If I publish under a pen name, and create author pages on social media under my pen name BUT sign all my contracts and legal documents in my legal name and NEVER use my pen name for anything legal or business-related, do I still need to disclose my pen name as an Alias in Form DS-160 (Tourist visa to the US)? Or any legal form, really?

I am a non-famous writer who has published with small, indie publishers. Nothing big at all. I am the opposite of well-known.

  • 1
    this strikes me as a decision that has asymmetric results. If you don't disclose, should have, and they discover it, you are facing bans etc for lying. If you disclose, they may go check that other name to see if it's posting "let's go to the US and commit terrorism" stuff, and assuming it isn't, that's an end to it. I wonder why you hesitate to disclose it? Are you worried it will affect the application? – Kate Gregory Mar 31 '19 at 19:15
  • @KateGregory I'm just wondering how I can go about proving that's my Alias and what additional paperwork I would have to bring. Not so worried about the tons of dogs pictures and videos I have posted though. – dante Apr 1 '19 at 3:42
  • @KateGregory But your logic is dead center. There's not a lot of downside for me disclosing it. Just them having to watch the 300 dog videos or so I have on Facebook. Thank you for your advice! – dante Apr 1 '19 at 4:03

The State Department's "Sample" DS-160 contains this question:

enter image description here

Since you apparently have used another name, you should answer "Yes" to this question. Because I'm not actually filling out the documents (and haven't done so, in the past), I don't know what happens next...but a new question or two may then be shown, asking you to state the name(s), and, perhaps, for what purpose or under what circumstances. If new questions appear on this topic, you should answer them truthfully as well.

None of us know what information about you is known by the Department of State. If in response to a question you don't disclose something State already knows, your application will be denied for dishonesty or misrepresentation.

  • Agreed. There's a lot more downside to not disclosing it. Thanks, David. – dante Apr 1 '19 at 4:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.