Law Offices of Stuart J. Reich, PLLC

Practice Limited to Immigration & Nationality Law

11 Broadway, Suite 615
New York, NY 10004

(212) 430-6582 phone
(212) 430-6583 facsimile

USCIS Announces rule on destruction of returned Green Cards, EAD Cards, and Travel Documents

Under a new policy, US Citizenship and Immigration Services will now simply destroy certain documents returned by the postal service as undeliverable after 60 days have elapsed from the return date.

This policy is effective immediately, and applies to Permanent Resident and Employment Authorization Cards as well as Travel Documents (Advance Parole documents, Refugee Travel Documents, Reentry Permits, etc.)

There has long been a requirement that anyone in the US with something less than US Citizenship (nonimmigrants other than some diplomats and brief visitors, permanent residents, etc.). must file an AR-11 Notification of Change of Address form within ten days of a move. The online version of the form ( allows change of address with respect to specific, pending applications (most but not all application or petitions, some require a second step of contacting USCIS directly by phone). However, in our experience, this doesn’t always work even for forms that are supposed to be covered by this process.

Depending on timing, this often means that even after a proper change of address specific to a pending filing has been submitted, the filing may still be sent to a prior address. It is therefore critical to carefully monitor online updates for when documents are sent or returned as undeliverable, and to be quick about informing USCIS in the event of such a return.