I have recently applied for an ESTA and been approved.

However, I've noticed that my surname in the MRZ part of my passport is mismatched with my actual surname as written in the Surname(s) section of the passport.

In my passport the Surname(s) section says:

Vicente Sousa Melo

In the MRZ it reads


And when passed through the "upload your passport" section of the ESTA, my name showed up as Vicent Sousa Melo, without the final E in Vicente.

I have a previous visa to Russia (that was made through my work, so not sure how it was done) and that one the visa is also Vicent without the E.

In my ESTA, I wrote it all down manually, so my name includes the E.

Is this normal? Will it be ok through customs?

  • Either way, you should get a new passport as a matter of priority. Always, always, always check that visas and passports are issued correctly!
    – Richard
    Jan 8, 2019 at 13:36
  • 2
    Indeed I should've checked when I got it over a year ago. And to be fair, I did look at my name, which is correct, and completely ignored the MRZ part. I did successfully pass several times through other borders with no problem, but I know the US are a bit fussier so I was wondering.
    – tripleM
    Jan 8, 2019 at 13:46
  • I suspect it will be fine through immigration, but I would worry that it might be a problem at checkin. It should be possible to correct the problem manually, though.
    – phoog
    Jan 8, 2019 at 14:44
  • I have traveled successfully to other countries with this passport and check in has never been a problem, but I have contacted the government of my country to see what they say about this. I probably signed something saying everything was ok, so I might have to pay for a new passport.
    – tripleM
    Jan 8, 2019 at 14:58

1 Answer 1


An update, in case someone has a similar issue in the future.

I contacted my government and they were unable to help me, but did say I would probably be able to travel.

I had no issues at the US border.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .