Moving and Traveling

If you move, it is important to update your address with the U.S. government. That way, you will make sure to receive important documents in the mail like hearing or interview notices. You need to update your address separately with every immigration agency you interact with.

Scroll down or click on the links below to read questions and answers from the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP).

Can I move while my asylum application is pending?

Yes, you can move while your asylum application is pending, unless ICE has told you that you cannot move.

When you move, it is very important that you update your address as soon as possible. You need to update your address separately with every immigration agency you interact with. This can include one or more of these immigration agencies: USCIS, immigration court, and ICE or ISAP. Unfortunately, these agencies will not update each other when somebody moves, so you have to update each of them. If you update every agency, you will make sure to receive important documents in the mail like hearing or interview notices. Please keep reading for instructions.

I moved. What should I do?

When you move, it is important to update your address with the U.S. government if you want to pursue your immigration case. That way, you will receive important documents in the mail such as hearing or interview notices, or your work permit card.

You need to update your address separately with every immigration agency you interact with.

  • If you submitted an application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), such as an asylum application or work permit application:
  • If you have a case in immigration court:
  • If you submitted an appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) after an immigration judge denied your case:
  • If you have check-in appointments with ICE or ISAP:

If you are an ASAP member, you do NOT need to change your address with ASAP. The Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP) is a nonprofit organization and is not part of the U.S. government.

How do I change my address with USCIS?

If you have an application pending with USCIS, such as a work permit application or an asylum application, you can change your address with USCIS online or by phone. Read below for more details on how to change your address with USCIS and what might happen if you moved far away. You may also need to change your address with other immigration agencies.

Option 1: Online Form

  • You can change your address with USCIS by completing an online form on this USCIS webpage.
  • You need an email address and a receipt number to complete the online form.
  • You should submit a separate online form for each family member who is included in your asylum application. Your family member’s biometrics appointment notice should include their A Number and receipt number.
  • After submitting the form, you should receive an email from USCIS confirming that they updated your address, usually within a few weeks. Keep this email for your records.

Option 2: Online USCIS Account 

  • If you submitted your asylum application online, you can also change your address in your online account.
  • If you change your address in your online account, you do NOT have to separately update addresses for other family members who are included in your asylum case. Their addresses will be updated automatically.

Option 3: By Phone 

  • If you do not have a receipt number and you did not submit your asylum application online, you can try calling the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 instead.
  • When you are asked to explain what you are calling about, you can say “InfoPass” in order to speak with a representative to update your address.
  • During the call, you can also ask to update the address for every family member who is included in your asylum application.

What will happen after I update my address if I moved far away? 

  • USCIS may automatically change your asylum office to one closer to you.

If this happens and it has been less than 180 days since you submitted your asylum application, USCIS will probably stop your “asylum clock.” This can delay when you can apply for your first work permit as an asylum seeker.

If your clock has been stopped, you can try contacting your new asylum office to ask them to re-start your clock. You can find contact information for asylum offices here. Read more about the asylum clock here.

How do I change my address with the immigration court?

You can change your address with the immigration court by submitting Form EOIR-33 by mail or online. Read below for more detailed instructions! If you moved far away, you may also wish to submit a Motion to Change Venue to ask your judge to move your case to an immigration court closer to you.

You may also need to change your address with other immigration agencies.

Option 1: Online

  1. Go to this immigration court website.
  2. You can follow the instructions on the website to complete the online form. You need to complete a separate form for each of the family members included in your case. For example, if you have 2 children and they are included in your case, you would need to complete the form 3 times.
  3. You can change the language of the form in the top right corner, but you must enter all answers in English.
  4. For “Base City,” you should select the city where your current immigration court is located, not the city that you moved to.
  5. After filling out your personal information, click the button that says “CLICK TO REVIEW.” Check that all the answers are accurate. Then, type your name in the “Signature” space.
  6. In the “PROOF OF SERVICE” section, make a selection in the drop down menu for the “Office of the Chief Counsel for DHS.” This is the official name for the office of the government attorney. Select the office location that matches your current immigration court.
  7. At the bottom of the form, type your name again in the “Signature” space.
  8. Click “Submit.” This sends the form electronically to the immigration court.
  9. After submitting the form, print 2 copies. The first copy is for your own records.
  10. The second copy of Form EOIR-33 must be sent to the U.S. government attorney. You can find the address where you can mail the form here.
    • Note: You can also submit the form online by registering on this separate government website. However, sending by mail is usually easier, because the government may take several weeks to approve your registration. After your registration is approved, you have to go back to the website and follow the instructions to send a copy of the Form EOIR-33 to the government attorney.

