Since the bussing of migrants to New York City last spring, Documented has received questions relating to the process of updating an address with immigration authorities (ICE) and immigration courts.
Updating the address with the government is not only mandatory, but it is also critical for receiving updates and notices relating to your immigration proceedings. We spoke with experts and made a list of recommendations to keep in mind when updating your address.
The information in this article is solely for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For legal assistance please see our list of pro-bono lawyers in New York.
Changing Your Address With ICE, USCIS and in Immigration Courts
It is highly recommended to update the address within five days of moving — or as soon as possible. There is no one form that can update an address with all the agencies you interact with automatically, and each agency will require you to update it individually to ensure the government has your correct address. “You do not want to miss important mail from the immigration court or other immigration agencies about your case,” said Eric Pavri, Community Resources Attorney at Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP).
To change your address with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), you can dial their Victims Engagement and Services Line (VESL) at 1-833-383-1465 and speak with a representative. The hotline also offers its services in Spanish (option 1) and will require personal information to verify your identity. Individuals with ICE check-ins can also update the address during their next appointment.
Those with immigration cases may also need to update their address with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) — it is the agency responsible for administering and overseeing the United States’ naturalization and immigration system. The change of address can be done by creating a new account and/or signing into the USCIS portal, by calling 800-375-5283 and speaking with a representative, or by submitting it online.
Note: you will need to have your case receipt numbers to link it to your account.
To change your address in an immigration court you will need to file form EOIR-33. The process can be done via mail or online.
To send a request via mail, find the state where your hearing is currently handled at, and then download the correct EOIR-33 form. To clarify, do not choose the form from the place where you will move to.
Once you have downloaded the form, these are the things to keep in mind:
- The “A# number” is the number located in most of your correspondence with immigration agencies. It is also listed at the top of your Notice to Appear (NTA) document.
- Complete a separate form for each family member in your case, signing for children under 14 and allowing those 14 and older to sign
- Where it says “proof of service,” enter the U.S. government attorney’s address which can be found here.
- Make three copies. Submit the original to your court, using the second page as an envelope, and keep a copy for your records. Mail the second copy to the U.S. government attorney (the one paired with the immigration court).
This video created by ASAP explains in detail how to fill out the form.
Submitting change of address online
One of the benefits of changing the address online is that the change will take effect immediately, said Pavri. The online change of address portal will ask for the same information that is required in the EOIR-33 form, along with the U.S. government attorney’s address that matches your current hearing location.
What if I moved from another state and/or want a court that is closer to my new address?
For those who want to attend their immigration hearing at a new court, they must request a change of venue. It is different from the change of address mentioned above. Pavri said that you only need to request a change of venue if “all of the following apply to you”:
- You have a case in immigration court,
- You move far away from the city where you have court hearings, and
- You want to change the location of your court hearings to an immigration court closer to where you live now.
More information on how to request a change of venue with the immigration court.
Note: You must attend all scheduled hearings until a decision is made on your motion to change venue.
What if I forget to change my address?
Forgetting to change your address can lead to severe consequences, like missing important court hearings and or information about your case. Even if more than five days have passed, it is recommended to change your address as soon as possible.
How can I check if my change of address took effect?
To confirm a successful address change with the immigration court, contact the staff in person or by phone. For USCIS, call 1-800-375-5283 and say “InfoPass” to speak with a representative quickly. Address changes with ICE or ISAP take effect instantly and can be confirmed by calling the ICE office in charge of your case.
Will changing my address affect my asylum case?
Asylum seekers can request their first work permit 150 days after submitting their asylum application (Form I-589), which is called the “asylum clock” or “work permit clock.” Registering a change of address with immigration agencies does not stop the clock.
But something that DOES stop the work permit clock, if you have already filed for asylum and have a case in immigration court, is requesting a change of venue, Pavri said. “In other words, asking to change the court where you have your immigration case hearings to a court in another city.” Learn more about the work permit clock and events that can stop it here.