An AR-11 Change of Address form must be filed with USCIS within 10 days of any and all moving by an immigrant to a new address. The form takes about 5 minutes to complete. Filing a change of address with US Postal Service is NOT sufficient.
What happens in worst case scenario (even when an AR-11 is filed and confirmed)
A woman from another country met a US citizen. They fell in love and got married.
The wife filed papers to get her green card. While they waited to be interviewed by Immigration, the husband was transferred by his company. Before moving, the couple informed the Immigration Service that they were changing their address. They received confirmation that Immigration KNEW they had relocated. The green card interview (NOT A DEPORTATION HEARING) was mistakenly scheduled in the state where the couple had previously lived. When they failed to show up for the interview, a notice for the wife to appear at a deportation hearing was also sent to their old address. Of course, the woman did NOT know that she had to go to court. So, she was ordered deported for failure to appear in court.
But she filed the AR-11 !!! How could this happen?
The system is far from perfect. Mistakes get made. But it gets worse. Immigration and Customs Enforcement located her and took her to a detention center to prepare to deport her. The US citizen hired us to get his wife out of jail and stop her deportation. We got her released after many weeks and eventually secured her green card.
What do I do to avoid a problem?
A. File your AR-11 and get confirmation. B. Check with the local USCIS office and call USCIS National Toll Free Customer Service (see link below). C. SERIOUSLY CONSIDER a consultation with a top, experienced immigration attorney. All immigration matters, even those which appear easy, are often complex to non-experts.
Additional resources provided by the author
Electronic AR-11 may be filed at link below.
USCIS Phone Service also linked below
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