Option 2: By mail  

  1. Download the correct Form EOIR-33 for your immigration court. Select the city where your current immigration court is located, not the city that you moved to.
  2. You can see a copy of a Form EOIR-33 with instructions here. You can also watch this video.
  3. You need to complete a separate Form EOIR-33 for each of the family members included in your case. If your child is under 14 years old, you can sign for your child. If your child is 14 years old or older, it is best for the child to sign the form.
  4. You will need the U.S. government attorney’s address to fill out the last section of Form EOIR-33. You can find their address here.
  5. After you have filled out Form EOIR-33, make 2 extra copies. You can mail the original to your current immigration court. You can use the second page with the immigration court address as an envelope, by folding and taping the edges and placing a stamp. You can also submit it in person at the filing window in the immigration court.
  6. Keep the first copy for your own records.
  7. Send the second copy to the U.S. government attorney by mail. You can find their address here.

How do I change my address with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA)?

You can change your address with the BIA by submitting Form EOIR-33 by mail or online. Read below for more detailed instructions! You may also need to change your address with other immigration agencies.

Option 1: Online

  1. Open this online form.
  2. You can follow the instructions on the website to complete the online form. You need to complete a separate form for each of the family members included in your case.
  3. You can change the language of the form in the top right corner, but you must enter all answers in English.
  4. After filling out your personal information, click the button that says “Click to Review.” Check that all the answers are accurate. Then, type your name in the “Signature” space.
  5. In the “PROOF OF SERVICE” section, make a selection in the drop down menu for the “Office of the Chief Counsel for DHS.” This is the official name for the office of the government attorney. Select the office location that matches the immigration court where you had your immigration case.
  6. At the bottom of the form, type your name again in the “Signature” space.
  7. Click “Submit.” This sends the form electronically to the BIA.
  8. After submitting the form, print 2 copies. The first copy is for your own records.
  9. The second copy of Form EOIR-33 must be sent to the U.S. government attorney. You can find the address where you can mail the form here.
    • Note: You can also submit the form online by registering on this separate government website. However, sending by mail is usually easier, because the government may take several weeks to approve your registration. After your registration is approved, you have to go back to the website and follow the instructions to send a copy of the Form EOIR-33 to the government attorney.

Option 2: By mail  

  1. Download this version of Form EOIR-33 for changing your address with the BIA.
  2. You need to complete a separate Form EOIR-33 for each of the family members included in your case. If your child is under 14 years old, you can sign for your child. If your child is 14 years old or older, it is best for the child to sign the form.
  3. You will need the U.S. government attorney’s address to fill out the last section of Form EOIR-33. You can find their address here.
  4. After you have filled out Form EOIR-33, make 2 extra copies. You can mail the original to the BIA. The second page of the form has BIA’s address. You can use this second page as an envelope, by folding and taping the edges and placing a stamp.
  5. Keep the first copy for your own records.
  6. Send the second copy to the government attorney by mail. You can find their address here.

How do I change my address with ICE or ISAP?

If you have check-in appointments with ICE or ISAP, you can tell an official about your new address during your next check-in or by phone. It can help to bring proof of your new address to the check-in, such as a utility bill or mail.

You can also use this online tool to update your address with ICE, or call ICE at 833-383-1465 to update your address.

ICE tells some people that they should notify their ICE officer before they move. You can find more information on this ICE website.

After you move, you may also need to change your address with other immigration agencies.

I moved far away from my immigration court. How do I file a motion to change venue?

If you moved far away from your immigration court, you can request to change your immigration court to one that is closer to you if necessary. The way to do this is by submitting a “Motion to Change Venue” to the immigration court where you currently have a hearing scheduled. You do not need an attorney to do this: we have included detailed steps and a template below. But if you would like legal assistance, you can find help here.

