A lot of our clients frequently use different addresses for different purposes.  This may be because an address used is “more permanent,” or another address is less reliable, or someone else lives at that address who cannot be trusted to keep important mail from USCIS or the immigration courts.
Many times, confusion over addresses is caused by a lack of understanding of what “residence” means for immigration purposes.

Here are the ground rules:

1.  For immigration purposes, your address is where you sleep at night.  It doesn’t matter whether you intend to move out shortly, or whether it’s just a “school” address, etc.  If you sleep there, it’s your address.  Intent does not matter.  See INA 101(a)(33).  You cannot use a “care of” address as your own.

2.  If you give an address to immigration at which you do not actually “reside,” you are 1) giving false information which could result in denial of your immigration benefit, and 2) you are telling immigration that you do not always tell the truth.  You might not have any intent to mislead immigration, but they will always think the worse of you for it.

3.  If you do not change your address in the proper manner, then anything immigration sends you to the old address is considered valid, even if you don’t ever receive it.  Moreover, failure to update your address with USCIS is actually a deportable offense. 

Bottom line: your address is very important.  It builds credibility and it protects you from deportation.  

Everyone’s situation is different.  Sometimes people do not have a fixed address.  And there are different procedures for changing your address depending on your situation.  As always, we are here to help you, so please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Leave a Reply