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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    2

    Default Middle Name Discrepancy Between Immigration Documents and Legal Name

    Hi,

    First some context:

    For the social security administration, a legal name consists of first name + last name. Middle names are not part of the legal name.
    A foreign-born person’s legal name is the name shown on his or her immigration document.
    source

    Now my problem:

    My I-94 shows both my first and middle names in the "first (given) name" field, and this is the only thing that the SSA will accept as my first name. Consequently, my legal first name in the US is now the combination of my real first name and my two middle names, which is incorrect. This will probably come back to haunt me at some time and the SSA official urged me to get it 'fixed'.

    I assume that the source of the problem is that passports and US visa have a "given names" field containing both the first and middle names. How then is a CBP officer supposed to know which is the real first name to write on the I-94?

    This sounds like a catch-22: the SSA administration requires the I-94 to only contain my first name, while the passport always joins the first and middle names in one field and I guess this is what ends up in the I-94. Many many people have middle names and it seems a common problem, yet for the life of me I can't get a clear answer and both officials and attorneys are giving me contradicting information. Please help. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    16,097

    Default Re: Middle Names Issue

    Quote Quoting James_16542
    View Post
    Hi,

    First some context:

    For the social security administration, a legal name consists of first name + last name. Middle names are not part of the legal name.
    A foreign-born person’s legal name is the name shown on his or her immigration document.
    source

    Now my problem:

    My I-94 shows both my first and middle names in the "first (given) name" field, and this is the only thing that the SSA will accept as my first name. Consequently, my legal first name in the US is now the combination of my real first name and my two middle names, which is incorrect. This will probably come back to haunt me at some time and the SSA official urged me to get it 'fixed'.

    I assume that the source of the problem is that passports and US visa have a "given names" field containing both the first and middle names. How then is a CBP officer supposed to know which is the real first name to write on the I-94?

    This sounds like a catch-22: the SSA administration requires the I-94 to only contain my first name, while the passport always joins the first and middle names in one field and I guess this is what ends up in the I-94. Many many people have middle names and it seems a common problem, yet for the life of me I can't get a clear answer and both officials and attorneys are giving me contradicting information. Please help. Thanks!
    Why do you feel that this is a problem for you?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Middle Names Issue

    Well, at first the SSA official refused to give me a SSN, because my first name does not match with whathever the immigration services have as my first name. Exact same thing happens with other people, so it is a general problem.
    After some insisting, and per their operating manual, they did proceed to give me a SSN by assuming my first name is the one known by immigration services (aka the one with the middle names). The official told me though to get the situation 'fixed' since I would run into problems later.

    Furthermore:
    - my US legal name will not be my real first name, so I will be lying whenever I fill my name in an official form; I suppose that is not a trivial matter
    - for the rest of my life, I do not want to write my middle names in the first name field everytime I have to fill official forms, buy plane tickets, etc. This should not be necessary.
    - I want to get this thing fixed before it causes problems at an inconvenient time like at an airport or something

    It seems such a simple problem that there should be an easy fix...

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