This Update provides helpful hints for U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens on when to change your address with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and do it.
Notifying USCIS of a Change of Address Is Important
It is the sole responsibility of the applicant/petitioner to ensure USCIS has the correct address information on file. For example, USCIS expects to adjudicate 750,000 family-based petitions on or before December 31, 2010. Adjudication of these filings can result in Requests for Evidence (RFEs), and most correspondence sent by USCIS is not forwarded even if a change of address was filed with the U.S. Postal Service. Generally, USCIS denies cases as abandoned when a customer fails to timely respond to an RFE. To ensure that USCIS correspondence is sent to the right address, those seeking benefits must take affirmative steps to notify the agency of address changes.
Change of Address Requirements: Differences between U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens
Not required by law, but it's important that you report a change of address for pending cases.
- Online: USCIS Online Change of Address
- By phone: 1-800-375-5283.
By law, you must complete Form AR-11 to report any change in permanent address within 10 days.
- Online: USCIS Online Change of Address (recommended)*
- By mail: Download Form AR-11 and Instructions (PDF, 1 page - 370 KB)
Note penalty: Willful failure to give written notice to USCIS of a change of address within 10 days is a misdemeanor crime, and could also jeopardize the ability to obtain a future immigration benefit.
*The Ombudsman recommends reporting changes of address online. U.S. citizens will be brought directly to the page where they may update their address for any pending USCIS applications or petitions. Non-U.S. citizens will first be required to report changes of address by completing an electronic Form AR-11 (PDF, 1 page - 370 KB), and thereafter may separately update their address for pending cases.
Pending Cases with USCIS
U.S. and non-U.S. citizens can report a change of address online via USCIS Online Change of Address or by calling 1-800-375-5283. Non-U.S. citizens will still need to complete the AR-11 form noted above. Be sure to have the case number(s) ready.
Please note that the U.S. Postal Service does not forward most USCIS correspondence.