Updated: Aug 2, 2019
Did you know that if you are a non-citizen who is currently residing in the United States, you are most likely required to submit an AR-11, Change of Address Form to the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) within 10 days of moving into your new residence? If you answered no, you are not alone. Unless you have been specifically advised by your immigration lawyer in the process of applying for a visa or green card, have meticulously read through the fine prints of your receipt/approval notice from USCIS, or are the type of person who likes to proactively research and be kept informed of such matters, many individuals (especially those who have been in legal permanent resident status for a lengthy amount of time) are not aware of this requirement.
Well, thankfully, now you know! Therefore, whether you are currently in the U.S. on a temporary work visa, student visa, or even as a green card holder, you are required by law to keep the government informed of your updated address.
How Do You Submit The AR-11 Form?
There are two simple ways you can submit the AR-11 form. If you will like to submit by mail, you may go ahead and download the pdf version of the form from the USCIS website. An easier alternative is to simply fill out the form online! Some of the general information that you might need to include in the form is your name, alien registration number, date of birth, current immigration status, prior residential address, and your new address. For those of you who have a pending immigration case with USCIS, you would need to also update the information for your pending cases so that you receive any future case related information at your new address. If you currently have dependent family members who are also moving to the new residence with you, each individual will also need to submit the AR-11 form.
Don't Risk It! Stay On Top Of It.
When you're busy dealing with everyday life, on top of the stress that comes with moving, it is easy to leave this simple process in the backburner.
However, the penalties are real and can potentially bring you host of headaches and issues. According to USCIS, "a willful failure to give written notice to the USCIS of a change of address within 10 days of the new address is a misdemeanor crime. If convicted, you (or the parent or legal guardian of an alien under 14 years of age who is required to give notice) can be fined up to $200 or imprisoned up to 30 days, or both. The alien may also be subject to removal from the United States. (INA Section 266(b)). Compliance with the requirements to notify the USCIS of any address changes is also a condition of your stay in the United States. Failure to comply could also jeopardize your ability to obtain a future visa or other immigration benefit." These punishments seem pretty harsh and something that should not be ignored.
Oh no! But what if it has been like a year since you moved and you have not yet submitted the AR-11 form? No need to panic. So far, it has been highly rare for an individual to be hit with these severe penalties for forgetting to submit an AR-11 form, especially if it was not done so willfully. However, with the volatile nature of current immigration law, you want to make sure that you cover all of your bases.
Therefore, whether you have just moved to a new residence or have not yet had the time to submit the change of address form, simply take 10 minutes out of your day to get that handled now!
*Please note that the information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult with an immigration attorney for advice specifically tailored to your case.*