After filing your visa application with USCIS, you will receive a Form I-797, Notice of Action, notifying you that your petition was received and giving you a case number, which you can use to check your USCIS case status online.
Visa petitions (such as H1B visa petitions), visa transfers, and visa extension applications can be checked online to find out their status. Individuals who submitted green card petitions (Form I-130) for family members or employees can also check their case status online for applications such as I-140, I-485, AOS, Advance Parole, EAD, and Citizenship. Similarly, for most immigrant petitioners to the US, the USCIS receipt or case number is most significant since it is used to track the progress or current status of a particular immigration case or filing.
What is the USCIS receipt number?
USCIS assigns and issues a unique 13-digit case number to each visa application filed. This is the receipt number, which is found on your Form I-797. You can check your visa or immigration application filed with USCIS case status online using this receipt number.
Sample H1B Petition Approval Notice Form I-797
USCIS Receipt Number Explained
The USCIS receipt number starts with three letters followed by a series of numbers. A typical example is - EAC-15-123-45678. This is what it signifies -
- The first three letters indicate the USCIS service center which is processing the petition. These are abbreviations for:
- EAC – Vermont Service Center
- VSC – Vermont Service Center
- WAC – California Service Center
- CSC – California Service Center
- LIN – Nebraska Service Center
- NSC – Nebraska Service Center
- SRC – Texas Service Center
- TSC – Texas Service Center
- MSC – National Benefits Center
- NBC – National Benefits Center
- IOE – ELIS (e-filing)
- YSC – Potomac Service Center
- The next two digits indicates the fiscal year in which USCIS received the petition. USCIS fiscal years run from October 1st until September 30th.
- The following three digits is indicative of the day the filing fee was received and receipt processed. It is also indicative of the day in the fiscal year when USCIS is accepted cases.
- Finally, the last five digits acts as the unique identifier of the petition itself. Usually, if there are multiple cases filed simultaneously they are given sequential numbers and the last five digits help identify that.
In the example above, EAC-15-123-45678, the petition was received at the Vermont Service Center on the 123rd day of the fiscal year in 2015 with ‘45678’ being its unique identifier.
How to Check USCIS Case Status Online
Follow the below steps to check your USCIS case status online.
- Go to my USCIS Case Status Search Case Status Online.
- Enter your 13-digit receipt number in box below "Enter your receipt number".
- Be sure to enter your number correctly with all 13 letters as printed on our receipt notice.
- Enter the number without any spaces.
- The field is not case sensitive so you can enter your number in all caps or small letters.
- Click on the "Check Status" button and wait.
- Once the page refreshes you will see information about your case.
- You may register for an account to receive e-mail notifications whenever your case status changes.
Check USCIS Case Status by Phone
You may also check your USCIS case status by calling 1 (800) 375-5283 and following the automated instructions. Be sure to have your receipt number ready.
There is no human intervention in this service. All you get is an electronically recorded message stating your date of application filing and the approximate time frame for the approval. These numbers are generally very busy. One needs to have patience to get connected.
You may also email the appropriate USCIS Service Center with your inquiry to check your USCIS case status. See the center-specific email IDs below for you to email the USCIS processing center where your application is being reviewed.
- California Service Center: email@example.com
- Vermont Service Center: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Nebraska Service Center: email@example.com
- Texas Service Center: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Case status check may not be available for certain applications that are moved to National Visa Service Center (NVC). Find more information about NVC and check case status with National Visa Center.
USCIS Electronic Immigration System
The USCIS Electronic Immigration System is an online, account-based system that allows you to submit and view certain benefit requests, receive electronic notification of decisions, and receive real-time case status updates.
Along with visa petitions, USCIS also allows certain forms to be filed electronically, which you can check the status of online as well.
Such forms that qualify for USCIS electronic immigration system include Form I-90, I-131, I-140, I-539, I-765, I-821, and I-907. Out of these forms Form I-539 and I-526 have limited availability but applicants who have already filed these forms through USCIS electronic immigration system can access them electronically to:
- Respond to a request for evidence
- Check case status
- Update profile
USCIS e-Request Portal
The USCIS e-Request Portal is a resource for applicants with certain case inquires and services requests, such as:
- Case outside normal processing time
- Did not receive notice by mail
- Did not receive card by mail
- Change of address
- Appointment accommodations
- Typographic error
Applicants can make an individual e-request for any of these inquiries. Applicants using the USCIS e-Request Portal are required to include basic information such as case number, date of filing, documentary evidence, and other relevant case information. USCIS will respond to the applicant's inquiry via email.
USCIS Processing Time
USCIS maintains a detailed list of processing times on its website. Applicants just need to know the following in order to check their processing times.
- Petition/Form type
- Processing center
- Classification or basis of filing
For example, at a California service center, an H1B visa holder filing Form I-129 seeking a change of status would have a USCIS processing time of 2 months.
For a detailed list of all such classifications and visa form types, visit USCIS Processing Time Information.
Checking H1B Petition Status
To track the progress and trend of H1B petitions and approvals, visit H1B Tracker to share and learn from other applicants.