There has always been a challenge with some U.S. government offices incorrectly listing Vietnamese citizen’s names on government documents such as visas and Form I-551 “Green Cards” because Vietnamese passports list names in order of last name (or “family name” or “surname”) followed by middle name then first name.  Moreover, some Vietnamese have more than one middle or first name and has four names represented on a passport.

For U.S. government offices in Vietnam, such as the U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City and the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, this is usually not a problem.  Immigrant and nonimmigrant visas issued by these posts are usually correct because the consular officers understand the naming conventions of Vietnam.  However, if a visa applicant is applying for a visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in another country, or applying for an immigration benefits with the United States Immigration and Citizenship Services (“USCIS”) in the U.S., this might be an issue.

It is important for visa applicants to check the visa once it is issued to ensure that the names are listed correctly and to request any errors be fixed before traveling to the United States.  Issues could arise after arrival in the U.S. when dealing with U.S. government agencies such as applying for a driver’s license and social security benefits.

It is also important to check any notices that a petitioner or applicant receives from the USCIS and immediately request a correction.   For example, if an applicant receives a Green Card from USCIS with the names incorrectly listed, he or she should immediately file a Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) and tic the option:  “My existing card has incorrect data because of DHS {Department of Homeland Security} error. (Attach your existing permanent resident card with incorrect data along with this application.)”

The applicant should provide evidence of the correct information (his or her correct name) and would need to send the original Green Card with the application.  It is important to note that this process could take weeks or months and the applicant would not have his or her Green Card during this process so he or she should plan travel, government and school applications and employment identification in advance.

If you have experienced an incorrect name issue, contact us at and speak with a U.S. immigration attorney in Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, and Taipei.

Copyright 2022. This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This article may be changed with or without notice. The opinions expressed in this article are those of Enterline Immigration only.