We’re elevating our look: Bridge unveils new brand and immigration platform
Press Release
Back to Blog

Undeliverable Immigration Documents Will Be Destroyed After 60 Days

Bridge Team Member

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently changed its policy regarding the scheduled destruction of all Permanent Resident cards, Employment Authorization cards (EADs), and travel documents are returned as undeliverable. The agency published a brief News Alert on this update last week announcing that, as of April 2, any of the aforementioned immigration documents returned to the USCIS by the U.S. Postal Service will be destroyed after 60 business days.

Formerly, the USCIS held on to these documents for a full year. The agency has yet to offer any explanation for this newly shortened time frame.

This announcement marks the latest in a series of immigration policy reforms enacted by the USCIS since the Trump Administration took office. On February 22, the USCIS announced a crackdown in the ongoing effort to combat H-1B abuse. That same day, USCIS Director Lee Francis Cissna published a memo announcing an official revision of the agency's mission statement - one that notably lacked the words "nation of immigrants" and "customers" in its language.

With this new 60-day destruction policy fully in effect as of April 2, there are a few steps of precaution that can be taken to ensure you and your foreign national employees receive the documents applied for.

Protecting Immigration Documents

If the USCIS isn’t provided with a correct address for a document’s intended recipient (within the 60-day interim of being returned), the document will be destroyed. It's imperative to remember that, with very few exceptions, non-U.S. citizens are required to report any change of address to the USCIS, within 10 days of moving. The reporting process varies depending upon whether the visa recipient has pending petitions or applications with the USCIS.

Applicants with no pending petitions or applications need only file an Alien’s Change of Address Card (Form AR-11), and this can be completed either online or by mail.

Applicants who do have pending petitions or applications, on the other hand, must complete two steps that include filing the Form AR-11 and changing the address on any recently approved petitions or applications. Both of these steps can be accomplished online, and once the Form AR-11 is completed, the applicant will be prompted to complete the second step. Alternatively, applicants can physically mail the Form AR-11 to the USCIS and then change the address on pending documents over the phone at 1-800-375-5283 (or at 1-800-767-1833 for TTY).

Implications From the New Policy

The immigration journey is notoriously complex and tedious. As such, it’s crucial to remain vigilant throughout. Once relevant immigration documents such as EADs, Permanent Resident cards, and travel documents have been approved, it signals an end is in sight. If these documents are destroyed because they’ve been returned to the USCIS as undeliverable, it represents a significant setback.

Maintaining a current and accurate address with the USCIS is an essential step toward successfully navigating the immigration process. The mayhem that often accompanies a move isn’t necessarily conducive to taking care of every bothersome detail, but this one is important.

Should you have any questions about how this impacts your business or employees, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at support@bridge.us.

Disclaimer: This content is not a form of legal advice and should not be treated as a substitute for legal counsel. Bridge US encourages readers to discuss any and all immigration-related concerns with an attorney.

Tags:

More from the Blog

You've made it through a New Season of H-1B Cap Registration, Now What?

As we wrap up the H-1B cap registration window, which ended at noon eastern time on March 20th, find out what the next steps are for employers and how you can find out if your applicant was selected or denied.

Read Story

Webinar: U.S. Immigration in the Age of Coronavirus

Join us March 30th 10am PST/ 1pm EST as our partnering law firm, Immipartner, and other experts talk about how the immigration landscape is changing in the face of travel bans and restrictions during the age of coronavirus, presented by Nova Credit.

Read Story

Posting Your LCA Electronically? Here is What You Need to Know.

Immigration is finding alternative ways to shift to COVID-19 and account for employees who are now working from home. For some employment-based visas, one of these options is pursuing The Department of Labor’s (DOL) alternative to posting electronic notices instead of displaying notices in the workplace to meet the Labor Condition Application requirement.

Read Story