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JackUK

Birth certificate name does not match used name; what can I do?

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Hello,

I've a quick question regarding my birth certificate. In the first few months my name was John, officially, after my granddad, and this is what was entered on my birth certificate. My parents then started using Jack. On everything (bank details, driver's license, passport, EVERYTHING ELSE) my name is Jack. I'm thinking the US authorities will have a problem with this when I come to apply for a fiance VISA (my American girlfriend and I are soon to be engaged and I plan to move there early next year if possible). Can anybody give me some options or a place to go/person/website to ask about my status and options (e.g. an US embassy phoneline specifically relating to these questions?)

Thanks,

John/Jack.

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I am actually very surprised that you were able to get a passport and driver's licence in the wrong name. In Canada, they will only put your passport in the name on your birth certificate (or if you had a legal name change, the name shown on the name-change document). So, if your birth certificate says "John Smith", your passport would have to say "John Smith" as well.

I would be a little afraid to use anything but the name on your birth certificate for all USCIS documents.

Maybe someone else here on VJ has had a similar experience and can answer you better.

Good luck.

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[quote name='raymaga' post='1123047' date='Aug 15 2007, 01:20 PM'][b]I am actually very surprised that you were able to get a passport and driver's licence in the wrong name. In Canada, they will only put your passport in the name on your birth certificate (or if you had a legal name change, the name shown on the name-change document). So, if your birth certificate says "John Smith", your passport would have to say "John Smith" as well. [/b]

I would be a little afraid to use anything but the name on your birth certificate for all USCIS documents.

Maybe someone else here on VJ has had a similar experience and can answer you better.

Good luck.[/quote]

I was thinking the same thing. Immigration will want these things to match, so how you can explain the anomoly on the passport is beyond me.

Perhaps you can see if you can get the passport changed/amended to John?

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Well, Jack is a nickname for John. I am not sure how he was able to get everything under the name of Jack rather than John either (I don't like my first name, which my mom chose when she was 7, so I really wish I did know. Did your parents legally change your name to Jack when you were a child? Or is it a common enough diminutive in the UK that no change was needed, in which case can you document that somehow?

I'm not sure I've been very helpful.

I've not filed yet, but I use a variation on my first name that is a little unusual, so on all the emails and letters and such that is how my name appears. Although my full formal legal name appears on all the other documents, I never use it without my middle name, so it is shortened various different ways on plane tickets. I am just getting my petition ready to file next month right now, but I intend to include a note explaining this to avoid confusion. I would guess you may need something more, though, since your actual passport and birth certificate do not match precisely.

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[quote name='SonoranSongbird' post='1123122' date='Aug 15 2007, 01:45 PM']Well, Jack is a nickname for John. I am not sure how he was able to get everything under the name of Jack rather than John either (I don't like my first name, which my mom chose when she was 7, so I really wish I did know. Did your parents legally change your name to Jack when you were a child? Or is it a common enough diminutive in the UK that no change was needed, in which case can you document that somehow?

I'm not sure I've been very helpful.

I've not filed yet, but I use a variation on my first name that is a little unusual, so on all the emails and letters and such that is how my name appears. Although my full formal legal name appears on all the other documents, I never use it without my middle name, so it is shortened various different ways on plane tickets. I am just getting my petition ready to file next month right now, but I intend to include a note explaining this to avoid confusion. I would guess you may need something more, though, since your actual passport and birth certificate do not match precisely.[/quote]

My husband also uses a common variation on his first name, which was on all of our communication. I think this is pretty commonplace.

But to have conflicting legal documents - documents that immigration frequently use and key on - will be more of an issue, and thus makes the OPs situation a bit unique.

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My son's legal name is William Sean A-------. He is called Sean, and uses Sean for his emails, etc., but on his passport, driver's licence, income tax, banking, etc., he uses William Sean.

USCIS looks for consistency, and it's important to use your "legal" name on all the documentation you submit. It doesn't matter if the name you commonly use every day is different from your legal name, but the legal name needs to be used consistently in the paperwork. Edited by raymaga

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Which is why I said:

"Did your parents legally change your name to Jack when you were a child? Or is it a common enough diminutive in the UK that no change was needed, in which case can you document that somehow?"

and

" I would guess you may need something more, though, since your actual passport and birth certificate do not match precisely."

Again, there has to be a reason he was able to get a passport as Jack, and maybe that is something he can document.

Aside from that, you might want to consider having your fiancee call the USCIS where you will file (they have an 800 number, although I seriously doubt it is very easy to get through) or even an attorney for advice.