First, how do I know if I should file a Motion to Change Venue?

A Motion to Change Venue is not necessary every time you move. You should only submit a Motion to Change Venue if you are not able to go to your hearings because your current immigration court is too far away, and there is a different immigration court that is closer to your new address. If you submit a Motion to Change Venue and the judge approves it, your case will be moved to an immigration court closer to your new address.

You do not have to submit a Motion to Change Venue if you moved, but your current immigration court is still the closest one to you. You also do not have to submit a Motion to Change Venue if you moved far away, but you are still able to go to your hearings and you want to keep your case at your current immigration court. However, every time you move, you still need to update your address to ensure that you receive important mail.

As of April 2023, a Motion to Change Venue no longer stops the “asylum clock.”  The asylum clock must reach 150 days after filing asylum before you can apply for a work permit.

How do I file a Motion to Change Venue?

If you want to request to move your immigration court, follow the steps below. You can see a template Motion to Change Venue here.

  1. Check the immigration court automated system to get some information. Write the answers down.
    • Where is your current immigration court?
    • Who is your immigration judge?
    • When is your next hearing?
  1. Get proof of your new address. 
    • For example, this can be a rent agreement, a utility bill, or your child’s records from their new school. The document should show your name and new address. Make a copy of this document to attach to your request.
    • If you do not have any other proof, you can ask for a letter from someone who lives with you at your new address. If the letter is not in English, you will need to include a translation into English and a certificate of translation. You also need to include a copy of this person’s ID and proof of address. You can download a blank letter that the person can fill out here. You can see a copy of a letter with instructions here (page 6 of this packet).
  1. Fill out a Form EOIR-33. This is a form that tells the immigration court that you have moved to a new address.
    • Download the correct Form EOIR-33 for your immigration court here. Select the city where your current immigration court is located, not the new city that you are trying to move your case to.
    • See a copy of a Form EOIR-33 with instructions here. You can also watch this video.
    • You need to complete a separate Form EOIR-33 for each of the family members included in your case. For example, if you have 2 children and they are included in your case, you would need 3 forms in total. If your child is under 14 years old, you can sign for your child. If your child is 14 years old or older, it is best for the child to sign the form.
    • You will need the government attorney’s address to fill out the last section of this form. You can find their address here.
  1. Fill out a “Motion to Change Venue.” This is a request that asks an immigration judge to move your case to the court closest to you. This document must be in English. If you choose to complete this document by handwriting, you should use black pen. 
    • Download a blank copy of a Motion to Change Venue that you can fill out. This document was adapted from a sample provided by the U.S. government.
    • See a copy of a Motion to Change Venue with instructions here.
    • In your Motion to Change Venue, you generally need to respond to your Notice to Appear (NTA). This video explains how to read your Notice to Appear.
      • (1) If you read your Notice to Appear and you agree with what is written there, you can write: “I concede the allegations in the Notice to Appear.”
      • (2) If you do NOT agree with what is written in your Notice to Appear, or you believe that immigration officials may have violated your rights when they arrested you, or you have any other doubts, it is best to talk with an attorney. You can also try to submit the Motion to Change Venue without mentioning the Notice to Appear. Some judges will still grant a Motion to Change Venue without this information. If the judge denies your Motion to Change Venue, you may want to speak with an attorney before trying again.
      • (3) If you do not have a copy of your Notice to Appear, you can write: “I do not understand the allegations in my Notice to Appear because I do not have a copy of this document and I do not have an attorney.” Some judges will still grant a Motion to Change Venue in this situation. If the judge denies your Motion to Change Venue, you can try to get a copy of your Notice to Appear and submit again.
    • To fill out the Proof of Service, which is on the last page, you will need the government attorney’s address. You can find their address here. The Proof of Service is a document that shows the immigration judge that you sent a copy of your documents to the government attorney.
  1. Put the completed documents together in this order:
    • Form EOIR-33. You need to complete a separate form for yourself and each person included in your case.
    • Motion to Change Venue cover page and explanation of why you need to change your immigration court.
    • Proof of your new address.
    • Proposed order of the immigration judge.
    • Proof of service.
  1. Review the package.
    • Read through all the pages to make sure everything is accurate.
    • Make sure that you wrote your correct name, A Number, old address, and new address.
    • Make sure you have signed and put in the date on: (1) Form EOIR-33, (2) the Motion to Change Venue, and (3) the Proof of Service.
  1. Make 2 copies of the package. You should have 1 original and 2 copies.
  1. Wait for the immigration judge’s decision. The immigration judge’s decision will be mailed to your new address. Check your mail and the immigration court system regularly.
    • Sometimes judges can take a long time to decide on a Motion to Change Venue. If you have been waiting for a long time, or if your scheduled hearing date is coming up, you can try calling the court for an update on your case. You can find immigration court phone numbers here. Please note that sometimes it is very hard to get somebody on the phone. You should keep trying.
    • If you do not get a decision in time, you should go to your scheduled hearing. If you do not go to your hearing, you will likely receive a deportation order for missing your hearing. (If you do miss your hearing, do not give up! Read about steps you can take.)
  1. You may also need to change your address with other immigration agencies. If you also have an application pending with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or check-ins with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), you also need to separately update your address with those agencies.

