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 Patronymic names as middle names on green cards

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Bottom line: uscis officer decided to use ‘non legal’  Patronymic names as middle names on green cards for my Belarus wife and her son.


Here is the story:

My Belarus wife and her son do not have legal middle names. They do have (Patronymic names, but they are not legal middle names).


All paperwork I submitted for them (K1, I485, etc.) do not contain middle names – those fields were left blank and I provided a cover letter explaining that.  At the same time as we filed for adjustment of status we applied for EAD card and SS card – both without middle names, and they came without middle names.

All was good.


At out adjustment of status interview the usics officer asked my wife’s son (15 years old) what his name was and he answered with his first name, Patronymic name, and last name.  the usics officer then said  she would use that Patronymic name as his middle name.

My wife and I quickly, and politely, told the uscis officer that the Patronymic name is not a legal middle name and is not on any of their legal documentation – including their passports. 


The uscis officer then ‘got an attitude’  and said they would use the Patronymic name as the middle name, and they would tell all of the other officers at her location to use the Patronymic name as a middle name, and that if we did not like that the names could be changed when my wife and stepson applied for citizenship.  Wow.  My wife and I were speechless.  not sure of what to do we just finished the interview and left.


My fear is that now the green cards (coming any day now) will not match any other legal documentation – like driver license, passport, SS cards, etc. 

also, my wife and her son will not be applying for US citizenship


Has anyone else had this experience?

Did anyone try to have this type of situation corrected, and how?

Thanks for any and all input and experiences you might share.

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Russia

You can file an I-90 and have the name changed technically on the green card. The problem is, where it gets tricky, is they will based this off of the birth certificate. You'll have to get a translation of the birth certificate into English (assuming he wasn't born in the US?) and show that this is not a "middle name" but a "patronymic name" and then write a letter arguing about the difference and why it is a mistake and therefore it should be changed.


You can submit the I-90 as a mistake by USCIS and therefore won't have to file a fee. Worst case scenario is they reject it. Best case scenario is they honor it and he gets a new green card. The lame part is, the I-90 can take FORVER. See my timeline in my signature, ours took over 1 year...


Our situation is opposite: my husband WANTS to use his patronymic name as a middle name because he just likes it. He doesn't care that it's "not a middle name". We filed an I-90 because we had an even worse situation: they listed his entire first name as "name + patronymic" so he ended up with a GC where his first name looked like "Ivan Ivanovi-" with the patronymic cut off and no middle name was listed at all. So we submitted the I-90 as USCIS mistake, sent in the birth certificate and explained the error/situation. He got a new GC free of charge with this name listed properly (they moved the patronymic to the middle name slot so now he just has an initial for middle name).


If you decide to go this route, your son will have to turn in his old GC to USCIS at some point and will probably have to get an I-551 stamp in his passport while he's waiting.


Americans are generally against not having some sort of "middle name". I'm a weird case and I was born without a middle name (I'm a USC), so I legally have no middle name. I've had social security officers get mad at me for this because it can lead to more easily stolen identities, etc...and in general, not having some sort of "middle name" is just rare in the US...so she was probably trying to just go with the cultural norm here of "everyone has to have some sort of middle name". 

Edited by millefleur


 🇷🇺  CR-1 via DCF in Moscow* (Dec 2016-Jun 2017) 🇺🇸 Info about my DCF experience here and here


26-Jul-2016: Married abroad in Russia (USC + Russian husband) 👩‍❤️‍👨
21-Dec-2016: I-130 filed at Moscow USCIS field office*
29-Dec-2016: I-130 approved! Yay! 🎊 

17-Jan-2017: Case number received

21-Mar-2017: Medical Exam completed

24-Mar-2017: Interview at Embassy - approved! 🎉

29-Mar-2017: CR-1 Visa received (via mail)

02-Apr-2017: USCIS Immigrant (GC) Fee paid

28-Jun-2017: Port of Entry @ PDX 🛩️

21-Jul-2017: No SSN after three weeks; applied in person at the SSA

22-Jul-2017: GC arrived in the mail 📬

31-Jul-2017: SSN arrived via mail, hurrah!


*NOTE: The USCIS Field Office in Moscow is now CLOSED.


I-90 GC Replacment (for Erroneous GC)

22-Jul-2017: GC arrives in the mail – error in middle name 😕

01-Aug-2017: Sent in I-90 online via website

05-Aug-2017: Biometrics scheduled

23-Aug-2017: Biometrics done @ USCIS office; told to keep GC!

16-Jul-2018: RFE for original card!! 🤬

31-Jul-2018: USCIS Appointment at local field office..

22-Aug-2018: Mailed GC back to USCIS in response to RFE

29-Aug-2018: GC received by USCIS

17-Sep-2018: Received CORRECTED GC in the mail! Finally!! 😂


📑 I-751 Removal of Conditions (Apr 2019-Oct 2019) 📝 Filed via mail, processed by MSC & passed interview


28-Jun-2019: Conditional GC expires

30-Mar-2019: Eligible to apply for ROC

01-Apr-2019: ROC in the mail to Phoenix AZ lockbox! 📫

03-Apr-2019: ROC packet delivered to lockbox

09-Apr-2019: USCIS cashed check

09-Apr-2019: Case number received via text - MSC 📲

12-Apr-2019: Extension letter arrives via mail

19-Apr-2019: Biometrics letter arrives via mail

30-Apr-2019: Biometrics appointment at local office

26-Jun-2019: Case ready to be scheduled for interview 

04-Sep-2019: Interview was scheduled - letter to arrive in mail

09-Sep-2019: Interview letter arrived in the mail! ✉️

17-Oct-2019: Interview scheduled @ local USCIS  

18-Oct-2019: Interview cancelled & notice ordered*

18-Oct-2019: Case was approved! 🎉

22-Oct-2019: Card was mailed to me 📨

23-Oct-2019: Card was picked by USPS 

25-Oct-2019: 10 year GC Card received in mail 📬


*I don't understand this status because we DID have an interview!


🇺🇸 N-400 Application for Naturalization (Mar 2020-????) 🛂 Online filers note: Use INTERNET EXPLORER! Other browsers may not work!


30-Mar-2020: N-400 early filing window opens!

01-Apr-2020: Filed N-400 online 💻 

02-Apr-2020: NOA 1 - Receipt No. received online 📃

07-Apr-2020: NOA 1 - Receipt No. received via mail

05-May-2020: Application transferred to another USCIS field office for review*

16-Jul-2020: Filed Non-Delivery of Notice online**

??-???-????: TBA... 


*NOTE: Moved to another state in May.

**NOTE: Did not receive Change of Address confirmation by mail



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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Ukraine
4 hours ago, HPPJ said:

My Belarus wife and her son do not have legal middle names. They do have (Patronymic names, but they are not legal middle names).

I can tell you that you are exactly right, and it is very common for people with patronymics to just fully drop them when converting them to US documents. They are suppose to go by what it says on External passport/visa, which is not suppose to mention patronymic in English version at all. I, personally, never run into an issue with not having middle name, but then again, I am in California, maybe it is different in different states. 

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