Living circumstances can change quickly. If you have moved from your residence after filing Form I-130 petition for immigration, you may wonder if that will cause problems and what you need to do to avoid any difficulties. The situation can be particularly worrisome if you filed Form I-130 using consular processing.
When you work with an experienced immigration attorney, your legal advocate can help you ensure that you have fulfilled proper requirements regarding changes in your information, including a change of address. Every situation is different, but we can offer some basic guidelines here
Consular Processing of Form I-130
Most immigration petitions using Form I-130 are filed directly with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) even if the petitioner is living abroad at the time. In rare circumstances, USCIS will allow a petitioner to file at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate so long as they are filing for a family member classified as an “immediate relative.”
To file with an embassy or consulate, the petitioner must put in a request, and officials will determine whether the situation warrants an exception to the general requirement to file directly with USCIS. Because consular processing of Form I-130 is so rare, applicants are often not sure how to handle the situation when changes arise.
Closure of USCIS Field Offices
Since USCIS has closed so many international field offices, opportunities for direct consular processing of Form I-130 petitions are substantially reduced. The closure can also make it difficult to ensure that the right officials are kept up to date with your information.
Applicants who file with an attorney of record do not need to worry so long as their attorney has current contact information for them. An applicant who wants to allow USCIS to communicate with an attorney on their behalf can file a Form G-28 and request that the agency send notices directly to the legal representative. The attorney can then ensure that all communications are handled appropriately.
Two Methods of Changing Address with USCIS
USCIS offers two primary ways to provide notice of a new address. Applicants who filed forms online may change their address information through their USCIS online account. It is also possible to file a Form AR-11 Alien’s Change of Address Card. Using either option should update the address information on all pending applications, petitions, and requests.
However, information can get misplaced and mismatched, particularly when a petition has been filed at the consulate or embassy. It may not be possible to update all records until the case has been transferred to the National Visa Center. Your immigration lawyer can investigate with USCIS or personnel at the embassy or consulate to ensure that your records are up-to-date.
Find Out How an Immigration Attorney Can Help You Reach Your Goals
U.S. immigration laws and procedures are complex and change frequently. When you work with an experienced immigration lawyer at American Dream™ Law Office, your legal advocate can ensure that you are meeting current requirements and taking advantage of the best opportunities to achieve success. Contact us today to learn how we could help with your Form I-130 petition or other matters.