I am applying for a UK visa, when filling out the application there are some instances where the country/place of birth is required. My question is: In case the name of the country/place of birth, written as shown on the passport, does not match its English translation, which option should I use? To put this into context, I was born in "La Habana", which is written as "Havana" in English. Should I use "La Habana" or "Havana"?

  • I don't know the answer, but I'd imagine that both are defensible. Either it is answered to match your travel document or it is answered in English. Is there perhaps another town/city in Cuba called La Habana which is not also known as Havana in English?
    – Richard
    Dec 9, 2019 at 13:07
  • 1
    @Abel For preference, and in the absence of specific official guidance, I would enter the name as it appears in your passport. Having said that, in the last two applications for my Cuban partner we entered ‘Santiago’ for place of birth; having just checked his passport it actually says ‘Stgo de Cuba, Cub’. The visa was approved both times, so I conclude it doesn’t matter too much if it’s exactly the same or not as long as what you enter links up with the passport details.
    – Traveller
    Dec 9, 2019 at 15:51
  • @Traveller Thanks for your comment. It helped a lot. I guess you are right: entering the name as it appears in the passport seems like the best option.
    – Aguazz
    Dec 9, 2019 at 21:48

1 Answer 1


The Guidance notes does not answer this question for Place of birth, it does for Country of birth (Passport entry).

In such cases, the spelling used in the passport should be used, since it is the legal document used for identification purposes.

In cases where the entries use a mix of Non-Latin and Latin letters, Latin letters only.

It is common place in passports, where a city name has changed, that the present name is to be used.

Visa Application Form

1.7 Place of Birth
This must be the village/town/city and state/ province in which you were born.

1.8 Country of Birth
Enter the country of birth exactly as it appears on the title page of your passport


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