Notifying USCIS of Change in Address15 Oct 2018
Most foreign nationals must report address changes to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The legal timeframe for this notification is just ten days. The process is simple and free, and helps to facilitate proper delivery of official notices and correspondence.
Change of Address Requirements
Immigration laws require most foreign nationals to submit notification of address changes to the USCIS within ten days of relocation. There are exceptions for diplomats (A visa status), official government representatives to international organization (G visa status), and certain nonimmigrants who do not possess a visa and who are in the United States for fewer than 30 days. All other foreign nationals, including permanent residents (i.e. green card holders), are required by law to complete the AR-11 following a change in residence.
Separate Form for Each Family Member
Within ten days of moving to a new address, each foreign national must complete a hard copy AR-11 form or its online equivalent (although, the online option is not available to one who has a pending VAWA, T, or U case). Each form only applies to a single individual; so, for example, if an H1B worker and H-4 spouse move to a new address, a separate form must be completed for each person. The form is relatively simple to complete and does not require a filing fee.
Additional Action may be Required for Pending or Recently Approved Applications / Petitions
If the address change is submitted using the online system, no further action is necessary. But, if the foreign national submits a hardcopy of the AR-11, and has any pending or recently approved applications or petitions, the individual must also provide a second notice to the USICS of the address change to link the new address to these cases. For most case types, this notification can be done by phone at 1.800.375.5283; for VAWA, T, or U cases, however, the notice must be submitted in writing to the Vermont Service Center.
The purpose of this second step is to ensure proper delivery of correspondence. As with the AR-11, a separate update must be submitted by each family member, if applicable. Further, if the foreign national has more than one application or petition pending, s/he must specify each pending case when notifying the USCIS of the address change.
Update with Recent Corrected Address Change
An address update requires one’s present address and most recent address. The system does not allow for submission of multiple previous addresses. If the foreign national neglected to submit an AR-11 after a previous address change, it is not necessary to provide this outdated information to complete the process.
Address change notification is a simple process, but one that can be easily overlooked. Foreign nationals should be aware of this requirement and promptly submit the necessary information following a move.
While some aspects of immigration have changed in significant ways in the years since MurthyDotCom began publishing articles in 1994, there is much that is still the same. From time to time, we at the Murthy Law Firm refer our clients to articles, like this one, which remains relevant.
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