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GT Immigration - Did You Know?

Important Information for Foreign Nationals:
Change of Address Notification Required

All foreign nationals, including legal permanent residents (green card holders) who are not U.S. citizens are required by Section 265 of the Immigration and Nationality Act to notify the USCIS of address changes while in the United States. Notification must be sent to the USCIS of a change of address, in writing, within 10 days of the change.

Failure to provide the USCIS with this information can result in criminal and monetary penalties, and can be grounds for deportation. If an individual is convicted for failure to notify the USCIS of an address change, the individual can be fined up to $200 or imprisoned for 30 days, or both. In addition, the individual can be removed from the U.S. unless he/she can establish that the failure was not willful or was reasonably excusable.

Although this is not a new requirement it has not been enforced by the USCIS. However there are recent reports of the Department of Justice utilizing Section 265 in cases involving national security.

The appropriate method for notifying the USCIS of a change of address depends upon the status of the alien:

  • Application Pending with the USCIS - If a foreign national who is not a U.S. Citizen has an application pending with the USCIS, the individual should notify the office where the application is pending using the preferred method of that office. This could mean the Regional Service Center or the Local District Office. For the offices preferred method and a list of offices please refer to the USCIS website.
  • No Application Pending - If no case is pending, the foreign national should use Form AR-11, available on the USCIS website.

The completed AR-11 should be forwarded to:

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
Change of Address
PO Box 7134
London, KY 40742-7134

For commercial overnight or fast freight services, only:

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
Change of Address
1084-I South Laurel Road
London, KY 40744

It is advised that return receipt mail be used when contacting the USCIS of any change. You should keep a complete copy of the filing.

Below is a question and answer section of this document for your reference. If you have any further questions, please call your immigration attorney.


Questions and Answers on USCIS Change of Address Requirements

Q.When did the new regulation requiring change of address notification become effective?

A: The regulation has been in effect for many years; it has just not been enforced. USCIS has recently announced that it plans to enforce this regulation much more vigorously.

Q: Who must file the change of address form?

A: All foreign nationals in the U.S. including those with non-immigrant visas (including tourists and students) and permanent residents ("green card" holders).

Q: When must the form be filed?

A: Within 10 days of the change of address.

Q: Which office must receive the file?

A: The office listed on the AR-11 form, or, if a current petition is pending with the USCIS, with that office.

Q: Do Permanent Residents ("green card" holders) of the United States need to file?

A: Yes.

Q: Do Dependents of nonimmigrant visa holders need to file?

A: Yes. Separate applications need to be filed for each family member.

Q: Do children born in the U.S. to non citizens need to file?

A: No.

Q: What will happen if I fail to file?

A: You may be fined and/or placed in removal proceedings.

Q: What if I have filed a labor certification filed with the Department of Labor that has my new address listed on it? Do I still need to file with the USCIS?

A: Yes.

Q: What if I am filing an extension application with the USCIS that will list my new address on it? Do I still need to file with the AR-11?

A. Yes

Q: What if I moved years ago and failed to notify the USCIS. Will filing with the USCIS now subject me to penalties such as removal and deportation?

A: Most likely not, as long as you make a good faith effort to comply.

Q: Do I need to file each time I move?

A: Yes.

Q: What if I move outside of the United States?

A: If you are holding a nonimmigrant visa, then there is no need to file. If you are a permanent resident, then you do need to file. You may also need to make other filings with the USCIS to preserve your permanent residence status in the U.S. prior to leaving the U.S. Please check with your attorney.

Q. If I am a F-1 visa holder and move temporarily during the summer, do I still need to notify the USCIS?

A. Yes