Section 265 (a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act states that "each alien required to be registered under this title who is within the United States shall notify the Attorney General in writing of each change of address and new address within ten days from the date of such change and furnish with such notice such additional information as the Attorney General may require by regulation." The term "alien required to be registered" includes all aliens who are provided an I-94 or other immigration document that conveys status.
Benefits of Filing AR-11
The ability of USCIS to have a valid current address for an alien is as important to the alien as it is to the USCIS. If any issue arises concerning a past form being files, it may be necessary to contact the alien for clarification. At times, the reply has to be made within a specific time period. Also, if the USCIS sends documents or other mail to an old address, it will have a no forwarding notice on it. The documents will be sent back to USCIS. This may result in there being made a determination that the status was abandoned.
Completing the AR-11 Form - Biographic Information
The name provided should be the same as the name appearing on the status document. The following section asks if you are a visitor, permanent resident, student, or other. If you don't meet the specific criteria of the first three check other and specify. You can explain the "other" in more detail in a note or cover letter. County of citizenship should be the same as was provided in the original application or at time of inspection on entry. The alien number is the number assigned by USCIS and will be your identification number when dealing with USCIS
Completing the AR-11 Form - Address Information
It is important that all aspects of the present address are provided. This includes any suite or apt number that can be placed in the "street or rural route" section with the street or rural route information. Its better to be over detailed with your answer. Also the City and State name should be not abbreviated but both should be provided in full form. The same technique should be followed when completing the last address.
Completing the AR-11 Form Work and or School Information
This section is provided to collect the specific information as to whether the non citizen is working or attending school. The form states that the data collected is provided for "statistical and record purposes". It also states that the information "may be furnished to Federal, State, local, and foreign law enforcement officials."
Completing the AR-11 Entry Information
The Port of Entry is the location where you were inspected for purposes of gaining admission into the United States. There are currently 327 official ports of entry and 15 preclearance facilities such as Pearson Airport in Toronto. http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/toolbox/contacts/ports/
The date of entry is the date you entered through the port of entry. It is the date on the I-94 or similar document.
The information provided for expiration of stay if you are not a permanent resident is the date the I-94 or similar status document expires. If you have a visa has multiple entries possible and/or the I-94 expires before the visa end sate, the expiration of stay date remains the date on the I-94.
Completing the AR-11 Signature
The form is not completed until it is signed and dated by the alien. No third party can sign for the alien. There is no filing fee for this form. It is advised that the alien keep a copy of the completed form and send it to the required USCIS address by certified mail so a record exists that the document was sent and received by USCIS.
Most colleges and universities have become a part of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. (SEVIS) An alien who has a valid F visa, J visa or M visa normally does not have to file an AR-11 within ten days after moving to a new address. This requirement is met through the information that has to be provided to the education institution and documented in the SEVIS. This information is then accessible by USCIS.
Exception: Special Registrant Aliens
Some aliens inspected may be determined to be high security risks. These aliens are subject to special registration. When they move within the United States they are required to complete the AR-11SR form. The same requirements apply to its content as applies to the AR-11 form.
The AR-11 form is free to download from the USCIS homepage and there are no filing fees. Normally, the process can be completed without having to seek legal advice. If any questions do arise, USCIS has in place telephone access to customer service agents or an experienced immigration attorney can be consulted to provide legal advice based on the specific facts of the case.
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