As a foreigner in the US, did you know that you need to update USCIS regarding your address change within 10 days of your move? If you are not sure of the process, requirements around it, read along. We will look at the importance and why you SHOULD update USCIS regarding your address change, how to do it, FAQs, and what if you forgot to do it.
Background : Why SHOULD you Notify USCIS for Address Change ?
If you are a non-US citizen, according to Section 265 of INA Act, you are legally mandated to update USCIS with any change of address within 10 days of your move. Failure to report the address change is punishable by fine or imprisonment and/or removal. Many of the international students would have been advised by the DSO or international advisor regarding this at the student orientation to update the school/DSO and USCIS regarding the change of address. It also applies to work visa holders such as H1B Visa holders, L1 Visa holders, B1/B2 Visa holder, etc. Some of you may not be aware of this. It is your legal responsibility to update the address change information to USCIS, so that the same is relayed to DHS.
Who ALL should update USCIS regarding the change in address ?
- Non-US Citizens on Visa : All non-US Citizens, who are present in USA for more than 29 days on a temporary visa type are bound to comply with this requirement to update USCIS with the address change. It includes all visa holders such as H1B, L1, F1, other visa types, unless your visa type is exempt.
- Permanent Residents or Green Card Holders : All Green Card holders are required to update address with USCIS
- US Citizens : Certain US Citizens, who have filed form I-864, which is Affidavit of support for a foreign national need to update USCIS on their address.
Who are exempted from notifying USCIS regarding Address change information ?
Diplomats (who are on A Visa), Official Gov. Reps to International Orgs ( G Visa) and certain non-immigrants without a visa and who stay under 30 days in USA. If you are not from these three categories, you MUST report the change to USCIS.
How to Notify USCIS regarding the Change of Address ?
It is fairly simple. You need to fill out, Alien’s Change of Address Card(AR-11). You can do this by two ways.
- Physically mailing the AR-11 form
- Doing it online on USCIS Website.
Option 1 : Notify USCIS using AR-11 form – Mailing it
- Download the AR-11 Form from USCIS website
- Complete it with your current address info, including previous address info.
- Please ensure you sign the form, if not USCIS will reject the form.
- Mail it to the address on the form as listed below
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Citizenship and Immigration Services
Attn: Change of Address
1344 Pleasants Drive
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
Option 2 : Notify USCIS using AR-11 form – Mailing it
Doing it online is the simplest and most handy way. But, there is one small catch, you can only do online, if you have a pending application with USCIS. otherwise, you need to use the physical form. Below are the steps.
- Navigate to Change of Address form on USCIS Website
- It gives you few options to consider like below. Check, if you fall under any of these. Follow the respective instructions, if you fall under any of them.
- If not, click continue at the end of the page
- Follow instructions on the page and fill out the details of the address and your Case Information, which is USCIS Receipt Number. Complete the form, That’s it ! You maybe able to save a PDF copy for records
F1 Students Requirements for Address Update to USCIS using AR 11 form
If you are an F1 student, make sure you send the address update AR 11 form copy to your DSO, so that they have it updated on their records in SEVIS. Typically, you can go to the Internationals students services office and inform them on the AR 11 form, so that SEVIS records are updated as well.
I forgot to file AR-11 Address Change Form with USCIS after my move, What is the penalty ?
Well, mistakes happen and you should do it immediately, if you have forgotten. But, as per the regulation (see below), USCIS can fine you for up to $200 and put you in jail for under 30 days. Also, you may be put on removal proceedings, if they want to. But, in reality, getting deported or going to jail are not seen very often as there are far more bigger issues to deal with. To avoid any issues, file AR-11 on time, if you realized you have not updated the same for a while, work with an attorney and take care of the same. Check Official Reference and screenshot below.
You need to file an AR-11 form with USCIS, within 10 days of your move to a new address.
Yes, you need to file AR 11 to update USCIS. It is mandatory as per regulation
Yes, you need to file AR-11 to update USCIS regarding your address change. It is mandatory
You should file AR-11 immediately and not delay it. Delay can lead to bigger issues.
Did you recently move? What was your experience with AR-11 form ?