Did You Report Your Address Change To The USCIS?
Here's an Immigration Quiz where you can’t afford not to know the answer!
All the USCIS needs to arrest you, detain you, and deport you is your failure to submit form AR-11 within ten days every time you change your address. True or false?
The answer is true. This has been the law for over 50 years. See section 265 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. However, only lately has the USCIS and ICE begun to enforce this law. Believe it or not, even long-time permanent residents are facing prison terms and deportation for failure to submit a change of address.
Most non-U.S. citizens must report a change of address within 10 days of moving within the United States or its territories. Exceptions include:
Diplomats (visa status A), Official government representatives to an international organization (visa status G), and Certain non-immigrants who do not possess a visa and who are in the U.S. for fewer than 30 days.
How Do I Report My Change of Address?
If you are not a U.S. citizen, and do not belong to one of the three excepted groups listed above, please refer to the following table:
Then you must
Have no pending cases;
Have a case pending OR a recently approved case;
Change your address on pending cases ( online OR by phone at 1-800-375-5283)
The USCIS Online Change of Address service allows you to complete both an AR-11 and change your address on any pending cases. Note that if you submit a signed Form AR-11 online without also updating your address on pending applications and petitions, you will still need to do so either by calling 1-800-375-5283 or by going online to do so at a later time.
If you mail a paper Form AR-11, we strongly recommend using certified, registered or return receipt mail. This will give you documentation that you did mail the form to USCIS, in case there should ever be a question. The address to mail the AR-11 form is:
U.S. Department of Homeland Security U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Change of Address P.O. Box 7134 London, KY 40742-7134
What Should I Include?
For the Form AR-11: Complete the information requested on the form, including present address, last address (most recent only), alien or registration number, country of citizenship, date of birth, and your signature.
You do not need to include temporary addresses as long as you maintain your present address as your permanent residence and continue to receive mail there.
When sending us a change of address, you do not need to include numerous last addresses; only the most recent last address is needed.
Be sure to also indicate in the appropriate block on the AR-11 your current employment and school, where applicable.
U.S. citizens are not required to file a Form AR-11 and can make a change of address on pending cases via our Online Change of Address page or by calling 1-800-375-5283. U.S. Citizens who do not have an application or petition pending with USCIS are only legally required to notify USCIS of a change of address if they have previously submitted a Form I-864 on behalf of someone who has become a permanent resident. If you have previously submitted a Form I-864 Affidavit of Support for someone who immigrated to the U.S., you must complete a Form I-865 within thirty days of the completion of your move.
The address reporting requirement should not be confused with renewal or replacement of lawful permanent resident cards (Form I-551) or replacement of other evidence of alien registration, such as the Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record; I-186, Nonresident Mexican Border Crossing Card; I-688, Temporary Resident Card; or, I-766, Employment Authorization Document.
All non-U.S. citizens (aliens) who are required to be registered are also required to keep the USCIS informed of their current address. This is particularly important when you have filed an application or petition for a benefit under the Immigration and Nationality Act and expect notification of a decision on that application. In addition, the USCIS may need to contact you to provide other issued documents or return original copies of evidence you submitted.
It is also mandatory for any alien who has been designated as a “special registrant" under 8 CFR § 264.1(f) to inform the USCIS whenever he or she has a change of address, employment or school. The special registrant rule is effective as of September 11, 2002. For information about special registration, go to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website.
The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, Section 265, established the reporting requirement. Although during the past 20 years, the address reporting requirements have fallen into general disuse, since September 11, a number of persons have been arrested and taken into custody based upon their failure to timely file form AR-11 with the USCIS. In issuing the proposed student regulations on April 12, 2002, the USCIS called attention to the AR-11 reporting requirement.
We recommend that every time you change your address, you file a form AR-11 for each member of your family within ten days of the change, by certified mail, return-receipt requested. Keep photocopies of the filled-out AR-11 forms and the certified mail receipts as proof that you have complied with the law.