Visa Interview: First Name Issues

“What is FNU?” Visa Interview: First Name Issues
A lot of students have been asking us if having ‘FNU’ on the visa will lead to difficulties in the US. Hence we decided to write a detailed article explaining the exact meaning of FNU.  
“If you have only one name or if your name appears in only one line in your passport, then on the visa your full name will only be printed in the surname field and “First Name Unknown”, or “FNU,” will be printed in the given name field.” — (Taken from Visa Interview: First Name Issues

To begin with, having FNU on your docs is not really a concern. The concern here is whether your passport and visa stamp matches your i-20 or not.  In the US, your I-20 is the most important document that shows your legal status as an f1 status and your passport is your ID.  While registering for important documents like SSN or driving licence, they will check these docs.

Now, due to various cultural norms, there are variations in the way names are written.  In many cultures, students do not have a last name, but use their father’s name as surname—
E.g.—Shriraj Sukumaran Visa Interview: First Name Issues

Usually, their names appear in one line on their passport and the surname field is blank, something like this—>
Given Name— Shriraj Sukumaran
Last name—

International Visa rules do not allow the surname field to be left blank, so the officers would put your entire name in the surname column and mention FNU (First Name Unknown) in the given name section.
When this happens, your visa will have your name like this.
First name/Given name–FNU
Last name—Shriraj Sukumaran

However, when you initially applied on the university website, you might have given your name in the First-Name –Last Name format.  Something like this—
First Name—Shriraj
Last Name- Sukumaran

Basically there will be a discrepancy between your visa stamp and passport as well as your i-20. Several students who have faced this issue, have done one of the following things:

1. Before filling the DS-160, they changed their passport name to “Name- Last name” format so that it matches with the I-20.
Given Name—Shriraj
Last Name- Sukumaran

They would avoid any future issues with documents in USA because i20 and passport name would be identical. (We would advise this only if you have enough time. If you need to book your visa dates immediately then you need your passport.)

2. Changed their I20 name –
Since last name is compulsory for visa, they asked the university to use ‘FNU’ everywhere in their First name on the i-20 and mention their full name in the surname column.  The I-20 name would then match their Visa and passport.
First Name—FNU
Last name – Shriraj Sukumaran

(again, changing the details on i-20 would need you to contact your DSO and depending on their efficiency, it could take anywhere between 1-4 weeks. You need your i-20 to go for the visa interview, so plan accordingly)

3. Did not make any changes in I-20 and passport name and decided to change the details later, after going to USA. You can change i-20 details at your college and passport details at the embassy in US.
If time permits, it is definitely advisable to work towards bringing about uniformity in the format of your name in these documents while you are in India. Your I-20 and passport are important documents and ensuring uniformity can save you a lot of hassles later on. Visa Interview: First Name Issues

Tips for a Successful Visa Interview

Tips for a Successful Visa Interview

If you wish to study abroad, you need to start preparing well in advance since the application process is time-consuming. However, one of the biggest challenges that students face during the application process is preparing for the visa interview. To ensure that your visa interview experience is a good one, here are some preparation tips that will help you to breeze through your interview: Read More



You need to start the process of Visa Application at least 3 months prior to the intended date of traveling to Germany. The following guide will help you prepare the application.

Step 1: Getting your academic documents certified: Please see the procedure required to book an appointment for getting your mark-sheets and academic certificates attested depending on the area where you are from:

Step 2: Open a Block Account with Deutsche Bank. Follow the document titled Blocked Account for the guidelines for the same. Remember that the process of opening a blocked account takes 4-6 weeks, so make sure you initiate the process as early as possible.

Students applying from Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and Andhra Pradesh need to follow additional instructions, which are provided in the document titled TTPA.

Step 3: As soon as you receive the Admission Letter from your University, start collecting all your documents. The list of documents that you require is provided in the document titled Student Visa Checklist for Student Visa.

Along with the documents mentioned in the document, you also need to get a Travel Health Insurance. Please find the list of valid insurance providers in the document titled Travel Insurance Providers.

Step 4: Procure photographs for biometric process which meet the specifications mentioned in the document titled Photograph Specifications.

