What happens to my naturalization application if I move to another state?

In my Consulta Migratoria® column this week, I answer a question from a reader who has moved to another state after filing an application for naturalization.

Each case is different and the answers vary depending on each person's immigration history.

Here I provide general answers to your questions. Please consult with an immigration attorney to receive personalized legal advice before starting any procedure.

This is the column:

I am a permanent resident, married to a US citizen for the past 7 years. In January 2018 we moved to Miami from the state of Alabama where I had applied for my citizenship by naturalization.

Before moving to Miami, I informed USCIS of my address change through my account on the USCIS website. I do not remember filling out the AR-11 form. This week I received a summons from USCIS for my citizenship interview and they are asking me to come to Alabama.

I have called the USCIS hotline and they give me different versions of what to do. Some agents tell me to go to the appointment at the risk of not being served and others tell me to request a change of status. How should I proceed? -Laura F.

Laura, your naturalization application interview should take place at the "service district" (service district) of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that has jurisdiction over the place where you live. In your case, it is Miami.

In general, a person who wants to become a U.S. citizen must file his or her application for naturalization with the "state" or "service district" that has jurisdiction over the place where he or she lives.

For the service district to have jurisdiction over your application, you must have lived in the state for at least three months.

The term "state" includes the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

One reason USCIS asks people with immigration proceedings to be informed of address changes within 10 days of a move is so that status letters or subpoenas can be sent when necessary.

In your case, for example, giving notice of your change of address allows your naturalization application and your A-file to be transferred to the office that has jurisdiction over your new place of residence.

Laura, you have been living in Miami for seven months now and this means that you have probably established residency in the state of Florida. If this is correct, the USCIS service district in Miami is the office that should continue to process your citizenship application.

I recommend that you log back into your USCIS account to see if there is any record that you have filled out the Form AR-11, Alien Change of Address Cardand changed the address on your naturalization application. If you did not do these two steps, you should do them immediately.

If when you log into your account, you see that you did what was required to change your address, call USCIS again and ask to speak to a supervisor. Explain that you complied with the requirement to change your address on the USCIS website. Emphasize that you now live in Miami and that you received a subpoena for an appointment in Alabama, which would be difficult for you to attend. Ask them to accept your change of address and reschedule your interview.

In addition, it requests that the USCIS service district in Alabama send your immigration file and naturalization application to the service district in Miami, where you now live. Document your call by noting the name of the supervisor with whom you spoke, his or her agent number, the location where the officer is located, and the date and time of the call.

I recommend that you have an immigration attorney review the naturalization application you filed and accompany you to your future interview.