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Naturalization/Passport/Birth Certificate Name Problem. PLEASE HELP! I am beyond desperate

Discussion in 'US Citizenship' started by gshox, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. gshox

    gshox Registered Users (C)

    Ok so the idiots that are employed by the US government have gotten me into a pickle.

    -on my birth certificate from the country I am from, my name is listed weirdly. It is my first name followed by my last name, followed by my dads first name with -ovich at the end of it. Its sort of a ukranian/russian tradition to put your fathers first name at the end of your full name, usually with the letters -ovich at the end of it or something similar. it is no way intended to be a middle name or ever was my middle name.

    It is the ONLY document on which my name is listed like this.

    -on my passport from my old country, my name is normal: first name last name
    -on my social security card, my name is normal: first name last name
    -on my green card, my name WAS normal (before they took it away because I became a citizen): first name last name

    For some dumb reason, the lady processing my application thought it was necessary to put my dads name thats on my birth certificate as my MIDDLE name on my certificate. I asked if this was necessary, she said yes. I didn't mention that its not even on my social security card which was my fault.

    My mom who got her certificate in 2004, in the same situation, with her fathers first name at the end of hers on her birth certificate, did NOT have to put it as her middle name on the certificate.

    So now I have apply for a passport, and I don't intend for it to have that stupid middle name of my father who wasn't in my life and had passed away.


    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2011
  2. gshox

    gshox Registered Users (C)

    Please help, i feel like am seriously screwed. I should've mentioned that my name does not have a middle name on my ss card but i trusted the lady processing the app knew what she was talking about. She obviously didnt!!!
  3. sanjoseaug20

    sanjoseaug20 Registered Users (C)

    What you should not have done ... can't fix it.
    If you want to change your name, go to your local county court and figure out the process. It will cost money and time and also all the work in terms of updating passports / driver licenses / travel tickets and so on. It is your choice.
  4. gshox

    gshox Registered Users (C)

    What do you mean change my name though? My name is what my name is on my social security card.

    How am i supposed to endure the cost of time and money when its CLEARLY not my fault. I told the lady, I DO NOT HAVE A MIDDLE NAME MULTIPLE TIMES. She INSISTED that I must put the middle name on the certificate. At that point I have to believe she knows what shes doing.

    I feel like this is almost grounds to sue. How they be so incompetent?
  5. speakamericano

    speakamericano Registered Users (C)

    US Govt follows your birth certificate. If you can't change it on the Birth certificate then it would be considered an official name change. SSC also follows either a birth or marriage certificate. You have to request a name change as sanjose mentioned.
  6. gshox

    gshox Registered Users (C)

    If SSC follows birth certificates why didn't they include that "middle name" on my ss card? Why wasn't it included on my passport in the country I was born in where my birth certificate comes from? Because its NOT my middle name. Its just tradition.

    So bottom line, the name on my passport MUST be identical to the name on the certificate. Am I getting that right?

    Also, why did this not occur to my mom? She was in the exact same position as me. Why didn't this happen to my grandparents? My aunt? They ALL have that "middle name" at the end of their full name on their birth certificates from our country, consisting of the first name of the father followed by -ovich, yet when their applications were processed, that middle name wasn't included on the certificate of naturalization.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2011
  7. speakamericano

    speakamericano Registered Users (C)

    What I said is from my experience. Yours' obviously differs. You can ask tons of questions. That's why there's so many members on this forum. From what I see, it's considered a name change at this point. If you want to drag this further, you can go back to the USCIS office and request a change and see if they could change anything. I don't have an answer for your mom's situation as I am not familiar with your culture or whatever happens in the birth certificate names. Your original passport from Russia probably didn't have your middle name 'cause it's a common practice to write something in the birth certificate and not follow it on the passport. But in the US, everything goes by the birth certificate.
    Good Luck changing your name... I'll let someone else carry on with this discussion.
  8. gshox

    gshox Registered Users (C)

    Thanks, I wasn't trying to insult you or anything if thats the vibe you got, I actually appreciate all the responses very much because I can't talk to anyone until Monday when the USCIS will have phone operators working.

