Non Citizens in the US must notify INS of change of address

September, 2002
In an effort to counter criticism post September 11, the INS has announced that it will be enforce the change of address notification (Form AR-11). This notification applies to all foreign nationals in the United State with temporary visas (including F-1/F-2, J-1/J-2, H-1B, H-4, L-1/L-2 and B-1/B-2) as well as Green Card holders.

This change of address obligation is not a new development post September 11, 2001 and has been on the books a lot longer. It applies to all non-citizens, however its enforcement has been lax till recently. The Immigration and Nationality Act ("INA") Section 265(a) states: "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 might require by regulation." The failure to comply with the provisions of INA § 265 is deportable, "unless the alien establishes to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that such failure was reasonably excusable or was not willful." INA § 237(a)(3)(A).

The following are some highlights regarding the change of address notification- Form AR-11:

Purpose of Filing To report the change of address of an alien in the United States.

Who must file? Every principal alien ( e.g, F1, H-1, L-1 holder, etc..) as...  well as all family members over the age of 14, who are in an immigrant or non-immigrant status and remain in the US for over 30 days must file a separate form. If you have a child who has yet to turn 14 years of age, you must ensure that when that child turns 14, the Form AR-11 is filled with the INS.

How can I get the Form AR-11 ? The form is available online at the INS website.

Where to File ? US Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service HQ ORM 425 I Street NW Ullico 4th Floor Washington, DC 20536

Filing Fee None

What records should I keep ? You should keep a copy of Form AR-11 and proof of mailing the INS (certified mail is advised)

When to file ? INS expects you to file within 10 days of changing address. However if you have not been able to comply with that time frame, do so now. If you have changed your address many times, just give your current residence address and the one prior to that on the Form AR-11. In light of the current uncertain times, it is advisable for all non-citizens to comply with this provision and inform the INS of a change of address.

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