How to Check Your USCIS Case Status and Processing Times in 2023
If you have a pending immigration case with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, you likely already know how it feels to be left wondering about its status. You may also wonder how long it will take to process your case. By using your USCIS receipt number, you can find out all of this information. But what if you’re unsure of what that number is or where to find it? In this blog, the Phoenix immigration attorneys at Ybarra Maldonado Law Group explain what your USCIS receipt number is, where to find it, and how you can use it.
The attorneys at Ybarra Maldonado Law Group serve immigrants and their families as they navigate many parts of the immigration process. Some of the cases we handle involve permanent resident card applications, applications for various visa types, deportation defense, and more. To schedule a free consultation with a member of our team, please call our Phoenix law office at 602-910-4040 today.
How Do I Find My USCIS Receipt Number?
When you file an application or petition with USCIS, they will assign you a 13-character identifier code that the agency uses to both identify and track your immigration case status. This code consists of three letters followed by ten numbers. The letters used at the beginning signify which USCIS service centers are processing immigrants’ applications.
The 10 numbers combine the date USCIS opened your case and your assigned case number. Generally, USCIS prints this number on any correspondence they send you regarding your immigration application. If you want to check your USCIS case status online or check your USCIS case processing times, you’ll need your receipt number.
To find your receipt number, look in the top left corner of your USCIS receipt notice.
What Is a USCIS Receipt Notice?
After you submit a USCIS form for your immigration case, USCIS will send you a Form I-797C as confirmation of receiving your application. Form I-797C is also called Notice of Action. This is your USCIS receipt notice. You should receive this notice around two to three weeks after submitting your application.
Keep in mind that your USCIS receipt notice is not an indication that you have been granted any immigration benefit. The purpose of this number is to serve as a confirmation of receiving your application and to allow you to check status.
How Long Will It Take to Get My USCIS Receipt Number?
You should receive your receipt number from USCIS around two to three weeks after you submit your application or petition. However, depending on which forms you filed and which of the USCIS processing centers you filed your forms at, this time may vary slightly. Once you have your receipt number, you can begin checking your case status regularly.
Call USCIS Directly for Your Receipt Number
You can also call the processing center where you submitted your forms or call USCIS directly. To do this, call 1-800-375-5283 and explain your situation. The USCIS representative who answers your call should be able to help you find your receipt number. If you prefer, you can also call USCIS to schedule an in-person appointment.
How to Read Your USCIS Receipt Number
At first glance, your USCIS receipt number probably doesn’t mean much to you. It may just look like a long string of numbers and letters. However, when broken down into individual parts, these codes are easier to understand. While it isn’t necessary to understand what all the characters mean, we understand the importance of being informed.
There are three main components that make up the code for your receipt number. These are the USCIS service center processing your case, the fiscal year and workday of when your case was opened, and a unique case number. We outline each of these elements below.
Service Center Processing Your Case
The first three letters in your receipt number represent the processing center handling your case. Each service center has its own assigned code. We outline these codes below.
- California Service Center/Western Adjudication Center – WAC
- Texas Service Center/Southern Regional Center – SRC
- Nebraska Service Center/Lincoln Service Center – LIN
- Vermont Service Center/Eastern Adjudication Center – EAC
- Missouri Service Center/National Benefits Center- MSC
- National Benefits Center – NBC
- USCIS Electronic Immigration System – IOE
Fiscal Year in Which USCIS Opened Your Case
After your service center code, the next two numbers will be the fiscal year when USCIS opened your case. This fiscal year differs from the fiscal year that most people use. For certain immigration purposes, the immigration fiscal year runs from October 1st to September 30th.
Computer Workday on Which USCIS Opened Your Case
The next three digits are associated with the computer workday on which your case was opened. This means that all workdays are counted, minus holidays and weekends. So, if your case was opened on the 25th workday of the year, this three-digit portion would read “025.”
Your Unique Case Number
Finally, the last five digits of your receipt number are your unique case number assigned by USCIS. The service center that handles your case will have an internal counting system that generates this 5-digit portion of your receipt number.
How to Use Your Receipt Number to Check Your Case Status
So, how can you use your receipt number to check your case status online? One of the main purposes of your receipt number is to allow you to check your USCIS case status, so it’s important to know how. Tracking your case on the USCIS website is important, and it can be a good signal of when something might be taking longer than usual.
There are three main ways to check your USCIS case status: online, by email or phone, and by mail.
Checking Your USCIS Case Status Online
By far the most efficient way to check your case status is by looking on the USCIS website. USCIS has a convenient case status tracker that you can view to know what stage your case is in at a glance. You can also sign up for email alerts of status updates if you create an online account.
If you want to check your application status online, follow the below steps.
- Go online to the USCIS check status tracker.
- Type your receipt number under “Enter your receipt number.” Do not include any spaces or dashes in your receipt number.
- Click the button that says “Check Status.”
- This will pull up your USCIS case status.
Checking Your USCIS Case Status by Email or Phone
You can also call or email for an update on your USCIS case status. If you want an update by phone, you can call USCIS at +1 (800) 375-5283. Follow the automated instructions that you hear and don’t be discouraged if you must wait a few minutes for your call to go through. Many other people may be calling at the same time you are. Make sure you have your receipt number on hand, as you’ll need it for the call.
If you want to check your case status by email, however, the process is different. Depending on which service center is processing your case, you should email one of the following addresses.
- California Service Center – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Texas Service Center – email@example.com
- Nebraska Service Center – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Vermont Service Center – email@example.com
USCIS may decide to forward some cases to the National Visa Center (NVC), which is another processing center. If this is the case, you cannot check your status through USCIS. Instead, you must contact the NVC directly.
Checking Your USCIS Case Status by Mail
This is the least efficient way to check your case status, but it is still an option. You will need to send a letter of inquiry to the same USCIS field office where you opened your case. Include the below information in your inquiry letter.
- Date of birth
- Full name
- Your Alien Registration Number (A-Number), if applicable
- Receipt number
- Filing date of your application
You may also want to make a copy of your receipt notice to mail in with your inquiry. This may speed up the process of checking your case’s current status.
Can You Check Your USCIS Case Status Without Your Receipt Number?
Unfortunately, no. You must input your receipt number to view your current case status and processing time. You also cannot check your status with your A-number or green card number if you have one.
If you lose your receipt number, you can call the number we mentioned above (1-800-375-5283) for any inquiries regarding your application process. If you have already created an account and to set up email updates through the USCIS online account system, you may also use this to check your status.
Contact the Phoenix Immigration Attorneys at Ybarra Maldonado Law Group for Help With Your Case
Many immigration processes in the United States are highly complex, and they can be difficult for individuals to navigate alone. Working with a skilled and compassionate immigration lawyer can help your application or petition process proceed as smoothly as possible. For qualified help with your immigration case, contact the attorneys at Ybarra Maldonado Law Group today. Call our office at 602-910-4040 to schedule a free consultation with us.