One aspect of immigration law that few know about is the fact that there are criminal penalties for certain foreign nationals on a visa who fail to change their address when they move. Specifically, Section 266(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) states that:
Each alien required to be registered under this title who is within the United States shall notify the Attorney General in writing of each change of address and new address within ten days from the date of such change and furnish with such notice such additional information as the Attorney General may require by regulation.
The parents or guardians of aliens who are under the age of 14 are responsible for filing changes of address for those minors.
An alien notifies the government of a change in address by filing a Form AR-11 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within 10 days of a move within the United States or its territories.
Section 266(b) of the INA imposes criminal penalties on aliens who fail to file such changes of address. Specifically, violations of those requirements subject the offender to a $200 fine or imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both. Thus, the crime in question is a Class B misdemeanor under 18 U.S.C. § 3559(a)(7).
What’s worse is that under the law, failure to change your address may result in application of the removal provisions of the INA, which means that such aliens could be deported from the U.S.
If you have any questions regarding immigration law or the process for immigrating to the U.S., please contact Santiago J. Padilla, Esq. at (305) 824-2400 or via email.