You can visit the following photo studios for obtaining the photographs:

  1. New Delhi: “Reflections” Digital Photoshop,
    Shop No. 25, NDMC Market, Malcha Marg
    New Delhi 110021
    Tel: 0091-11-9910272944, 0091-11-99 68 00 85 87

      2. Bangalore: All branches of GK Vale photo studios

      3.Chennai: DINA COLOURLAB
53/1 CP Ramaswamy Road
Chennai 600 018
Tel. 0120-2499 7239
VFS: Tel. 0120-664 1070

       4.Mumbai: Atlanta Photo Shop – Atlanta Bldg.,
Shop No. 7, Ground Floor, Nariman Point, Mumbai – 400 021.
Tel.: (022) 2204 2762, 2287 2587, 4002 0130
Fax: (022) 3022 8484

Step 5: Fill in the application form document titled German National Visa Application Form and sign the document titled Declaration of True Information.

Students applying from Kolkata also need to have a look at two additional documents titled Checklist for Kolkata Students and Covering Letter for Kolkata.

Step 6: Book an appointment for the Visa Interview at your German Mission by following the link:

Step 7: Before the interview, check the exchange rate, and accordingly prepare a demand draft in Rs. equivalent to 60€ i.e. the Visa fee. The demand draft is to be submitted at the time of the Visa Interview. Make sure to keep the payment receipt as you would require it at the time of Passport collection.



You need a Tier-4 general student Visa to study for pursuing graduate studies in the UK. The following is the procedure that you need to follow. You can apply for the Visa 3 months before the degree programme commences. The decision occurs within 3 weeks of the application date.

The following is the procedure that you need to follow:

Step 1: Collect all the document

The attached pdf will provide details of all the necessary documents that are needed to be provided.

Step 2: Go for tuberculosis testing

Go to one of the clinics mentioned in the attached pdf and make it clear that you are getting the tuberculosis testing done for application for a UK Tier-4 visa.

Carry the following documents:

Passport, Passport Xerox, 2 Photos Passport size, UK University Address

The charges for the test are Rs. 1500 charges and fasting is not necessary for the test.

Step 3: Apply for Visa

The Visa fees include £328 + £150 per year healthcare surcharge. The healthcare surcharge needs to be paid before applying for the Visa. For paying the healthcare surcharge, go to this link:

The above link will help you ascertain your actual healthcare surcharge amount which is dependent on your program duration.

After paying the healthcare surcharge, you can apply online using the following link:

  1. Attend the appointment at the chosen Visa Application Centre

After applying for the Visa, you need to attend the appointment at the Visa Application Centre chosen by you. Here, you will undergo a Visa interview and will also have your Biometric details collected for the BRP. Visit the following link to get the list of Visa Application Centres in India:

You need to bring the following documents when you arrive for the appointment:

  • Your appointment confirmation, visa fee receipt and user pay visa application centre service fee receipt.
  • A valid passport or travel document with at least 1 page that is blank on both sides.
  • 1 recent passport-sized (45mm x 35mm) colour photograph of your face, which meets the requirements in UKVI’s photograph guidance required only for applicant’s exempt from giving biometrics
  • A printout of your online application form, signed and dated.
  • If you are applying under the points-based system, a completed self-assessment form signed and dated.
  • Any supporting documents relevant to your application. If the originals are not in English you must provide the original documents as well as a translation in English.
  1. Sending your documents to the Embassy

If the application is accepted, you will be notified of an address where you need to send your documents.



Following is the complete step-by-step visa application procedure:

The Visa process in India takes an average of 3 weeks. As per the Visa Office instructions, it is advantageous to initiate the process 3 months prior to the proposed date of traveling. The following link provides information about the documents that are needed to be kept handy before you begin the application process:

  1. Medical Check-Up
  2. Police Clearance Certificate
  3. Application Package
  4. Application Fee
  5. Submit the application

After the application process is completed, if your application is approved:

  • A letter of introduction will be sent to you confirming the approval. This letter is not your study permit. Bring the letter of introduction with you to show to immigration officials at the point of entry when you arrive in Canada.
  • A visitor visa (temporary resident visa) will be issued in your passport. The expiry date on this visa indicates the date by which you must enter Canada. You must enter Canada before your visa expires. The visa will also indicate if you can enter Canada only once (a single-entry visa) or if you can enter Canada multiple times (a multiple-entry visa)

Upon getting your Visa, the following link will explain the various aspects that you need to be vigilant about as you prepare to travel to Canada:

Types of Visa Interview Questions


Types of Visa Interview Questions | USA Student Visa

The sheer joy and feeling of euphoria on receiving the confirmation of enrolment from your dream university is indeed unparalleled. However, you are still one step away from living your dream, and that is – getting your student visa! Types of Visa Interview Questions

