I’ve moved—do I need to contact or inform USCIS?
If you are moving residence or if you have already moved, to ensure that USCIS mails important notices and documents to the right place individuals and families should update their residential address with USCIS within 10 days of change of residence. In fact, all noncitizens in the United States must report a change of address to USCIS within 10 days (except A and G visa holders and visa waiver visitors) of moving.
How do I inform USCIS of an address change?
USCIS utilizes Form AR-11, Alien’s Change of Address Card as the proper avenue to update or inform USCIS of an Alien’s change of address. There are two ways to file the AR-11, Alien’s Change of Address Card can inform USCIS of your address change. USCIS charges no filing fee for the AR-11.
One avenue is filing electronically through your USCIS online account. Once an account is created or once you have logged in, the AR-11 online filing is straight forward and can be completed here. In order to use this self-serve tool, a valid email address is required.
If electing to not file online, USCIS provides a printable .pdf and instructions for paper filing here. Within the Form AR-11, USCIS provides the proper mailing address.
What information is required to file the AR-11?
The Form AR-11 requests the Alien’s name, Alien Registration number (“A-Number”), current/new address, and previous/old address. USCIS also provides a field for a mailing address, if you prefer mail delivered to a location different than your residential address such as a PO Box. USCIS does not provide a place to provide the receipt number (SRC-, WSC-, LIN-, etc.) of your current immigrant or non-immigrant visa. Therefore, as a best practice one should provide a copy of the same to USCIS when filing the Form AR-11.
Should everyone in the family file their own AR-11? Even my children?
Yes, all noncitizens in the United States must report a change of address to USCIS within 10 days (except A and G visa holders and visa waiver visitors) of moving. Parents should file the AR-11 on the child’s behalf, with the parent signing the child’s name when necessary.
I’ve moved after filing the Form AR-11 for myself and/or my family members. Do I need to file another Form AR-11?
Yes, one should update or report a change of address to USCIS within 10 days of every change of residence. If you electronically filed your Form AR-11 and have a USCIS online account, you should update your address in your USCIS online account. If you previously submitted a paper filing and the receipt number began with IOE, you can create an account at myaccount.uscis.gov, link your case with an Online Access Code, and update your address online.
If a paper filing is more your style, submit your and your family’s subsequent Forms AR-11 utilizing the printable .pdf and instructions provided by USCIS here.
I’ve updated my address with the US Postal Service (USPS). Do I still need to file Form AR-11?
Yes. Changing your address or requesting mail forwarding with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will not change your address with USCIS. It is a best practice to update both USCIS and USPS of your change of residential address.
My employer has moved locations. Do I or do they need to file a Form AR-11?
If your employer has moved business locations, you as an individual are not required to file a Form AR-11. An individual is only required to file Form AR-11 for a change of their residential address.
Further, USCIS has procedures in place for an employer’s change of address. The employer and/or their immigration attorneys are responsible for informing USCIS of any change of business address, never the employee.
Will I be in trouble if I don’t file the AR-11 within 10 days of moving, or ever?
The most practical purpose for filing the Form AR-11 is to ensure that USCIS mails important notices and documents to the right place. The typical consequences of missing and therefore failing to respond to USCIS correspondence– such as Interview Notices, Requests for Evidence or even denial notices– is far more “dangerous” to immigration journey that non-compliance with Form AR-11 regulations. However, if an Alien fails to provide notice of a change of address to USCIS within 10 days of moving, that individual could face fines or even temporary imprisonment as well as potential deportation or “removal” from the United States for non-compliance under Section 266 of the INA.
Do I need an attorney to file Form AR-11?
While we’re certain you could find an attorney willing to charge you a legal fee to file the Form AR-11, such an incurred cost is entirely unnecessary. Whether filing online or through the mail, the Form AR-11 could be the simplest process USCIS has—provide your name and addresses online. What could be easier?
By: Ryan A. Wilck, Partner and Attorney at Law
Ryan Wilck is a Managing Partner and attorney at Reddy & Neumann, P.C. with over a decade of US immigration law experience, enthusiastic and proactive in his approach assisting clients and their employees through the various phases of the permanent residency a/k/a Green Card process. “Concilio et labore” is not only the motto of Ryan’s favorite sports club but is also his life’s motto; all things come through wisdom and effort. Ryan is passionate about gaining the trust of his clients by utilizing a relentless and detail-oriented approach to understand their specific goals and concerns, hoping to instill a sense of confidence and stability. Whatever your immigration problem or interest, he and his team will find a solution, through wisdom and effort. Reddy & Neumann, P.C. has been serving the business community for over 20 years and is Houston’s largest immigration law firm focused solely on employment-based business immigration. We work with employers and their employees, helping navigate the complex immigration process efficiently and cost-effective.
We are committed to assisting our clients with navigating the H-1B lottery and other challenging immigration matters as an accomplished immigration law firm in Houston, Texas. Our team is here to offer the direction and support you require, whether you’re a company trying to hire top talent or a foreign worker seeking to develop a career in the United States. To find out more about how we can help you with your immigration issues, get in touch with us right away.