Form I-865: Your Guide to Updating Sponsor Information with USCIS

Form I-865, otherwise known as the Sponsor’s Notice of Change of Address, is a crucial document for individuals who have accepted the responsibility of sponsoring an immigrant to the United States. Sponsors are legally obliged to keep the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) informed of their address changes to ensure communication regarding the immigrant’s status is maintained. The submission of Form I-865 is a requirement under U.S. immigration law and must be filed within 30 days of the sponsor’s move.

Completing and filing Form I-865 involves providing the sponsor’s new address and contact information, as well as updating the details of the sponsored immigrant. This process is a testament to the sponsor’s ongoing commitment to support the immigrant and plays a vital role in the collective effort to uphold the integrity of the U.S. immigration system. Failure to report a change of address can result in severe penalties, emphasizing the importance of complying with this requirement efficiently and accurately.

Overview of Form I-865

Form I-865 is a mandatory reporting document for sponsors who have changed their address. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires sponsors to keep their address current.

Purpose of Form I-865

The primary purpose of Form I-865, Sponsor’s Notice of Change of Address, is to ensure that the USCIS can maintain accurate contact information for sponsors who have previously submitted Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. This form serves as a communication to notify the USCIS of any changes in the sponsor’s address.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility for submitting Form I-865 is specific to individuals who have sponsored an immigrant by signing Form I-864 and committed to financially support the immigrant. It is essential for these sponsors to report a change of address within 30 days of moving, as stipulated by the USCIS regulations.

Completing the Form

When preparing Form I-865, it’s essential to gather the correct information, adhere to the document checklist, and ensure all sections are signed and dated appropriately.

Required Information

The following details are mandatory for the sponsor to provide on Form I-865:

  • Sponsor’s Full Name: Legal first, middle (if applicable), and last name.
  • New Mailing Address: Complete address including street number, name, apartment/suite number, city or town, state, ZIP code, and province, if applicable.
  • Previous Address: The sponsor’s former address.

Document Checklist

Before submitting Form I-865, double-check these items:

  • Cover Letter (optional): Summarizing the intent to update the sponsor’s address.
  • Supporting Evidence: Copies of any legal documents that reflect the change of address.

Signature and Date

To validate the form, the following is required:

  • Sponsor’s Signature: Handwritten or electronic signature of the sponsor.
  • Date: The date the form was signed, formatted as MM/DD/YYYY.

Submission Process

The submission process for Form I-865 involves specific steps that the sponsor must follow diligently to ensure their change of address is recorded correctly by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Where to File

Form I-865 should be downloaded from the USCIS website. Once completed, the sponsor can submit the form either electronically through the USCIS online filing system or by mailing it to the appropriate USCIS address. The correct mailing address can differ based on several factors, and it is crucial to refer to the latest instructions on the USCIS website to ascertain the current filing address.

Filing Fee Information

As of the last update, USCIS does not require a filing fee for Form I-865. However, sponsors should verify this information before submission as fees may change. It is recommended to check the official USCIS website or contact USCIS directly to obtain the most current fee information.

Processing Time Estimates

USCIS does not provide specific processing times for Form I-865, as it primarily serves as a notice for the agency rather than a request for a benefit or service. After submission, sponsors may receive a confirmation of receipt from USCIS. They should maintain a copy of this confirmation and any other correspondence as part of their records. For the most accurate estimate of processing times, if needed, contact USCIS directly.

After Submission

Once a Form I-865, Sponsor’s Notice of Change of Address, is submitted, the sponsor can anticipate a formal recognition of the submission and further steps as part of the address update process with USCIS.

Receipt Notice

Upon filing Form I-865, the sponsor should receive a Receipt Notice from USCIS. This document serves as confirmation that the agency has received the form. Typically, the Receipt Notice will contain:

  • A receipt number, which can be used to track the status of the case.
  • The date USCIS received the form, which is important for any legal timeframes associated.

Biometrics Appointment

For certain cases, a Biometrics Appointment may be necessary. If required, USCIS will schedule an appointment and notify the sponsor with the following details:

  • Appointment date, time, and location.
  • Instructions on what forms of identification need to be brought to the appointment.

Approval and Next Steps

Once the Form I-865 processing concludes, USCIS will issue an approval notice indicating the change of address has been registered. The sponsor has no further action to take regarding the Form I-865 submission unless contacted by USCIS. It is crucial to note:

  • Any future correspondence from USCIS will be sent to the newly updated address.
  • The sponsor must continue to report any subsequent address changes by filing a new Form I-865 within the legally required timeframe.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When handling Form I-865, Sponsor’s Notice of Change of Address, individuals often encounter specific errors that can lead to processing delays or complications with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Attention to detail is crucial to avoid these common mistakes:

  • Filing Late: Sponsors should file Form I-865 within 30 days of moving. Procrastination or oversight can lead to failure in meeting USCIS requirements.
  • Incomplete Information: Every section of Form I-865 must be filled with accurate information. Leaving sections incomplete is a common error that can result in the USCIS rejecting the form.
  • Incorrect Address: It is essential to provide the new address in full, without any abbreviations or errors. The USCIS must have the sponsor’s precise location for correspondence.
  • Not Reporting All Changes: If the sponsor has moved multiple times, they must report all changes of address since the last filing. Omitting any move can lead to discrepancies in USCIS records.
  • Failure to Sign: A sponsor’s signature is mandatory. An unsigned Form I-865 is considered invalid and will not be processed.

Sponsors should double-check but avoid unnecessary alterations, as excessive correction can raise concerns about the form’s authenticity. By carefully avoiding these errors, sponsors can ensure smooth processing and remain compliant with USCIS obligations.

Form I-865 Updates

To ensure compliance and timely processing, sponsors are urged to use the most recent version of Form I-865 following legal guidelines.

Latest Version

The current edition of Form I-865, as per the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), bears the date 11/10/2020 at the bottom of the page. Applicants must access the latest form directly from the USCIS website to report a change of address.

Legal Updates

Legally, any sponsor who has changed their residence is mandated to submit a completed Form I-865 within a 30-day window. Failure to do so can result in fines or other legal consequences. This form not only updates USCIS records but also ensures that sponsors maintain their obligations under the terms of sponsorship.

Resources and Assistance

When dealing with Form I-865, having access to accurate resources and assistance is crucial. This section outlines where individuals can find help and the types of assistance available.

USCIS Contact Information

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides various avenues for individuals to seek information and support regarding Form I-865.

  • Phone: They can contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.
  • Online: Information and downloadable forms are available on the USCIS website.
  • Physical Offices: Local USCIS field offices can provide in-person assistance. Individuals should schedule an appointment through the USCIS Contact Center.

Legal Help and Representation

For guidance that goes beyond basic assistance, an individual may consider seeking legal help.

  • Pro Bono Attorneys: Some organizations offer free legal help to those who qualify. One can seek out local nonprofit organizations or legal aid groups.
  • Paid Legal Representation: If an individual prefers professional representation, they should ensure their lawyer is accredited and licensed. The American Immigration Lawyers Association provides a searchable directory of immigration attorneys.