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The International Center has received a recent report indicating that a particular scam involving address updates may be circulating among international students and scholars.

This scam may involve receiving an email or phone call from persons claiming to be representatives of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or another division of the Department of Homeland Security. In this scam, the person contacted is notified that a "warrant for a background check" may have been issued because of the person's failure to file an "AR-11 address update" form or maintain an up-to-date address with the US federal government. The person is then directed to pay a fine, sometimes using suspicious means such as gift cards, wire transfers, or other methods.

This is a scam. While there is a general requirement for nonimmigrants to keep a valid, up-to-date address with the government using Form AR-11, issues with address updating are never handled in this manner. In addition:

  • F-1 / J-1 students and scholars are not required to submit Form AR-11 directly to USCIS; address updates are done by updating your Student Information System (SIS) record or, for students on post-completion OPT, updating the International Center directly. The International Center will then update your individual SEVIS record and notify the US federal government through SEVIS.
  • Other nonimmigrants (such as employees in H-1B status) should simply update their US address through Form AR-11 within 10 days of any move or change in US residential address.

To report a suspicious email or scam, review this page about scams maintained by USCIS.