Applying for a green card is an exciting yet nerve-wracking process. There’s a lot of information you’ll need to provide to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. One of these crucial pieces of information is your A-Number or alien registration number. The Phoenix immigration attorneys at Ybarra Maldonado Law Group are here to guide you through this process. Our immigration professionals are here to support you as you apply for a green card. To schedule an appointment with our compassionate, experienced attorneys, please call our Phoenix law office at 602-910-4040 today.
Alien Registration Number
In this blog, our immigration attorneys outline the ins and outs of alien registration numbers, what they are, how they work, and where to find them. Because you may need this number for numerous immigration forms, it’s important to understand this information. Other information you will learn includes the following.
- What the alien registration numbers are used for
- How the numbers differ from other forms of identification
- The types of A-Numbers
- Where to find your A-Number on various documents
- How to Get an A-Number
- Who is eligible for an alien registration number
Immigration documents can be very confusing, especially if you have little experience with them. That’s why Ybarra Maldonado Law Group is here to provide guidance. We also provide assistance with other immigration forms, such as Form I-693, H1B Visa, I-601 Waiver, and much more.
What Is Alien Registration Number?
First, you must understand what an alien registration number is. The alien registration number, or A-Number, is a number given to you by USCIS in order to identify you. These numbers usually have seven to nine digits in them. They serve as your identification and help USCIS keep track of your files and important documents.
Each A-Number is unique to each person. You will keep this nine-digit number for the rest of your life while filling out any and all immigration forms. However, keep in mind that these numbers are reserved for non-citizens of the United States only.
What Is My Alien Registration Number For?
The A-Number allows the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to keep track of all the documents, forms, waivers, and petitions that you may file. Every single person who applies for a green card will receive an alien registration number.
These numbers are not given to non-citizens who are only in the United States temporarily. They are given to non-citizens who intend to stay in the United States permanently. However, those who are in the country on an F-1 student visa are also given an alien registration number.
What Does It Mean to Have an Alien Registration Number?
Having an alien registration number means that you are a non-citizen of the United States who intends to stay in the country permanently. In other words, you’re not just visiting for a few months on a tourist visa. As we stated above, nonimmigrants do not receive an A-Number.
Is a USCIS Case Number the Same as an A-Number?
No. The USCIS uses the A-Number to keep track of your applications and other documents within their system. The USCIS case number refers to one individual application that you submit. One main way to tell the two apart is by looking at the composition of the numbers.
An A-Number will be a seven to nine-digit number. Your USCIS case number has thirteen total characters, including three letters followed by ten numbers. The three letters at the beginning will usually be EAD or MSC.
Is a Social Security Number the Same as an A-Number?
No. Only eligible immigrant workers who apply for a social security number will receive one from the federal government. However, it is possible to have both an A-Number and a social security number. In fact, a large number of immigrant workers in the United States have both numbers associated with them.
Is an EAD Number the Same as an A-Number?
Yes. On your Employment Authorization Document (work permit), you will see two important numbers. The first number is your Employment Authorization number. This is the same as your A-Number. The second number is the Employment Authorization Document card number. It is not the same as your A-Number.
Types of Alien Numbers
As we stated previously, an A-Number will be a seven to nine-digit number assigned to you by the USCIS. If your A-Number is shorter than the traditional nine-digit number, you will need to write it a certain way on forms.
If your A-Number is shorter than nine digits, write a zero (0) between the letter A and the first digit of your A-Number. This should make your A-Number a full nine digits.
Where to Find Alien Registration Number
You can find your alien registration number on various USCIS documents and other immigration documents. This includes, but is not limited to, the following documents.
- Immigrant visa card
- Immigrant data summary
- On the immigrant visa stamp in your passport
- On the front and back of green cards
- USCIS Immigrant Fee handout
- On your Employment Authorization Document
- On a Notice of Action
Below, we explain where to find your alien registration number on various immigration paperwork documents.
Immigrant Data Summary
The Immigrant Data Summary is usually attached to your immigrant visa package from the USCIS. You receive this package when you show up for your appointment at the U.S. embassy or consulate. Your A-Number and Department of State case ID are both located at the top of the immigrant data summary.
Alien Number on Green Card
If you already have your lawful permanent resident card or green card, you can find your A-Number on both the front and back of the card. On the front side, the number will appear beneath “USCIS#.”
Alien Number on Immigrant Visa
You can even find your A-Number on your immigrant visa. Other terms for this include visa stamp and visa foil. This stamp can be found in your passport. Look in the top right corner of your visa stamp under the Registration Number. This is your A-Number.
Alien Number in Notice of Action
Some, but not all, notices of action will have A-Numbers on them. Usually, you can find the alien registration number toward the top of the notice of action. It will be under “USCIS#.”
Alien Number on EAD Card
Maybe you are not yet a green card holder. In this case, you can find the Alien Registration Number on any of the above documents. Examples of documents that contain your A-Number are your permanent resident card, immigrant fee handout, marriage green card, immigrant visas, and a few different documents. For more information about immigration documents and issues, we recommend that you speak with an immigration attorney with our law firm.
How Do I Get an Alien Registration Number if I Don’t Have One?
There are a few reasons why you might not have your Alien Registration Number. Maybe you had it at one point, and you lost it, or maybe you can’t find any paperwork that would have the number. Don’t worry. You can request your Alien Registration Number under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
FOIA allows you to get a copy of your immigration paperwork and files. Several documents in this file may contain your alien USCIS A-Number. Another option involves scheduling an appointment at your local USCIS office. Our law firm can help you obtain copies of your immigration files and locate your USCIS number.
Do I Really Need an A-Number?
Yes. Most immigration files and documents require you to list your A-Number. For this reason, it is very important to keep up with your number. If you are unsure of where to find it, or if you’ve lost it, please contact our law firm. We can help you find where the A-Number appears on any documents you may have.
Am I Eligible for an Alien Number?
Every individual who applies for a green card is eligible for and will receive an alien registration number. As long as you either intend to or currently live in the United States permanently, you will need an alien registration number. Eligibility does not depend on what kind of green card you have. Whether you apply for a family green card, a marriage green card, or an employment green card, you still get an alien registration number.
However, it’s important to note that F-1 student visa holders will also receive a registration number.
Who Is Not Eligible?
Those who have temporary, non-immigrant visas are not eligible. Short-term stays do not necessitate getting an alien registration card.
When Am I Eligible for an Alien Registration Number?
Usually, those applying for green cards will receive a registration number fairly quickly. However, there are a few circumstances in which you may need to get your number another way. The following situations are examples of such circumstances.
- You apply for a marriage permanent resident green card from outside the United States. Once you attend your U.S. embassy or consulate interview, you will receive your registration number. However, if you apply from within the United States, the registration number will be in your receipt notice. We strongly recommend preparing for your interview by going over possible green card interview questions with your attorney.
- You have already married a U.S. citizen. In this case, you receive your registration number around a month after you submit your green card application form.
- You worked under the Optional Practical Training program. This involves a whole other process entirely. However, if you did take part in this program, you probably already have your registration number.
Contact a Phoenix Immigration Attorney Today
At Ybarra Maldonado Law Group, we understand that many immigration services and government documents can be very confusing. We are here to provide legal advice on how to proceed if you find yourself stuck in a sea of paperwork. We can help green card holders, and applicants access their immigration file, find the information they need, and simplify the process. To schedule a consultation with us, please call 602-910-4040 today.