    Its just a frustrating situation to be in and I feel helpless. I don;t think they'll even let me inside the federal plaza (i'm in ny) unless i have an appointment
  9. speakamericano

    speakamericano Registered Users (C)

    No harsh feelings, buddy. Yes, you would need an info pass appointment. I don't think they let anyone in at a USCIS office without an info pass or an appointment letter. It's easy to make an appointment at USCIS. I'll share my story:
    On my Indian passport my name is Diya Rai (not my real name but assume)..My Birth certificate reads my name as Diya Sen...Not Rai.. I got it corrected at the naturalization when I was told US officials follow the birth certificate... Since my birth certificate had my correct name listed, it's now finally corrected on all my official documents.

    I seriously don't know much about your situation. As far as I know, anything that's on your birth certificate goes on all the US documents. I am not sure why they didn't include the middle name in your mom's or aunt's or any other relative's name.
    Good Luck again
  10. gshox

    gshox Registered Users (C)

    Or why they didn't include the middle name in mine or theirs social security cards if everything follows the birth certificate? lol its plain weird

    your story gives me hope, i didn't know you could make appointments at USCIS without actually having to come for an interview or whatnot. I'm eager to call them monday.
  11. speakamericano

    speakamericano Registered Users (C)

    Well to make it a little better, when I went to USCIS to get an immigration form, the IO told me that they see a lot of cases for Indian people where people have a middle name when it shouldn't be there or a missing last name or a LNU... So, I guess it can't be too weird to just talk to them about the name change/correction. In my culture, they only use dad's last name..not mom's last name.. hence making it only one last name. Don't stress over it.. Get the beauty rest .. it's already 2:30 in NY if I am not mistaken.. I am in good ol' Cali.
  12. kungfupanda

    kungfupanda Registered Users (C)

    @gshox WAIT!!!!
    If your only problem is the way your name is reflected on the US passport then don't worry:)
    I recently had my US passport made. My naturalization certi has my full middle name which is not there on the green card. However for US passport purposes only the first name and last name are required. Fill the online form DS-11 on the state department site for practice and see for yourself. Only first and last names are marked with a red asterisk meaning required. If you don't list your middle name, it won't be printed. Anyways you would need to provide another form of ID with passport application and if your drivers license has name in same format as you want, then you are all set. If you want just put an initial in the middle name section worst come worst. It would be printed the way you want it. Check it yourself, fill the online application and at the end it gives you a chance to review it. So don't worry. Your SSN card, drivers license and passport would be enough in the future for all official purposes. Keep naturalization certificate as souvenir.
  13. baikal3

    baikal3 Registered Users (C)

    @gshox: I second what kungfupanda said. You do not have to include the middle name on your DS-11 passport application and you should be able to get a U.S. passport with just your first and last name - just give them your naturalization certificate and the other supporting documents (driver's license, soc. sec. card, etc).

    In the unlikely event that they give you trouble, you can always say that you have done a common law name-change (which does not require a court order and is recognized by the State Department). For a common law name change the only thing that is necessary is that you use your preferred form of your name consistently over a period of time - which you do, as can be demonstrated by your driver's license, credit cards, utility bills, bank statements etc (bring a few of those just in case).

    Your situation is not unusual. I am originally from Russia and also have the patronimic (otchestvo) listed on my birth certificate. Moreover, all my Russian passports have the patronimic in Russian as well but only my first and last name are transliterated into English there. Like you, I never used the patronimic on any of my documents in the U.S. (including the green card). However, at the naturalization interview the IO also told me that my patronimic is a part of my legal name. That is certainly true in Russia, and most IOs know that. She told me that if I wanted to get rid of the patronimic, she had to process it as a name change request (removing the middle name), which is what she did. When I got the naturalization certificate, it had only my first and last names on it; at the same time I was also given a court order for the name change, removing the middle name. The net result was that I continued using exactly the same name as before in the U.S. Although you were not as lucky with your IO, you should not have a problem getting a U.S. passport without the middle name. I suggest that you try that first, before doing an INFOPASS or anything else involving USCIS - the State Department is generally more reasonable and relaxed about such things and it is likely that you won't have to bother USCIS at all.
  14. gshox

    gshox Registered Users (C)

    Nice. Thanks a lot for the responses guys, its putting my mind at ease.
  15. kungfupanda

    kungfupanda Registered Users (C)

    You are welcome @gshox. I know how it feels cos of all these name issues. But don't even bother going through correcting all this stuff for your naturalization certificate because frankly its not needed. So just fill your DS-11 online the way you want it and apply for a passport on Monday at your nearest post office. I had my green card, drivers license, SSN and now passport all the same way, different than what it was on my country's passport. And like I said, my naturalization certificate has my full middle name cos they have a rule to print it just like it is on your birth certificate, but I got my US passport with just the initial like my other US docs. You should be fine:)
  16. Rambi

    Rambi Registered Users (C)

    I am in a similar situation myself. I have a birth certificate issued in Ukraine/USSR and having the same 3 names: Last Name, First Name and father’s First Name with the –ovich. I’m having my interview in 2 weeks and appreciate you clarifying few questions, so I can learn from your experience.

