U.S. law requires all aliens in the United States to notify USCIS of an address change within 10 days. In fact, 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 fine or imprisonment and/or removal. Only A or G visa holders, U.S. citizens and asylees are exempt from this requirement.
Yes, this sounds a bit authoritarian, and it is unlikely that you will be deported without other circumstances. But there is a great reason to notify USCIS of an address change. The U.S. Post Office is barred from forwarding USCIS mail to a new address. So even though you may have informed the post office of your move, mail that originates from USCIS will not be forwarded. Therefore, if you are awaiting a new green card, work permit or travel document, USCIS must have your current address.
The good news is that updating your address with USCIS is extraordinarily easy. You can download Form AR-11, Alien’s Change of Address, use the USCIS Online Change of Address or use CitizenPath’s simple online step-by-step process. All are free and take about 5 minutes.
Have more questions? Go to CitizenPath’s AR-11 FAQs.