Are you a non-US citizen and changing your address in the US? Bear in mind to file the AR-11 form within ten days of that change of address. In this article, we will provide you insights into Form AR-11, who needs to file the form, and the consequences of non-filing.
WHAT IS THE FORM AR-11?
Section 265 of the American Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) makes a mandate for aliens/non-citizens of the US to report to the attorney general in writing concerning a change in their residential address within ten (10) days of such change.
Form AR-11 is used to inform USCIS about the change in the residential address of the alien person. In addition, it will help USCIS to change the corresponding address of the alien in any of his/her pending applications or petitions. Also, applicants do not need to mail Form AR-11 if they use the change of address webpage.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU DON’T FILE THE AR-11 FORM?
If you do not report a change of address to USCIS online on your existing account and also fail to file an AR-11 form, you could be held liable for:
- Fines up to $200 or Simple imprisonment up to 30 days, or both;
- Become vulnerable to deportation.
Usually, USCIS does not take strict actions upon the fault and gives non-citizens a chance to explain the reason for non-reporting about the change of address. Then, upon satisfaction that the delay is not wilful or considering a reasonable excuse, USCIS will not punish the alien.
Secondly, reporting a change of address becomes more crucial when an alien has a pending application or petition filed before the USCIS. Non-reporting will result in the non-citizens not receiving correspondence and benefits from USCIS, and in some cases, s/he is required to file a reply within a period. Therefore reporting to USCIS will always benefit the non-citizens, so make sure to report it in case of a change of address.
IS REPORTING ABOUT CHANGE OF ADDRESS TO USPS SUFFICIENT?
If a non-citizen reports the change of address only to United States Postal Services (USPS), it will not appear in the records of USCIS. Therefore, s/he has to make sure that he must change his address in both USPS and USCIS to ensure s/he receives all correspondence and benefits at the correct address and on time. Further, if the non-citizen has a pending immigration proceeding before an immigration court, s/he should report a change of address to the Executive Office for Immigration Review(EOIR).
IS THERE ANY FEE TO FILE THE FORM AR-11?
A non-citizen does not need to pay any fee to file Form AR-11. All s/he needs are to provide basic details such as name, old address details, new address details, country of citizenship, date of birth, etc.
HOW TO SUBMIT FORM AR-11?
Most people can do this through their existing USCIS online account if they have filed any form online; or filing Form AR-11 – Alien’s Change of Address Card.
Aliens do not require to mail a physical copy of Form AR-11 if they use the USCIS webpage except those who are victims of domestic violence, trafficking, and other crimes, or if they have previously filed a Form I-751 abuse waiver.
- When a non-citizen is a victim of Domestic Violence, Trafficking, and other crimes
If you are a victim under this category, you need to file a physical copy of the AR-11 form. The persons who have previously filed or have a pending or approved form relating to being victims of domestic violence, trafficking, and other crimes will come under this category. You have to mail the physical form to the below address:
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
Attn: Humanitarian Division
Vermont Service Centre
75 Lower Welden St.
St.Albans, VT 05479
You can see the forms which are covered under this category at https://www.uscis.gov/addresschange
- When the alien has previously filed a waiver under Form I-751
An alien who has applied for waiver of joint filing of a petition under I-751 because he/she or his/her conditional resident children is being abused by the US citizen(spouse), he/she needs to mail the physical copy of the form. The non-citizen needs to check the first three letters of their I-751 receipt and mail the Form according to the corresponding address. Non-citizens can check the address provided at USCIS website in corresponding to the first three letters of receipt at https://www.uscis.gov/addresschange
US CITIZEN AS SPONSOR OF ALIEN
If any US citizen has sponsored a non-citizen by filling out Form I-864 (Affidavit of support) and changes his address subsequently, he should report to the USCIS of change in his/her address by filing Form I-865.
If you do not file Form AR-11 on time, you can file it later. You can explain the cause of the delay to USCIS if the delay is not wilful. But make sure to comply with the requirements of USCIS so that your immigration applications or petitions are not affected.