USCIS: How to Change Your Address With the US Citizenship and Immigration Services
The USCIS also known as the US Citizenship and Immigration Services is a governmental agency that regulates the country’s immigration system. When moving to the US from abroad, you go through multiple processes with the USCIS. They are responsible for all lawful immigration into the country. If you have a file with the USCIS and are moving to another home but don’t know how to change your address, then look no further. Here’s how to change your address with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
When to Notify the USCIS of Your Change of Address
When in possession of a green card, you may be faced with the fear of losing it at any moment. To avoid losing your green card, it’s important that you do right by the law and change your address with the USCIS. It’s required by law and failure to do so would be considered a misdemeanor that could negatively reflect on your immigration process to the US. Since the USCIS is responsible for all immigrants entering the US, they need to know your new address to update their database and be able to locate you at all times. So the question now is; when do you notify the USCIS of a change of address? You must report a change of address to the USCIS within 10 days of your move. If you’re a sponsor who is moving, you must notify the USCIS within 30 days of your move.
The only exceptions in which you do not have to report a change of address to the USCIS are:
- If you’re a government official representing international organizations and have a level G visa.
- If you’re a diplomat with a level A visa.
- If you’re not an immigrant and are only staying for 30 days or less (ex: tourist)
How to Change Your Address With the USCIS
With all the tedious tasks that come with moving, you may forget important things like changing your address. It’s very easy to forget changing your address with the USCIS when moving, but it should be one of your top priorities so you avoid delays and severe consequences. Changing your address with the USCIS isn’t as difficult as you may think. It’s pretty easy and you can even complete this task in the comfort of your own home.
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How to Change Your Address With the USCIS Online
Changing your address with the USCIS online is the easiest way you can report your new address to the USCIS. You can do this In the comfort of your home in just a matter of minutes.
You will need:
- Your previous address.
- Your new address.
- The receipt of your green card if you are a green card holder.
- If you are a sponsor, you will need the petitioner’s name including their contact information.
There are two ways you can change your address with the USCIS online. The first one is by filling the AR-11, Alien’s Change of Address Card online and the second is by changing your address directly through your USCIS account.
- Through the AR-11, Alien’s Change of Address Card online: The AR-11 form is applicable to you if you have a pending application, a petition or a request in progress. Begin your change of address with the AR-11 form on the file change of address page and it will directly be submitted online after it has been filled. Unless you are a victim of domestic abuse, violence or other crimes you do not have to send a paper form by mail.
- Through your USCIS account: This method is applicable when you already have a USCIS account. This account was likely created when you filled your immigration paperwork online. It’s the simplest method as all you need to do is just log into your account and change your address by going to the drop-down menu and selecting file a form.
How to Change Your Address With the USCIS by Mail
If you’re less skillful with the online change of address process, changing your address with the USCIS by mail is a convenient option for you.
- To change your address with the USCIS by mail you must print and fill the AR-11, Alien’s Change of Address Form and mail it to the address below.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Citizenship and Immigration Services
Attn: Change of Address
1344 Pleasants Drive
Harrisonburg, VA, 22801
- If you’re a sponsor, to change your address by mail with the USCIS, you must fill Form I – 865 and mail it to the address associated with the USCIS service center in your area (see where to file section).
*Make sure to keep a copy of all documents for your records.
How to Write a Letter to the USCIS for an Address Change
To write a letter to the USCIS for and address change you must include:
- Your complete name
- Your new and old address
- Your alien registration number
- Your application receipt number
Mail this letter to the address associated with the USCIS Field Office in your area.
*Calling the USCIS prior to sending them a letter is recommended. Writing a letter to the USCIS for an address change is simply a way to reinforce your phone call. (phone calls are only available to sponsors, see section below).
How to Change Your Address With the USCIS by Phone
The USCIS change of address by phone is only available to sponsors who are US Citizens. Sponsors can change their address by phone by calling 1-800-375-5238. Changing your address with the USCIS by phone is not open to immigrants and could sometimes lead them to trouble if they fail to update their address elsewhere prior to calling.
How to Change Your Address With the USCIS in Person
To change your address with the USCIS in person, you can visit a USCIS Service Centre. Due to the current situation (COVID-19 in 2021), the USCIS offices are closed. It is easier to change your address online or by mail with the USCIS.
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions About USCIS Change of Address
How Do I Change My Address With the USCIS if I Have a Pending Application?
To change your address with the USCIS if you have a pending application you must go online and fill the AR-11 Form, Alien’s Change of Address Card.
How Long Does It Take for USCIS to Change My Address?
Immigrants are expected to complete a USCIS change of address within 10 days of moving. The USCIS then takes about 15 business days to process your change of address. Afterwards, you’ll get a confirmation by e-mail stating your application has been approved. If you change your address on-time when moving, you should expect your address change to be processed within 3 weeks. The fastest way for your application to be processed is by using the USCIS online address change service.
Can I Use a P.O. Box as a Mailing Address for the USCIS?
While the short answer is yes, you technically can use a P.O. Box as a mailing address for the USCIS, this may cause some suspicion on their end. The USCIS may think you don’t actually live in the country or state and this can cause all sorts of problems.
How Do I Check My Address With the USCIS?
Changing your address with the USCIS is very important to avoid potential delays or consequences that could affect your immigration to the US. The easiest ways to change your address with the USCIS are by updating it online or by mailing the AR-11 form. It is not recommended to call the USCIS about an address change unless you are a sponsor. Writing a letter to the USCIS for an address change and going in person are more complicated processes for changing your address that should be avoided. Are you moving soon? Check out some of the best moving companies and moving truck rentals in your area.
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