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, 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 you move, 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.

If you have an application pending with USCIS, for example an asylum application or a work permit application, you can change your address online here.

If you have a case in immigration court, you can change your address by completing and submitting Form E-33, either by mail or online. If you want to send the form by mail, you can download the correct form E-33 for your immigration court here. You can also complete and submit the form online at this immigration court website. You should submit a separate form for every person in your case, including children.

If you have moved very far away, you may also want to submit a “Motion to Change Venue” asking to move your case to a different immigration court closer to your new residence. You can find more detailed instructions on how to submit a Motion to Change Venue here.

If you have check-ins with ICE or ISAP, you can tell an official about your new address during your next check-in or by phone. You can find ICE phone numbers here. You can also try calling ICE’s Victim Engagement and Services Line at 833-383-1465. You do not have to be a victim to use this phone number.

If you are an ASAP member, you do not need to change your address with ASAP. ASAP is not part of the U.S. government.

I moved far away from my immigration court. What should I do?

If you have moved very far away from your immigration court, you may want to submit a “Motion to Change Venue” asking to move your case to a different immigration court closer to your new residence. You can find more detailed instructions on how to submit a Motion to Change Venue here.

If you have already submitted a Motion to Change Venue, you should check your mail regularly for a decision. Sometimes judges can take a long time to decide. 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 phone numbers here. Please note that sometimes it is very hard to get somebody on the phone. You should keep trying. You can also check your case status online or by phone.

If you do not get a decision in time, you should do your best to go to your scheduled hearing. If you do not go to your hearing, you will likely receive a deportation order for missing your hearing. Read about what to do if you received a deportation order for missing your hearing.

Finally, if you have an application pending with USCIS (such as a work permit application), or if you have check ins with ICE or ISAP, you should update your address with these agencies as well. You need to update your address separately with every immigration agency you interact with!

How do I file a motion to change venue?

Did you move far away from your immigration court? You can request to change your immigration court to one that is closer to you. 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. But if you would like legal assistance, you can find help here.

If you moved, but your current immigration court is still the closest one to you, you do not need to submit a Motion to Change Venue. However, you should still update your address with the immigration court to ensure that you receive important mail.

Follow the steps below to request to change your immigration court. 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?

2. Get proof of your new address. 

3. Fill out a Form EOIR-33. This is a form that tells the immigration court that you have moved to a new address.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. Make 2 copies of the package. You should have 1 original and 2 copies.

8. 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! Look at this flyer for actions you can take.)

9. 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. For more information, review the other frequently asked questions on this page.

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

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 E-33.

To confirm which immigration court to send the E-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 E-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.

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 not advisable to travel outside the United States.

Traveling to your country of origin can have negative effects on your asylum case. 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.

If you are applying for asylum with USCIS, you can try to apply for advance parole 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.

Traveling outside the United States without advance parole can result in the denial of your asylum case.

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

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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