It is essential that you clear the visa interview so as to secure the student visa. The way you answer the questions posed by the visa officer will determine whether or not you will be granted the F-1 student visa. Therefore, you must prepare well in advance for the interview. Types of Visa Interview Questions

The interview is taken by a visa officer who will ask you a range of questions to ensure that your sole reason for obtaining the student visa is to study abroad. The officer can also ask a few unrelated questions to know your real interests and objectives. Generally the questions asked during the interview are related to : Types of Visa Interview Questions

  • Your choice of University
  • Your academic background
  • Your financial details
  • Your future career plans
  • Your family ties

Questions about your university Types of Visa Interview Questions

The Visa officer will be interested to know why you wish to study in the US and not in India. They can ask you about the number of universities you have applied to, including the number of admits and rejects. Be prepared to answer questions about the university where you wish to study. Talk about your reason for selecting it, university location, course details, names of professors, the start and end date of the program etc. They may also want to know what prompted you to select a particular course and how this course will benefit you. Types of Visa Interview Questions

Questions about your academic background

The visa officer will ask you questions about your academic background such as details on your undergraduate studies. They may also ask you to furnish your degree transcripts, test scores of GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, SAT, IELTS to ascertain your academic capabilities. In case you have work experience, then you may also have to show your certificate of work experience. Types of Visa Interview Questions

Questions about financial resources Types of Visa Interview Questions

The visa officer will ask questions to ascertain whether you have the requisite financial resources to fund your education, which is essential for obtaining the F-1 student visa. You will be required to provide details regarding how you plan to fund your education, loan details if any, who is paying for your education, sponsor’s occupation, annual income of sponsor, your relation to the sponsor, scholarship details etc. You will also be asked to furnish requisite documents to prove that your sponsor can fund your education which includes pass book, bank statements and income tax returns. Enquiries will be made about your accommodation in the US, your total cost of living for the duration and whether you have sufficient financial resources to meet various expenses such as food, housing, transportation, health insurance, and other relevant overheads. Types of Visa Interview Questions

Questions regarding the future career plans

The visa officer may ask questions regarding your plans after graduation. Your answer must clearly convey your intensions of returning to your home country once your course is completed. The Visa officer wants to determine whether you have strong ties to your home country or any motivation that inspires you to return to India. Therefore, he may put forward question regarding your plan of action after completing your studies. Types of Visa Interview Questions

Questions about your family

Visa officers can pose questions about your family members, your father’s occupation, sibling’s education, whether you have any relatives staying in the US or any family member who is currently studying at the university you plan to study at. Types of Visa Interview Questions

General questions

The interviewer may enquire whether you have been to the US before. He may ask you to share details about your past achievements or your plans for the term break. He may also ask you to give reasons as to why he should give you the visa and what will be your plan of action if the visa application is rejected.

Before you go for your visa interview, try practicing these answers and be calm, confident and honest while replying. If you prepare for the interview keeping these questions in mind, then your interview session is sure to be a smooth and easy affair! Types of Visa Interview Questions

Checkout 139 different Visa questions that were asked to our students in the past. Click Here

139 Visa Interview Questions
How to avoid student Visa denial


Your higher study dreams can come crashing down on your face, if you are not amply prepared for your F1 visa interview and trust me there is nothing more disappointing than getting your visa rejected even after having secured I-20 from a much sought-after college. Every visa category has some underlying eligibility criteria set forth by the consulate / embassy and your interviewer would want you to establish them during the interview. While your luck has some role to play in the whole process, you must not leave any stone unturned.  Read More

Immigration Process for F-1 students at the US Airport

Immigration Process for F-1 students at the US Airport

A new dawn awaits you as fly to your dream study destination- the US! Whether your start is a roller coaster ride or a smooth sail will completely depend on your interaction with the very first person you will meet on arrival. Well, you don’t have a choice. Meeting this person, the officer from Customs and Border protection ( CBP) is  your unavoidable destiny. This guy is highly skilled and knows his job quite well. His first and foremost concern is security, and you may need to cool your heels at the airport for a while till he checks your name  against many computers. Immigration Process for F-1 students at the US Airport Read More

First Impression Matters

First Impression Matters

There is a quote “With confidence, you have won even before you have started” A self-assured body language speaks volumes about your confidence level. Non-verbal communication paradoxically communicates more than your words do and creates an instantaneous impression about you. Read More

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