Did you know that if you have a US Visa and you move address, you need to tell USCIS using a particular form? Did you know that it's actually a legal requirement of your visa to keep that information up-to-date? There are actually quite a few different groups you should notify!
We're going to start with the legal requirements and then work our way down to make sure that you stay in good standing while you live here in the U.S!
#1 Notify USCIS about your move
First things first, you should tell the US Federal Government that you've moved. Most importantly, you must notify them within 10 days of your move! That's not long at all so hop to it!
As part of your visa agreement, you've agreed to keep them up-to-date and they have the address that you started at. It's therefore important that you notify them when that address changes. From USCIS:
The primary purpose for providing the requested information on this form is to report a change of address. Except for those exempted, all aliens in the U.S. are required to report any change of address or new address. DHS uses the information you provide to contact you about the immigration benefit you are seeking.
The form for most visas (assuming you're not on a short list of exemptions) is an AR-11. All of the information can be found on the USCIS website and the form can be filed online or via mail (I’d recommend online where you can).
It's quick and easy, and again, is a legal requirement.
#2 Let your employer know you're moving
Your employer should always know where you are living for their records and to keep everything sailing smoothly. In addition to that, if you're on a visa, your LCA actually determines where you must work. If you're moving more than just to another neighborhood and will still be commuting to the same office, then no issue, but if you're moving offices (and especially states) you will need a new LCA.
Notify your HR department (or your boss) in writing (via email) of your old address and your new address and make sure you flag the above to them.
#3 Notify USPS about your move
The above change, while with the Federal Government, does not update the information at USPS. So you need to do that too.
That's pretty easy as well and can all be done online (although it costs $1.05):
- Go to USPS.com/move and follow the instructions
- They will confirm within a few days and then forward your mail (you can actually request this change temporarily or permanently and you can do it in advance!)
- You're done!
This is important because official documentation comes for you via USPS and you don't want to miss any of that. The downside, you'll keep getting junk mail, but I've talked about how to lessen that (and spam calls) before.
Another great tip with USPS is the ability to have an email scan of your incoming mail before it arrives!
#4 Let your bank know that you've moved address
Now, the bank in and of itself is important but not crucial but the reason I have it so high is that a statement printed out on the new address can really be helpful for everything else you're doing and everyone else you're notifying.
You can take your lease into the bank and have them update your address in the first place, then you can lock your lease away and not need to drag it around with you quite so often.
Get the bank to print out an official statement with your new address and you're golden!
#5 Notify utility and service companies about your move
Don't get lumped with someone else's usage, and don't miss any payments as these can all affect your credit and life in the U.S.
In general, depending on where you're moving to and from, you should have been able to “move” your service to the new location and everything just keeps going as it was.
Just be sure to reach out to gas and electric (and your internet provider) and explain to them where you're going and you should be fine!
Add your cell phone provider to that list as well while you're at it!
#6 Notify the IRS about your move
For most people, filing your next tax return should be enough to notify the IRS of your move, however, it's also not a bad idea to make sure you've updated your details with them so you don't miss any notifications.
The easiest way to do this is to use the Form 8822, but they also accept your next filing as notification enough (with your new address on it). More details here!
#7 Get insurance updated before your big move
If you have home insurance, health insurance, or travel insurance, or ANY insurance: They need to have your address on file.
If you don't, there may be regulations that you run afoul of and if push comes to shove, this might be a reason that they don't pay out.
Don't let that happen to you, keep a master list and let them know, again, in writing.
#8 Everyone else
I mean, everyone has your address, so make sure you let all your friends and family know, and any other things that you get delivered to your home!
Your wine delivery, your newspaper delivery, your subscription to trashy magazines, private clubs, private jets, the works!
#9 Social Security
If you receive any benefits from Social Security (not just having an SSN) you should update your details with them as well.