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[quote name='SonoranSongbird' post='1123329' date='Aug 15 2007, 02:45 PM']By the way, I hope that did not sound too snarky. I just thought from the replies that my answer was misunderstood and therefore probably not clear.[/quote]


No, I understood you perfectly; I just wanted to make sure that your particular circumstances did not 'muddle' the rest of the message for the OP (if that makes sense). So I just wanted to clarify the difference in circumstances for the OP's sake.

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Hi JackUK,

I am in the exact same situation as you are. My fiancee was given a certain name at birth which appears on her birth certificate. However this name was never used anywhere else since her family gave her a new name within a few months (old name was too boring!). As a result, all her documents like passport, degree certifcate, tax records use her new name. So I did some research to see how the USCIS and ConOff would like this situation to be remedied and I found the answers in the I-129F and Packet 3 instructions.

Basically you will need a sworn affidavit made by someone who was present at the time of your birth (your parents of course) stating that you were born with a certain name as stated on the birth certificate and then you came to be known by a different name which you adopted as your new name and furthermore that both the names refer to the same person. This affidavit will have to be notarized as well. Hire a lawyer to do this, it is worth it.

Attach this affidavit and your birth cert to the I-129F application.

Cheers,
RaRe

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I too, am in the same boat I believe....

I've been using my middle name as my first name for as long as I can remember. I don't know why...my parents just started calling me by my middle name. Only on my birth certificate and my driver's license, does it show my proper first name. But on all my other legal documents, my middle name is always listed as my first name, even on my U.S passport.

I sent in my birth certificate which has my actual first name listed as such, but I also sent in copies of my passport (to show visa stamps). Now I'm worried that they will see my passport name, and notice its different from my birth certificate. My passport lists my middle name as first name. Whew...that was confusing to type....long story short, I'll probably be getting an RFE.

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[quote name='RaRe' post='1123442' date='Aug 15 2007, 03:35 PM']Hi JackUK,

I am in the exact same situation as you are. My fiancee was given a certain name at birth which appears on her birth certificate. However this name was never used anywhere else since her family gave her a new name within a few months (old name was too boring!). As a result, all her documents like passport, degree certifcate, tax records use her new name. So I did some research to see how the USCIS and ConOff would like this situation to be remedied and I found the answers in the I-129F and Packet 3 instructions.

Basically you will need a sworn affidavit made by someone who was present at the time of your birth (your parents of course) stating that you were born with a certain name as stated on the birth certificate and then you came to be known by a different name which you adopted as your new name and furthermore that both the names refer to the same person. This affidavit will have to be notarized as well. Hire a lawyer to do this, it is worth it.

Attach this affidavit and your birth cert to the I-129F application.

Cheers,
RaRe[/quote]

Thank you! This is very informative, and I agree that using an attorney for it may well be worthwhile. :thumbs:

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So I sent in my K1 petition and to cover all my bases I included my Passport and my birth certificate. I noticed on my passport my first name is Mike on my birth certificate my first name is Michael. The middle and last names are the same on both. They used that Birth Certificate to create my passsort! On my I-129F I used the name Mike. On G325A I used the name Mike. All my bank accounts and work related papers are in the name Mike.
Basically I have used the name Mike all my life and had completely forgot that my given first name is Michael.
I don't feel so bad now that I see I am in the same boat a s a few others.
My fiancee had said somthing to the effect that yes an afidavit will be needed. She had to do the same thing to graduate from college in the Philippines because of a first name being a little mixed up. She has 2 first names.
I'm now just waiting on a big fat RFE. By the time it shows up I will allready have the document. Thanks RaRe!! I did contact a lawer about this situation and he said yes there is such an afidavit that can be drafted up. I will be getting a lawyer and getting this drawn up. I miss my sweetie so bad. Only 6 months more to go if I'm lucky lol.

Good luck to all us name challenged people!!

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Thanks for the quick replies, people! It's nice to know I'm not the only person with this problem. Please keep answers/suggestions coming, they are greatly appreciated. The consensus, however, seems to be that I need a lawyer to sign a document written by my parents explaining that john has never been used and I'm not attempting to swindle anyone; does anyone know what such a document would be called in the UK, and how I would go about getting one? Would any lawyer do, or would it have to be an immigration lawyer? Do I definitely need a lawyer, for that matter? [url="http://www.usembassy.org.uk/cons_new/visa/iv/bcerts.html"]http://www.usembassy.org.uk/cons_new/visa/iv/bcerts.html[/url]
The above link (at the bottom of the page) suggests that non-legally binding documents, such as early school records, or 'any combination of documents' would be considered. The feeling I get from that line is that this might be a relatively minor problem, especially seeing as John/Jack aren't exactly interchangeable here, but certainly used together (my grandad is called John, everyone calls him Jack. My dad is called Derek, everyone calls him Jack. Don't ask, I have, many times over the years).

Any thoughts?

Cheers for your help.

Jack (unless I have to officially change it)

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