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Form AR-11 for Change of Address
Every foreign national visiting the United States is required to notify the USCIS about any change in their residential address due to relocating, perhaps for a first job or a different job. This has to be done within 10 days of moving. It is also very important considering the fact that all the benefits received by immigrants are linked to the address on file.
The collection of this information is required by Section 265 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1305), and failure to report a change of address is punishable by a fine or imprisonment and/or deportation.
What Is Form AR-11?
Instead of going to every other agency and filling out the address change form, immigrants can fill out Form AR-11 online, which will update the address on all pending applications, petitions, or requests.
As per the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 265(a), “each alien required to be registered under this title who is within the United States shall notify the attorney general in writing of each change of address and new address within ten days from the date of such change and furnish with such notice such additional information as the attorney general may require by regulation.” Form AR-11 is available both in paper and electronic form on the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov/ar-11.
Submitting form AR-11 doesn’t require a fee.
Why Is it Important to File AR-11?
The USCIS and all foreign nationals communicate through postal mail. Thus, it is extremely necessary to provide the correct address to the USCIS. This allows for the quick dispensation of information regarding any issues with the application or disbursement of benefits.
For example, suppose you have filed an immigrant benefit form with the USCIS, then the agency might want to reach out to you in case any further clarification is required. As all communication is done via mail, if the USCIS doesn’t have the right address, you will never be notified. Since most of these responses have to be made within a limited time period, this may result in a negative decision.
In the case of religious workers, immigration officers do occasional site visits. It becomes imperative that applicants file Form AR-11 in a timely manner to avoid any confusion. In the case of a USCIS officer failing to verify the religious worker’s employment due to visiting the wrong address, the USCIS can revoke an approved petition or deny a pending petition.
Guidelines to Correctly File Form AR-11
Form AR-11 can be downloaded from the USCIS website and filed online. However, to avoid any confusion, it is advised that the applicant keep a photocopy of the completed form and send the form via certified mail. Here are other guidelines you need to follow in the form:
Write in your name as it appears on your passport and I-94. If you do not have a middle name, write “none” in that space.
I Am in the United States as
The applicant should check “Other” and specify their status:
- Students who have graduated and are on Academic Training
- Research Scholars (J–1)
- H–1B, O–1, TN, E–3 employees
Copy Number from Alien Card
This is applicable only to legal permanent residents; others must write “none” in the space provided.
Indicate your RESIDENTIAL address even if you receive all your mail at a P.O. Box. DHS guidelines make it abundantly clear that your address is to be written here, not an office, department, or work address.
(If Above Address Is Temporary)
I Expect to Remain Here:
Provide the best estimate of the duration you will be at the mentioned address while filling out the form. Inform the authorities that you will complete a new Form AR-11 when you move, so DHS will have a good idea where you live. If you have J-1 status, do not automatically estimate the number of years by the prospective completion date indicated on your DS-2019.
I Work for or Attend School at
Students who graduated and are on Academic Training need to write the company/employer name and address.
Port/Date of Entry into the U.S.
If you have not left the U.S. since your initial arrival, and you don’t remember the date you entered, you can find this date on your I-94 card, stamped in your passport, or on the original DS-2019 you used for your initial entry.
If Not a Permanent Resident, My Stay in the U.S. Expires on
- Current students write the end date of the DS–2019
- J–1 Research Scholars write the end date of their DS–2019
- Students who have graduated write the end date on their OPT EAD or Academic Training
- H–1B, O–1, TN, E–3 employees need to write the end date of their most recent I–94
If You Are Here With Dependents
You need to complete and send Form AR-11 to the USCIS for each person.
When to File?
Form AR-11 is to be filed within 10 days of the change in your residential address.
AR-11 Filing cost
There is zero cost incurred by the applicant for the submission of form AR-11.
Where to Mail Form AR-11?
The Completed form must be sent to:
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Change of Address
1344 Pleasants Drive
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
While your immigration application is under scrutiny, it is advisable not to take any long vacations or travel frequently. The consulate may reach out to you at any time. Missing such an important notification will cause unwarranted delays in getting your immigration/visa application approved.