How to Change a Name Working on a Indian H1B

By M.L. Browne

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa in the U.S. It is authorized under the Immigration & Nationality Act. The H-1B visa allows U.S. employers to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations for a certain amount of time. Each visa names the employee specifically. The names on the H-1B visa and the Indian passport must match exactly. In the event that you change your name, you will need to apply for a change to your H-1B visa and passport so that the names are in agreement.

How to Change the Name on an H-1B Visa

Contact the nearest Indian consulate. The first step is getting your passport name changed. The consular staff will be able to answer your questions, and help you organize the steps you must take in order to make a valid name change in your official documents.

Go to your local Social Security Administration (SSA) office when you have your new passport in hand. You should take your passport, your current H-1B paperwork (with your old name), and supporting documents for your new name. The SSA will issue you a new Social Security Number using your new name.

Change your driver's license, bank accounts, and credit cards to reflect your new name. These tasks will take time to accomplish, but the more substantiating documentation you have with your new name, the more likely the H-1B visa name change will be successful on the first try.

Contact an attorney who specializes in H1-B visa administration. Your employer should be able to refer you to an attorney. If there have not been significant changes in your job description and duties, the attorney will advise your employer on how to file an addendum to the H-1B visa for you and assist you in preparing the appropriate forms. About a month after the filing, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services will send you the revised H-1B visa with your new name.

About the Author

M.L. Browne has been freelance writing and editing since 1998. She has created online help systems for enterprise-level applications. Browne won the international "Dream Bali Holiday" competition (2001). Her documentary series, "The Soul of Afghanistan," won the 2003 ACM Home Town Awards. Her articles appeared in Bali Echo Magazine, Expository Magazine, and the Winchester Star. She is a member of NWU, STC, and IWWG.