Every year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) receives thousands of applications and petitions.
Whether you filed a citizenship application, visa petition, Green Card renewal, adjustment of status, or DACA, waiting for confirmation that your documents were received can be stressful.
How long does it take to get a receipt from USCIS, exactly?
That’s the question we’re here to answer. We’ll also explain how to check the status of your case, and share how our knowledgeable immigration lawyers at Spar & Bernstein can help you throughout the process.
How To Be Sure That USCIS Received Your Petition Or Application
Once you submit your petition or application, you’ll need to wait for confirmation that USCIS successfully received it.
This receipt, known as Form I-797C, Notice of Action, is printed on plain paper and includes a header that says, “This notice does not grant any immigration status or benefit.”
Form I-797C is used to communicate:
- Receipt, indicating that USCIS received your application, accepted it and will start reviewing your case
- Rejection, in case you included the wrong payment or filed incorrectly. In this case, you will need to submit your petition or application again.
- Re-opening of your case
- Scheduling or rescheduling of an interview or a fingerprint or biometric capture appointment
- Transfer of files
To avoid potential delays in your case, make sure to carefully read your receipt. Keep in mind that Form I-797C does not mean you are eligible for an immigration benefit. It simply shows that you have submitted a request with USCIS.
What Information Does Your Receipt Notice Include?
The number of your receipt, often referred to as a Green Card number, a permanent resident card number or just a case number, serves to identify and track your immigration case.
This number includes 13 digits, each serving a specific purpose.
Here is a brief explanation of what each digit means:
- The first three letters stand for the service center where your case was received. For example, TSC denotes Texas Service Center, CSC — California Service Center, NSC — Nebraska Service Center, NBC — National Benefits Center.
- The two digits following the service center show the fiscal year your case was received.
- The third set of digits stands for the computer workday in the fiscal year when your case was opened. A computer workday is equal to a workday, the sequence excluding the weekends and holidays. The USCIS fiscal year starts on October 1 and ends on September 30.
- The last five digits of your receipt number show the number of your immigration case.
For example, let’s say your receipt number is TSC 19 015 74023.
This means your immigration case was received at the Texas Service Center for the fiscal year 2019. The digits 015 show that your case was opened on the 15th working day of the fiscal year, which is October 19, 2018. Your immigration case is filed under the number 74023.
Your receipt number is different from your alien registration number (A-Number), which contains 7-9 digits and is used by USCIS to identify non-citizens.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Receipt From USCIS?
It typically takes 4-6 weeks to obtain a receipt notice from USCIS after filing an application or petition.
However, it could take longer based on your specific forms or location centers.
If you are concerned about how long it’s taking to get your receipt, contact our experienced immigration attorneys who will review the status of your application or petition and determine next steps.
How To Check The Status Of Your Immigration Case
Depending on the type of form you submitted and the location where your immigration case was filed, processing time may vary from several weeks to several months and, in some cases, even years.
There are several ways to determine whether USCIS received your application, and find out the status of your case.
If you already have your receipt number from USCIS, you can use it to track the status of your case online. To do this:
- Visit the case status section on the USCIS website
- Enter the number on your receipt without any spaces
- View the results
You can also create an online account that will allow you to file forms, manage your contact information, view appointment notices, check your case status, provide information on Requests for Evidence (RFE) and get updates on USCIS’ decisions related to your case.
2. By Phone
Call USCIS at 1-800-375-5283. Regardless of whether you have a receipt number or not, USCIS agents can help you find information about the progress of your application or petition.
3. In Person
If you lost your receipt number or want to check your case status in person, contact USCIS at 1-800-375-5283 or visit the USCIS website to schedule an InfoPass appointment.
4. By Mail
If your application or petition was submitted through a local USCIS field office, you can ask for a case status update by mail. Send a request letter that includes:
- Your name
- Your date of birth
- The date and place you filed your petition or application
- Your USCIS receipt number (if you have one)
- A copy of your receipt notice (if you have one)
5. By Email/Phone App/Text Message
If you want to receive automatic updates on your case by email, create an account with USCIS and provide your email address and your receipt number.
If you want to receive notifications about your case progress by phone, create an account with USCIS and provide your phone number along with your receipt number.
If you want to use an app, check out one of the following:
- USCIS Checker (available for iOS, Android, and Windows)
- USCIS Case Status Notifier (available for Android)
- USCIS Helper (available for iOS)
- Case Status Lite (available for iOS and Android)
How Spar & Bernstein Can Help With Your USCIS Application & Status Review
If you have already submitted your application or petition but have not received a Notice of Action to confirm that USCIS received your documents, our team is here to help.
Our knowledgeable immigration attorneys at Spar & Bernstein will help relieve your stress by providing professional support.
With over 60 years of experience in immigration law, from family immigration, employment immigration or citizenship and naturalization to DACA and waivers, we have helped 10,000+ clients successfully resolve their cases and obtain immigration benefits.
Check out our immigration success stories!
In your USCIS receipt is delayed, our team will:
- Represent you
- Check your case status
- Review your case details and determine possible reasons for a delayed reply
- Help you prepare and file your application or petition again, if it has been rejected by USCIS for incorrect submission
- Help you prepare for an interview, if required, by discussing the possible questions and organizing a mock interview so you feel prepared and relaxed
- Recommend future action if your case is taking too long to process
- Assist with preparing and filing additional required documentation related to your case
How Long Does It Take To Get A Receipt Notice From USCIS? Key Takeaways
To confirm your application or petition was safely received, USCIS sends you a notice of receipt, known as Form I-797C.
This receipt notice typically takes 4-6 weeks to reach you, but the time frame may be longer for specific forms and locations.
To check the status of your case:
- Visit USCIS website
- Contact USCIS by phone
- Send an email to the local field office
- Schedule an appointment
Our experienced immigration attorneys at Spar & Bernstein can help you check if USCIS received your application or petition and provide information on the status of your case.
In addition, we can help you throughout the application process, from re-filing if needed to preparing for an interview with USCIS agents.
Disclaimer: attorney advertisement. prior successful results do not guarantee a similar outcome