You may need to complete USCIS address change if you are an immigrant and have recently changed your U.S. home address. This change must be made rather quickly, as the USCIS must be able to send you time-sensitive information. It is important to comply with this rule and other standard proceedings and regulations established by the government, because you do not want to jeopardize your current, legal residency in the United States or your chances of being approved for admission to the country. Changing your address with the U.S. post office is not enough.
There are several ways to file a green card address change, including online, over the phone or by mail. Updating your information online is now the most common method, though certain applicants are required to make the update by mail. You may not be required to change your address with the USCIS if you qualify for a certain type of visa and have not violated the rules of that visa. If you are unsure of whether you need to make the update, it is best to check the USCIS guidelines.
Do I need to report a USCIS change of address?
In general, you must obtain a USCIS change of address form and notify the USCIS when you move to a new home. The notice must be submitted no more than 10 days after your move-in date. However, you may not be required to do so if you are:
- A diplomat.
- An official government representative to an internal organization.
- A nonimmigrant and you do not have a visa.
A diplomat is considered a government official who is in the country for an assignment or other business purpose. To qualify for a diplomat visa, which is either A-1 or A-2, and therefore become exempt from the USCIS update address rule, you must be in the U.S. on behalf of your national government, and you must have obtained the visa before your trip. The same is true for other official government representatives, such as heads of state, government ministers or cabinet members, representatives from the European Union (EU) and others. A non-immigrant is an individual who enters the U.S. temporarily for vacation, business, medical purposes, studying abroad or other temporary forms of work. In general, a non-immigrant will be in the U.S. for less than 30 days, though there are other types of visas that allow for longer stays when necessary.
How to Change Your Address as a Green Card Holder Online
If you are a green card holder making a change of address, you may be able to do so online at the USCIS website. You must have a receipt number, which is 13 characters long and is used by the USCIS to keep track of every application in the system. You may be able to find it on previous mail from the USCIS, such as a notice of action. When you enter your receipt number, be sure to leave out dashes.
Once you enter your USCIS receipt number, you must fill out form AR-11. Form AR-11 is also known as the alien’s change of address card. This form will ask why you are in the U.S., which country is your country of citizenship, your current address in the U.S., your previous address and your mailing information. There is no need to enter more than one previous address. After you have completed this form, you must update your address on any applications or petitions that are pending or approved, which is the second part of the online application. You may need to update your address by calling the USCIS office at 1-800-375-5283, especially if you have an outstanding application or petition.
How to Change Your Address as a Green Card Holder by Mail
You may mail in form AR-11 if you do not have access to a computer or you have previously submitted one of the forms listed above. The use of certified, registered or return receipt mail is highly recommended when mailing in your form. This will document when the form was sent, just in case it gets lost in the mail or an official asks for proof. Keep in mind that you will still need to inform the USCIS by phone as well. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may call a different number: 1-800-767-1833.
Learn About USCIS Address Changes for Asylum Applicants
You are required to perform an EOIR change of address, which is through the Executive Office for Immigration Review, if you have moved or changed your phone number and you have a case pending in an immigration court. You must file this form within five days of your move-in date at your assigned immigration court. To find the address for your immigration court, visit the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) website and search for immigration court listings, which are organized by state. Submitting this form is extremely important, as the immigration court will use this address to mail you information about the time, date and location of your hearing, or any other official notifications.
The change of address form is one of many EIOR forms and is called EOIR-33. It is the only official way to change your address with the immigration court. Any other method, such as pleadings, motion papers, correspondence, phone calls to the court, applications for relief and more, will not count. If you are not present for a hearing before the immigration judge and a notification was sent to your last known address, you may face serious consequences. These include removal, deportation, or exclusion, in which your application to the U.S. will be withdrawn.
Importance of Following USCIS Address Update Procedures
You will receive an online USCIS change of address confirmation number once you have completed all components of the update. You may use the confirmation number as proof that you have filed an alien’s change of address card in case there is any question. It is also important to keep your address up-to-date because the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may send you notifications of your immigration benefits. These benefits may be a grant of U.S. citizenship, an authorization that allows you to stay in the U.S. permanently, or the eligibility to work in the country. Furthermore, you are required by law to file the change. If you do not update this information, you may face severe penalties, such as a fine, jail time or even removal from the country. The failure to comply with this rule will negatively impact your chances of receiving a visa or other immigration benefits in the future.