Notify USCIS if you move. It’s the law.

Do you have plans to move anytime soon?  If you’re not a US citizen and you move you are legally required to notify USCIS of your new address within 10 days of moving.  There are some minor exceptions to this requirement, for example: diplomats, government officials and those in the US for less than 30 days.  If you’re not one of the above exceptions, you probably are required to notify USCIS of your move.

Why notification is important

Notifying USCIS of your new address is especially important if you have a case that is currently pending at USCIS.  USCIS communicates with immigrants in large part through notices mailed via the US postal service.  The US postal service will not forward mail from USCIS.  They will instead return it to USCIS as undeliverable.  It is not uncommon for a person to fall out of status because they missed a communication from USCIS due to not updating their address with USCIS.  I have seen this scenario play out on more than one occasion in my fifteen years as an immigration lawyer.

How to notify USCIS of your move

Updating your address with USCIS is very easy to do.  USCIS has a form called “AR-11, Change of Address”.  The form can be filled out online at www.uscis.gov/addresschange or it can be mailed to USCIS.  In order to fill out the form you will need: 1) The receipt number for your case if it is pending at USCIS 2) The date and location of your entry into the US 3) Your old and new address.  If you use the online method be sure to print out the confirmation receipt for your records.  If you end up mailing a paper form be sure to make a photocopy for your records and to mail it certified/return receipt or through some other means that allows you to prove the form was mailed and arrived at USCIS.   The paper method also requires you to call USCIS if you have a pending case with them.  In that case you would still mail the paper form but would also need to call USCIS at 1-800-375-5283 and confirm your new address with the immigration officer.

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