Do not forget Esther!
For many people, moving is exciting, fun, and a beginning of something new. For others, it’s too much work, full of stress and pain. Whether you like it or not and whether you just left your parents’ home for the first time or keep moving, like myself 19 times so far, changing your home involves lots of planning, packing, cleaning, and dealing with service providers, not to mention remembering to inform everyone you are connected to. Here is a quick reminder who you should tell that you’re moving:
First of all, do not forget to tell your friends and family as soon as possible what your new contact information is, so they will know where to find you and how to keep in touch.
Second, I assume that everyone will want his/her mail to be delivered to the new address, especiall all your favorite magazines that are paid for. Or if you are like me who takes stories heard about identity theft seriously, you do not want your letters from banks, government agencies, etc. wandering around in strange neighborhoods. In short, you need to notify several official places and service providers to make sure they have your information updated. Make a list of every company you are dealing with and call their customer service to report the change. For instance if you live off campus gas, electricity, perhaps internet, cable TV, water and garbage collection providers could be on your list. If you own a car, update your driver license, Texas ID, any credit cards or insurance. These agencies/companies generally need to be notified usually no later than 10 days after the moving.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, as an international student or scholar, your correct address needs to be reported to the US Government. It is the law and it is your responsibility to report the change no later than 10 days after you have moved. It is crucial to make the change in ESTHER as soon as possible because this way the OISS will be able to report it to SEVIS. Both your local and permanent address need to be updated each time, whether it’s the first or 19th move. This is an important part of staying in status. If you are not familiar with the procedure please contact our office and ask for a step-by-step description, and once again, do not forget to inform everyone about your address change who is important in your life, especially Esther!
HOW TO UPDATE YOUR ADDRESS IN ESTHER
a) Go to https://esther.rice.edu
b) Login to your account
c) Click on Update Addresses and Phones
d) Update the information in the “Mailing Address” field (if you do not have a “mailing address” field, you may either email the Registrar at email@example.com to request one or you may update your “permanent address” information)
e) Click on Submit
f) OISS will then receive an electronic update of your address.
** If you are on a visa type other than F-1 or J-1, please complete the AR-11 form and submit it to the address indicated on the form. http://uscis.gov/graphics/formsfee/forms/ar-11.htm
For addresses in the United States, the format should be:
Line 1 = First line of address (example: 1234 Main St.)
Line 2 = Second line of address (example: Apt 11B)
City = Houston
State or Province = TX
Zip or Postal Code = example: 12345-1234
Nation (LEAVE BLANK)
** Note: The information the OISS receives from the Registrar regarding local addresses comes from the “Mailing Address” field. If you update the “Permanent Address” field, the OISS will NOT receive that information.
*If you are a student and do not know your User ID and PIN, you must contact the Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org
*If you are a scholar and do not know your User ID and PIN, you must contact Human Resources at email@example.com
~Written by Agnes Vajtai, International Compliance Assistant