A foreign national residing in the United States must inform USCIS if her or his address has changed. This is done by filing Form AR-11 with USCIS. As a New York immigration lawyer, in this article, I explain what Form AR-11 is, how to file it, and why it is so important to always update USCIS about your address changes.
What is Form AR-11?
Form AR-11 is a change of address form that all foreign nationals residing in the US must file within 10 days of moving to a new address. It should take no more than a few minutes to complete and submit the form online. Please note, filing a change of address or mail forwarding request with the US Postal Service is NOT sufficient to comply with the USCIS notification requirement.
Who Has to Notify USCIS When They Move?
- Nonimmigrant Visa Holders – The majority of nonimmigrant visa holders must file Form AR-11 within 10 days of moving to their new address. The following nonimmigrant visa holders are exempt from this requirement: (1) Diplomats (A Visa Status), (2) Official government representatives to an international organization (G Visa Status), (3) Visitors to the US who entered on a visa waiver program, such as ESTA, who are in the U.S. for 30 days or less.
- Permanent Residents (Green Card Holders) – All permanent residents, also referred to as green card holders, regardless whether they have conditional 2-year green cards, 10-year green cards, or an older green card with indefinite duration, are required to file Form AR-11.
- US Citizens – US citizens who have filed Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support) for a foreign national must file Form AR-11 with USCIS within 30 days of moving.
How to File my Change of Address?
You may file Form AR-11 online or by mail. If you have a pending immigration application or petition, USCIS recommends also contacting the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 to ensure all USCIS correspondence is sent to your new address.
Regardless of the method you choose, it is critical for foreign nationals to notify USCIS immediately after moving homes. If you are searching for “immigration lawyer near me” because you need assistance in filing Form AR-11, please contact our New York immigration law firm office. As part of our immigration lawyer New York services, we help clients update USCIS with their new address after moving.
Filing a change of address update online with USCIS is fast and free.
You may file Form AR-11 form through the USCIS website by clicking this link.
If you wish to file Form AR-11 by mail, complete the Form and mail it to:
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Citizenship and Immigration Services
Attn: Change of Address
1344 Pleasants Drive
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
I offer confidential 30 minute & 1 hour consultations.Schedule a consultation
If your application or petition is pending with USCIS, you have to know the receipt number of your application or petition. The receipt number is located on the receipt notice titled, “Notice of Action” sent to you by USCIS and typically begins with three capital letters followed by ten digits. The first 3 letters of the receipt number indicate the USCIS service center processing your application (i.e. EAC for Vermont Service Center, WAC for California Service Center, SRC for Texas Service Center and LIN for Nebraska Service Center).
If you have more than one petition pending with USCIS, which often happens in adjustment of status cases, you are required to provide the receipt number of each pending petition when filing your change of address form. If you never received or lost your receipt notice, you should contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283. If you are located outside the United States and have a pending application or petition with USCIS, you should call +1-212-620-3418.
If your application or petition has been approved and you have no pending applications with USCIS, you are still required to file a change of address form if you have moved. Please note, if you do not have a pending application with USCIS, you do not have to provide a receipt number when filing your Form AR-11 online.
If your application or petition has been approved by USCIS but you have lost your Approval Notice, you may file Form I-824 to receive a duplicate Approval Notice. Please note, the filing fee for Form I-824 is $465 as of the date of writing this article.
It is important to ensure that you have proof that you complied with the change of address notification requirement. Make sure to save a copy of your mailed Form AR-11, including any postal service receipts. If you are submitting your Form AR-11 online, make sure to save an electronic copy.
Why is it important to notify USCIS after moving?
Not filing Form AR-11 within 10 days of moving could have significant consequences. It could be treated as a misdemeanour offence for which you could face fines up to $200, up to 30 days of imprisonment, or both. As a foreign national residing in the United States, you could also be placed in deportation proceedings for non-compliance with Immigration and Nationality Act § 266(b).
It is important to note that compliance with change of address notice requirement is a condition of a foreign national’s stay in the United States. If you fail to comply, you could face serious consequences when applying for another immigration status. On its website USCIS states that “failure to comply could jeopardize [an alien’s] ability to obtain a future visa or other immigration benefit in the future”.
In addition, USCIS communicates with applicants via mail. It is critical to update USCIS with your current address so that you can receive important notifications about your immigration case. For example, if you USCIS issues and mails you a Request for Evidence, you will generally have 87 days to respond. If you do not respond before the provided deadline because you did not receive the notice, your case may be denied. In such a case, failing to update your address will require you to refile your immigration application, including paying all USCIS filing fees again.
Please note, if your case was denied because you did not receive a USCIS notice, but you filed Form AR-11 and have proof that you provided USCIS with your new address, you could appeal USCIS’s decision by filing Form I-290B Notice of Appeal or Motion. Please note, the filing fee for Form I-290B is $675. If you received an adverse decision because USCIS failed to update your new address in their system, I recommend you contact an experienced immigration lawyer. If you are searching for “immigration lawyer near me” because you would like to appeal USCIS’s decision, please contact our NYC immigration law firm office. As part of our immigration lawyer NYC services, we help clients appeal unfair agency decisions.
Do I really have to notify USCIS every single time I move?
Yes, you have to do so. To avoid any negative immigration consequences you must file Form AR-11 with USCIS within 10 days of moving.
What happens if I forgot to file a change of address form with USCIS?
If you have not filed Form AR-11 within 10 days of your move, make sure to file it as soon as possible. Given the government’s limited resources it is unlikely that the Department of Homeland Security will initiate deportation proceedings against you. However, it is not unheard of for foreign nationals who have followed all rules to end up in deportation proceedings.
Tips from New York immigration lawyer for Filing Form AR-11:
- File the form and save confirmation immediately after moving.
- Print the confirmation number and save your Form AR-11 when submitting online. If mailing, use certified or registered mail and retain proof of service.
- Make sure to complete the entire form. If you need help completing Form AR-11, contact an experienced immigration lawyer.
- Make sure to submit a separate Form AR-11 for each foreign national member of your family.
- To ensure you do not miss any important USCIS notifications, request mail forwarding from the US postal service so that all immigration notifications sent to your old address are forwarded to you.
Our New York immigration lawyer is here to help you with your immigration case
Do you need assistance filing Form AR-11? Are you concerned how the information in this article may impact your case? Are you searching for an “immigration lawyer near me” or a “family-based immigration lawyer“? As an experienced New York immigration law firm, Pandev Law has the knowledge and experience to guide you through your immigration case.
To learn more about our immigration attorney New York services or to schedule a consultation with our New York immigration attorney, please complete our contact form, email [email protected], or call us at (212) 220-6652.
During your consultation, our NYC immigration lawyer will provide an honest assessment of your case, and a recommendation about your next steps.
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