Andres Mejer: Welcome to the weekly English segment of our radio show Para Ser Legal. Today important topic what happens if I don’t update my address with USCIS when I have a pending petition. Why is USCIS changing the address of my interview or where I need to send additional pop documentation. Does that mean that I my petition is going to be denied. Does that mean that it’s going to be delayed. Why is this happening and I’m going to give examples of both Maria and Jorge to people that we represented although we changed our names. What happened to them when they didn’t inform immigration of their most current address. So let’s start.
Andres Mejer: Good morning everyone. My name is Andrés Mejer. I’m a speaker author and immigration attorney and the first question what happens if I don’t update USCIS with my current address. All right. So here’s the requirement. If I move within 10 days of my moving I must inform USCIS of my new address. If I’m in removal proceedings that means the government filed a notice to appear that’s a complaint they served upon me. They served it upon the court and the government is trying to deport me. I have to keep the court and the government informed of where I live. And there’s a method to do that. So if everybody who isn’t a U.S. citizen even a green card holder even a student visa holder if they move they’re supposed to inform immigration within 10 days. Even if you’re a green card holder if you don’t it’s a misdemeanor. It can be punished by fined up to twenty dollars and up to 30 days in jail. The law also says that I can be a green card holder can be deported for failing to give an address for to give immigration my new address unless one failure to report. I have a reasonable excuse for it and give me my address for example I was in a coma. I had a stroke. I had severe medical conditions. That’s one way. Secondly that it wasn’t willful. It was not my intention to deceive the government. It was just an honest mistake for example I mailed the change of address form but I mailed it to the wrong place. OK. I you know I thought I was doing the right thing. That’s a good excuse. But it’s better not to do it. Look historically the government isn’t going to go looking for Green Card holders it didn’t update their address and put them in removal proceedings just because they didn’t give him the address. But in Trump World you never know. Don’t leave yourself open. Make sure you do it. So if you’ve never you got your Green Card and you’ve never updated them you move five times. I’m not suggesting you give all five addresses just give the current one. And from now on every time you move do it alternatively file for your citizenship once you’re a U.S. citizen you don’t need to inform the government of where you live. Obviously you want a driver’s license. You need to update your driver’s license. You know you’re going to file for your tax return. You’re going to indicate where your address is. It isn’t like the government isn’t going to know where you are. The difference is you don’t need to communicate with USCIS about your address anymore. Now how to update address. Well that’s easy. If it’s with USCIS you file what’s called an AR eleven that you can Google it. A.R. eleven. It’s you could fill it out online. You can download the PDF off from USCIS. It’s free. Fill it out and mail it or you can call the 1 800 number 800 3 7 5 5 2 8 3 and indicate your new address. I do not recommend calling if I mail something I can keep a copy I can send it registered certified mail in I have proof that I mailed it. If I do it online I will get a receipt I will get some information but if I call somebody and if that person doesn’t put the information correctly or accurately or doesn’t just doesn’t do it. I have a hard time proving that I did it. It you know it’s it’s no longer in my control. I have to wait for someone to do something and send me proof. And if they don’t do it and I forget that that’s on me. So if I filed it in I kept a copy and I have proof of when it was signed by USCIS official because I have the Green Card the post office gave me. You know what. If they make a mistake I can prove that I did the right thing and it’s not my fault. Even so worst case scenario in if I’m applying for like my Green Card and you know my petition can be denied and might be put into place in removal proceedings but I’m not automatically deported. Now if I. Change my address. And you know what the court I mean removal proceedings. And for whatever reason the court sends a notification. Changing the date in time for whatever reason let’s say was given it was a holiday or somebody was sick or whatever the reason is usually they don’t tell you they just change it. Now. To a different date an earlier date a later date. But on that date I don’t show up I show up at the date that I thought I was supposed to go and. I found out that I was already deported because I missed my opportunity. Very important. The government only has to prove that they send your information to their last known address. If you moved and you didn’t tell the government the onus is on you and so is the consequences. Now we’ll talk about what happens if you don’t file towards the end of this. You do have the obligation that’s what we just talked about. If you move within 10 days you have to notify the government that you have done so. If you if you’ve moved several times and you never did it so far. File 1 now. Just put your most recent address. And do it from now on going forward. Alternatively file for your citizenship and once you become a U.S. citizen you don’t need to inform the USCIS of where you live.