U.S. Foreign Policy: December 2007 Archives
One portion of the Q&A from the USCIS National Stakeholder Meeting on December 4, 2007, addressed the issue of how an applicant for some immigration benefit (like a green card or work permit) could notify the government of an address change as required by law if a notice acknowledging receipt of the application had not yet been sent to the applicant due to large backlogs stemming from this summer's fee increase. The receipt notice contains a tracking number that USCIS uses to update an applicant's file with the new address. Without the tracking number to process the address change, USCIS could have difficulty getting in touch with an applicant with information about the case, and in theory, a case could be denied if an applicant did not show up to a fingerprint appointment or otherwise respond to USCIS's instructions. Here is the exchange (pdf):
Question: The instructions on the USCIS website for change of address in cases where the person has yet to receive a receipt number are very confusing. This question was posed last month and the answer given was to look at the website. Are there any other suggestions you can provide for people who do not have receipt numbers? (The website says to look on the back of the cashed check for the receipt number, but many clients with receipt delays have not had their checks cashed.)
Response: USCIS is working to update the information currently on the website concerning receipt delays and change of address information to make it more clear. Thank you for your feedback. If a customer has a pending application but has not yet received a receipt notice they must call the national customer service number at 1-800-375-5283 to request a change of address. When the customer calls the national customer service number they should specifically state that they have a pending application, have not yet received a receipt notice but would like to change their address. They should also be prepared to tell the customer service representative when they mailed in their application. The customer service representative will then issue a service request which will be routed to a service center having jurisdiction over that application The applicant will receive a letter acknowledging the completion of their change of address request once his/her application is receipted and the change of address has been updated. Customers are required to complete a Form AR-11, notifying DHS that their address has changed. An AR-11 can be completed on-line without a receipt number.
All clear now?