive with an FNU name in the US. For some individuals, their names will remain the same if they have a single name and don't have the option to split the name or add a spouse's name.


For them, fixing the name in the US is tough. I would recommend fixing it when you are in India through a newspaper advertisement.


Indian Passport Name Change in the US

For the first two reasons, name split and adding spouse name, you can apply for a re-issue of your passport based on 'Change in existing personal particulars'. For name split, consider the following example:


Current: FNU Hina Singh (First name: FNU, Last name: Hina Singh)

Correction: Hina Singh (First name: Hina, Last name: Singh)


Indian Passport Name Change

STEPS TO CHANGE THE NAME ON INDIAN PASSPORT

These are the steps to change the name on your Indian passport:


  • Register at the vfsglobal website.

  • During registration enter the Indian embassy closest to you. You can find the list of Indian embassies in the US here.


  • After registration, it will send you an automated email to activate your User ID.

  • Activate the account, log in, and select "Applying for an ordinary passport".


  • Select reissue reason as "Change in existing personal particulars".

    • Then select "Given Name" and "Surname". Refer to the screenshot above.

    • If you are applying based on spouse name, then select "Spouse name".

  • Select the service type as "Normal", and the booklet size.

  • Fill out the rest of the details like applicant details, family details, address, emergency contact, previous passport details, and other details, and apply.


  • Take printout.

  • Pay the required fees and courier the application with the required documents.


For the Tatkal service, the processing time is two weeks with higher fees, while for normal processing, it takes 4 to 6 weeks. However, according to vfsglobal, Tatkal service is not available for 'Change in Name'. Refer to this.


Do not travel internationally during this time; however, domestic travel with a Real ID (Driver's License or State ID) is still okay. Once you receive the new passport, keep both the old and new passports with you while traveling.



DOCUMENTS REQUIRED

You can go to this link to see the document requirements for re-issuance of the passport; it's almost the same as what we did for passport renewal upon expiry in the US except few notarized affidavits for name change.


Indian passport name change



PASSPORT REISSUE FEES

This is the fee structure for normal service. Please note that this might change in the future, so it's a good idea to refer to the VFS Global website for fee details. Tatkal service is not applicable for the name change.


Indian Passport Name Change Fees


To make the fee payment, go to the VFS Global website, select "passport," and fill out the rest of the fields. Here is an example:


Indian Passport Name Change Fees

SSN Name Change

Once you have the new passport with the correct name, follow the instructions on the SSN website to update your SSN. Book an appointment and visit in person with both your new and old passports, along with the rest of the required documents. This process should be completed easily.


Next, you should apply for a driver's license if you are facing issues with name mismatch, as at this point, your name issue will be fixed.




How to Change FNU in US Visa

To change the name on your US visa, you have to go through the visa re-stamping process, which can only be done from your home country (India). Similar to visa extensions after expiry, this cannot be completed within the US.


So, once you receive your new passport, you'll need to plan your next visit to India accordingly to go through the stamping process. Your current visa remains valid with the old passport, so you won't encounter any issues when traveling back to your home country (India).




FAQs on Indian Passport Name Change

How to change the 'FNU' name on the State ID?

After correcting your name on your passport through reissue based on a change in existing personal particulars, you can apply for an SSN update, and then you can update your state ID.


How much time does it take for the passport reissue?

The processing time for Indian passport reissue varies between 4 to 6 weeks. There is no Tatkal service for the name change.


Can I travel to India during the passport reissue?

No, international travel is not recommended while your passport reissue is in progress.




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