    1. When you said “the lady processing my application”, I assume you referred to your Interview Officer (IO), correct?
    2. Did you bring your original Birth Certificate with you to the interview? Or she had it in your file from your Green Card application?
    3. Did you have your Birth Certificate translated to English? I assume the IO doesn’t know how to read Russian right?
    4. If so, how did she know you had 3 names on the certificate? You had the 3 names on the English translation?

    I have my Birth Certificate translated to English by a notary and have my First and Last name only on the translation. Do you think it is a problem?

    @baikal3: you mentioned that during your interview the IO said your patronymic is part of your legal name, same question to you: did the IO read your Russian birth certificate? Or she only looked at your passport? Did you bring your certificate to the interview?

    Thanks much guys for sharing your experience and helping me out.
  17. Huracan

    Huracan Registered Users (C)

    If you think you have enough evidence to support the name of your choice (as it shows on your SSN, etc.) You could try to file a N-565 to try to obtain a new certificate under the name you want to use. I think it would usually be better to have a court document showing that that is your name, but again, if you have enough documents proving that you have used that name exclusively in the US they might just issue a new certificate with the correct name. It is going to be difficult to obtain a passport under a different name from what it shows in the naturalization certificate. So, either go the court route or the N-565 route. You could also try to get an Infopass and tell them about your situation. They might be able to fix the certificate if they haven't sent your file back to the records center.

    By the way, in my case they didn't print it as it is in the birth certificate, they printed as I asked them, which is the way I had my GC and other documents. So, I am not sure if there is complete consistency in their approach.
  18. N400MD

    N400MD Banned

    From what I know, if there is a Court official during ceremony you can change your name and have all your future documents reflect it.
    If there is no Court official and an oath ceremony is conducted by USCIS employee then you would have to officially apply for the name change via the Court that has a jurisdiction over it. Very routine and simple matter.

    Good luck.
  19. gshox

    gshox Registered Users (C)

    1. Yeah, the IO, I didn't know thats what they're called till I came across this site
    2. Yes I brought the original and the translation, which are both required
    3. Yes
    4. Yes it had the three names, in order of First Last and the -ovich

    It def will not be a problem, I just wish I only had my first and last names as well so this situation could be avoided (because I personally don't care to have my fathers name part of mine). This overweight, looks like she didn't give one damn black lady obviously cant read Russian so she was going by the translation but she did take a look at the original, probably to match it from my file.

    Good luck, you shouldn't have any issues. The only thing that sucked was sitting there for 3 hours. I was literally about to just walk out after 2 and a half hours lol. Get there early so you could get out early.
  20. baikal3

    baikal3 Registered Users (C)

    I did have a copy of my birth certificate but the IO did not look at it. She did look at my passport where the patronimic was present, in Russian but not in English.
    The patronimic was also written on the bottom portion of my green card (where there was something like machine readable code). However, in the main "name" field of my green card only my last and first names were shown.

    A few years before submitting N-400 I applied for a reentry permit. Although I only listed my first and last name on the application, the reentry permit arrived with my patronimic (as -vich) in the "middle name" field. Apparently whomever was processing the I-131 application noticed that in the copy of my Russian passport the patronimic was present; they transliterated it into English and wrote it down as my middle name (although I certainly did not ask for it). Apparently at the time USCIS was on some kind of a campaign to try to give every applicant a middle name - I think they got over it now. I suspect that after that episode with the reentry permit my patronomic was listed in my A-file as my middle name. The IO did not read Russian but she told me that she was aware of the patronimic usage in Russia and the former Soviet states and that she knew that in Russian the patronimic was considered a part of the legal name.

    In any case, what the IO did in my case was probably the safest solution. She processed a name change request which allowed me to officially drop the patronimic, and I did not even have to change any of my U.S. documents (driver's license, credit cards, etc), since I never used the patronimic there.

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