Life as an immigrant is one of transitions, including changing places and moving homes within the United States. Did you know that it is legally required for you to update your address with USCIS until the moment you are a naturalized citizen? Read more below about the hows and whys of changing your address as an immigrant in the US.
What is a Change of Address with USCIS?
As you probably know, moving means having to update your address, be it with the post office, your bank, newsletters, or anywhere else and ensuring that all of your records are up to date. As an immigrant, updating your address with USCIS is another step to add to your list. Unlike US citizens, immigrants need to update the government, USCIS in particular, when they move, rather than just informing the post office. This is the case for any immigrant, whether your case is pending or not, and you must continue to update your address for the rest of your life, or until you naturalize.
Of course, if you have a pending case, it’s even more important that you update your address as soon as you move, as you otherwise risk losing important updates and documents, from receipt notices to your physical green card.
As we said above, this process is a legal requirement. You must inform USCIS of any change of address within 10 days of moving. Failing to do so could result in complications with your immigration status.
How Do You Do a Change of Address?
There are a few different ways you can do a Change of Address, also known as filing an AR-11 with USCIS. This is a process that you can either do on your own or ask your legal team to do it for you (typically for a small fee).
For all of these, it’s important to update not only your address, but those of any derivatives, dependents, or beneficiaries included in your case. This may mean having to file several Change of Address forms after every move.
Using this online form, you can file your Change of Address directly online. You’ll need either your receipt number or A number, the form type that was filed, and the past and new address. This online form can be used whether a case is pending or has been closed.
If you have a pending case with USCIS, you can file a change of address through the myUSCIS online portal. You’ll need your case’s receipt number and your new address. Once a case has been approved or closed, you can no longer use this option.
The good old-fashioned way is filing the AR-11 by mail. By using this PDF form, you can send a physical copy to the address noted on the most recent version of the AR-11. Make sure to only submit this form, rather than including other filings or filing fees.
Although this process may seem small, it can play a significant role in your immigration journey. Making sure that your address is up to date makes sure that your immigration process goes as smoothly as it can. The last thing you want is for your green card to be approved just for it to get sent back to USCIS because you forgot to update your address.
If you ever need help with the Change of Address process, Hope Immigration is here to help. Reach out to your paralegal and they’ll get you squared away!