Updating Your Address with U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS): A Crucial Obligation for Non-Citizens in the U.S.

If you reside in the United States (U.S.) as a non-citizen and have recently relocated, it is imperative to notify the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) promptly. U.S. immigration law mandates that all non-citizens, including green card holders, report a change of address within 10 days of moving. This obligation extends to spouses and children, excluding those who are U.S. citizens. Parents must report address changes on behalf of children under 14.  

Consequences of Neglecting Address Updates   

Failure to comply with the address reporting requirement can lead to various legal consequences under U.S. immigration laws, including:   

  • Fines: Non-compliance may result in fines, with a maximum penalty of $200 for failing to report the change of address within the specified timeframe.   
  • Imprisonment: Non-citizens who neglect to report their new address may face imprisonment for up to 30 days.   
  • Deportation: The law stipulates that non-citizens failing to report address changes can be subject to removal from the U.S.  

How to Report Your Address Change to USCIS   

To fulfill your obligation, USCIS provides two reporting options:   

  • Online Submission (Recommended): Utilize the USCIS Online Account to update your address electronically. Creating an account on the USCIS website ensures timely correspondence and prevents potential case-related delays. Follow the instructions at USCIS Online Account.  
  • Mail Submission: Alternatively, complete and mail Form AR-11 to USCIS. Download the form from the USCIS website (Form AR-11), fill it out, and send it to the address indicated on the form. Ensure the use of the current edition of the form, as USCIS periodically updates its forms.  

Importance of Timely Address Updates   

Neglecting to report address changes to USCIS can result in practical issues, particularly regarding pending cases. Failure to update your address may lead to missing crucial notices or documents related to ongoing immigrant cases. Non-compliance could further complicate your cases, potentially resulting in denials or delays. Timely and accurate reporting facilitates clear communication with USCIS, reducing the risk of complications in immigration matters.  

It’s crucial to note that updating your address with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is a distinct process from updating your address with USCIS. Therefore, ensure direct reporting to USCIS to avoid any complications related to your immigration status.