You moved and Immigration doesn’t know it. So, now what do you do?
You know if you don’t update your address with Immigration you will miss out on important notifications. You might even lose your entire case that way. But which agency do you contact, where do you contact them, and how?
In fact, failing to update an address is the start to so many of our problem cases, where we are hired after the fact to try to clean up a situation because a client was ordered removed or lost their place in line for a visa. This is often because of a simple change of address error.
Take a recent example: A new client lost her TPS status in 2003. How? Because she hired a notario to help her with her TPS renewal, and he didn’t update her address with Immigration. The government sent a request that she have her fingerprints processed, but she didn’t receive it. Because it was mailed to her old address. And when she missed the deadline for her fingerprints, guess what happened? Yep, the government denied her TPS request. We’re working on trying to get it back, but I can’t guarantee that we will succeed.
The issue is that important. And you can avoid this kind of heartache entirely by updating your address.
This post is intended to answer all of your questions about how to change your address with the various Immigration agencies. Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments.
1. Changing Your Address With USCIS
If you have an application for immigration benefits pending or already have approved visa or adjustment of status but aren’t a citizen yet, you have to update your address with USCIS.
The easiest way to update with USCIS is online here: https://egov.uscis.gov/coa/displayCOAForm.do
If you have questions about whether this is the right place to update your address, the USCIS has created this helpful table:
The Department of Homeland Security’s ombudsman also has a helpful overview here.
2. Changing Your Address With the National Visa Center
Changing your address with the NVC is also fairly easy. On its “Frequently Asked Questions” page, the NVC offers the following suggestion:
If you want to know which of these is better, use the online inquiry form. The link is here. We regularly find that the phone number isn’t fully staffed, so they don’t always answer. But if you’re feeling lucky, you could also try their phone number.
3. Changing Your Address With the US Embassy
If your case is already at the U.S. Embassy abroad,, then you’ll have to tell them if you move or change your contact information. But the best way to do this depends on which Embassy you’re dealing with.
Most U.S. Embassies use an online system called http://www.ustraveldocs.com/
For example, here is the change of address form for India: http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-deliveryaddressmodify.asp
Similarly, here’s the form for Germany. http://www.ustraveldocs.com/de/de-niv-deliveryaddressmodify.asp
And here is the form for the Philippines. http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph/ph-niv-deliveryaddressmodify.asp
If the U.S. Embassy you’re dealing with doesn’t use http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ typically the U.S. Embassy’s website will provide their method for change of address.
4. Changing Your Address With the Immigration Court
Unfortunately the only way to change your address with the Immigration Courts right now is to use the paper Form EOIR-33 IC and mail it to the proper Immigration Court. The Immigration Court does have an electronic filing system for entries of appearance, but it doesn’t allow changes of address (yet).
You can find all of the versions of this form on the EOIR website here. The only difference for each form is the Immigration Court’s address. If you download the form for the Kansas City court, for example, it has the Kansas City court’s address pre-printed on the form.
As long as you know what court you’re in, this form will work fine. Just make sure to also send a copy of the form to the prosecutor on your case (the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Chief Counsel). You can find all of their addresses here.
5. Changing Your Address With the Board of Immigration Appeals
It’s exactly like changing your address with the Immigration Court. For now, there is a paper form. Print it, fill it out, make a copy for the prosecutor, and mail it.
6. Changing Your Address With Social Security
This isn’t really an immigration issue, but regularly we see questions about US citizens leaving the United States who are eligible for federal benefits, including retirement benefits.
If you need to change your address with Social Security, you need to file a Form SSA-21. You can download a PDF of SSA-21 here.
Change your address. Change your address. Change your address. I can’t say it enough times. If you have questions about specific immigration agencies or sub-agencies, please post them in your comments.