I have FNU written in my F1- Visa and it is causing lots of troubles for me. It took more than 2 months to get my SSN and driver's license. To eliminate future complexities I need guidance about the process to get rid of FNU thing.

  • 1
    I don't think it's possible to change an existing visa. You need to get a new passport issued with your names listed "correctly" in the machine readable field and apply for a new visa. Nov 15 at 1:06
  • Do you have more than one name?
    – phoog
    Nov 15 at 1:16
  • 2
    Is your first name "Fnu" and it gets mistaken for first-name-unknown, or is your first name actually FNU? Sorry, this is confusing with the Stack Exchange username you chose… ;)
    – deceze
    Nov 15 at 2:07
  • 3
    The visa is issued in the name that appears in the passport. Is the name in your passport your legal name? What future complexities do you anticipate? Now that you have your SSN and driver’s licence, legally changing your name might in itself provoke other complexities.
    – Traveller
    Nov 15 at 7:30
  • If you are studying at a major university, there may be someone in the international students office that can help. Also, if there is a law school associated with the university, someone there might be able to help. Nov 15 at 16:37

1 Answer 1


The easiest time to get rid of "FNU" is before your first entry to the US. However, some students find themselves in your situation where they've already reached the US and want to get rid of FNU. Here are the steps to do so:

  1. Get a new passport which shows separately your family name(s) versus given name(s). In the machine readable zone, a double-separator ">>" should separate your family name(s) from your given name(s). Depending on your country, you may be able to get the new passport in the US or you may have to get it at home.

  2. Provide your new passport to your university international student office advisor/staff (DSO) and get an updated I-20 showing the new name(s). Your SEVIS ID (number starting with N) should not change if you are not interrupting your studies.

  3. Outside of the US, apply for a new F-1 visa with your new name, passport and I-20. You must inform them about your previous name and previous visa.

  4. Enter the US with your new visa, passport and I-20. Be prepared to explain the change if they ask.

  5. Download and print your new I-94 and travel history under both names and passports. If there is any problem, you may need to get it corrected by going to CBP at the airport.

  6. Now that your passport, I-20, visa, and I-94 all have the new name without FNU, you're ready to apply for a new social security card and driver's license. For each of these, if you already had one with FNU, you must inform them about it when you apply. Then they should update your name without changing the number.

  • This answer assumes that the asker has separable family name(s) and given name(s), which may not be the case.
    – phoog
    Nov 16 at 10:00

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