If my case is not in the immigration court system yet, can I still update my address with the immigration court?

You can try, although it does not always work. If you think you have a case in immigration court, but your case does not appear when you try to check the automated court system, you can still try to update your address using Form EOIR-33 online or by mail.

To confirm which immigration court to send the Form EOIR-33 to, you can check to see if you have a document called a “Notice to Appear.” Some of these documents have the date and place you will appear for your first immigration court hearing, but not all documents have this information.

Unfortunately, even if you send in your Form EOIR-33, there is still a chance that the immigration court will send important documents to your old address. So it is very important to check the court system every week to find out when your first immigration court hearing is scheduled. If you want to pursue your asylum case, it is very important that you attend your immigration court hearings! If you miss any hearing, you will likely receive a deportation order.

If you want to submit your asylum application, you can submit it to USCIS instead. In general, you must submit an asylum application within one year of arriving in the United States.

Can I travel within the United States while my asylum case is pending?

If you have a pending asylum case, you can travel within the United States with an ID or your passport. You should also carry the documents that you were given when you first entered the country, just in case.

If you have appointments with ICE or ISAP, the official often requires you to tell them before you travel outside the state.

Can I travel outside of the United States while my asylum case is pending?

Generally, if you want to continue to pursue your asylum case, it is best not to travel outside the United States.

Your asylum case can be denied if you travel to your country of origin.

If you need to travel to a country that is not your country of origin, you can try to apply for advance parole from the U.S. government. But getting advance parole can be difficult.

  • If you are applying for asylum with USCIS, you can try to apply for advance parole with USCIS using Form I-131. However, the advance parole application may be denied and it can take several months or longer to receive a decision.
  • If you are applying for asylum in immigration court, you can try to request advance parole from ICE. However, this is even more difficult than requesting advance parole from USCIS. Also, if an immigration judge has ordered your removal or your case is on appeal, leaving the United States might be considered an act of self-deportation, and you may lose the right to continue fighting for asylum.

If you travel outside the United States without advance parole, your asylum case can be denied.

If you are considering traveling outside the United States, you may wish to find an attorney to discuss your options.

Can I travel outside of the United States if I win asylum?

Yes. However, you should apply for a refugee travel document if you want to travel outside the United States after winning asylum. You can apply for a refugee travel document by submitting Form I-131 to USCIS. You can find more information on this USCIS page.

Also, please know that there are risks if you travel to your country of origin after you win asylum. If you do this, the U.S. government can end your asylum status. The U.S. government can also deny your green card (permanent residence) application because you traveled to your country of origin.

Later, if you become a permanent resident, you can also apply for a refugee travel document to travel outside the United States. Again, there are risks if you travel to your country of origin. The U.S. government can end your permanent residence, and it can also negatively affect your U.S. citizenship application if you apply.

If you become a U.S. citizen, you can apply for a U.S. passport in order to travel outside the United States.

Note: This page is for adults who are interested in seeking asylum in the United States. Our hope is that you will use the information to better understand the asylum process and take control of your case. However, this information is not a substitute for legal advice about your particular case. To look for legal assistance, visit ASAP’s find help page

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