How to Get Status Updates from USCIS on your Immigration Case

Immigration News

Support personnel help provide a check on USCIS case status

Once you’ve filed your application or petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you probably want to check USCIS case status from time to time and get status updates. Processing of immigration forms and applications can take several months, and USCIS isn’t the most accessible customer service organization. With delays related to staffing budget shortfalls and high demand for services, the problem only seems to be getting worse. It's helpful to know how to navigate the system.

There are things you can do to minimize the wait and get regular status updates. Properly preparing your form and filing with the correct supporting documents is the best thing that you can do to receive the optimum processing time. Many people use CitizenPath to prepare USCIS forms because we make it easy and eliminate the problems that can delay your application or petition. We even guarantee that USCIS will approve your application or petition. Unfortunately, there isn’t much we (or anyone) can do to expedite your application or petition with USCIS once it has been submitted. See how it works >>

Here’s what you can do to check USCIS case status and get regular immigration updates.

USCIS Case Status Updates with E-Notification

Start the process by submitting a request for e-notification. This is a very simple form that you can generally file along with your primary application or petition. When you file Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition, with your application or petition, USCIS will provide you an email and/or text to let you know when they accept your form for processing.

The e-notification (text or email) will not include any personal information, but it does list your receipt number and tell you how to obtain additional case status information. USCIS will send the notification within 24 hours of accepting your form. Please note that an acceptance date may be slightly different than the physical date of receiving your mailed form. USCIS may need a day or two to review the contents before "accepting" it for processing.

There’s a small catch. This service is only available for forms filed at the four USCIS Lockbox facilities:

  • Phoenix (Arizona) Lockbox
  • Elgin (Illinois) Lockbox
  • Chicago (Illinois) Lockbox
  • Dallas (Texas) Lockbox

The good news is this does cover most forms.

The process is extremely simple and totally free. You can prepare a free G-1145 in just a few seconds. If preparing your application with CitizenPath, we always provide a complimentary G-1145 as well. Place the Form G-1145 on top of your primary application when you mail it in.

My Case Status

Once USCIS accepts your application or petition, they will also mail you a receipt notice. This receipt notice is formally known as Form I-797C, Notice of Action. For most forms, people are typically experiencing wait times of 2 to 4 weeks for the initial receipt notice. Forms like Form I-751 make take longer.

How to Check USCIS Case Status Online

The first Notice of Action is an important receipt notice. The notice includes a 13-character receipt number that begins with three letters (such as EAC, IOE, WAC, LIN, or SRC). To view the status of a case, simply enter the receipt number into the Case Status tool on the USCIS website. You’ll get an update similar to the one pictured below.

Screenshot of online USCIS case status updates
Didn't Receive a Receipt Number from USCIS

If you have not received a receipt number to check your USCIS case status, you'll need to verify your application was filed. When mailing your application package to USCIS, we always recommend using a traceable courier so that you can track the package. If USCIS never provided you a receipt notice consider the following:

  • Did USCIS physically receive your application package? Check your tracking number.
  • Did USCIS cash the check (or charge your credit card)?

These are clues that USCIS actually received your package. Although rare, it's possible that USCIS successfully accepted your application, but the receipt notice got lost in the mail. If it's been at least 30 days since you filed, it may be necessary to contact USCIS and file again.

USCIS Customer Service

If the Case Status tool is not helpful or your situation requires more attention, you may also contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center (NCSC) for live support. Dial 1-800-375-5283 (from within the United States) to reach the NCSC Monday through Friday. If you are outside the United States and need more information concerning U.S. immigration, you may need to contact the closest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to reach live support at USCIS. But you can submit an online inquiry about your case or request other services. Case inquiries may include:

  • Your case is outside the normal processing time
  • You did not receive a notice by mail
  • You did not receive a card by mail
  • You did not receive a document by mail

You may also submit a service request such as:

  • Request accommodations for an interview appointment
  • Make typographic corrections on a case

It’s helpful to prepare for your call or online inquiry by gathering information such as your A-number, receipt number, date when filed, and type of application/petition filed. (Some of these details may not be applicable for your situation.)

Make an In-Person Appointment at USCIS

Sometimes it’s necessary to get hands-on, personal assistance with your case. In these situations, you may be able to schedule an in-person appointment.

If you meet certain criteria, it's possible to schedule your appointment online. If you are in the United States, you may request an appointment online for the following services:

  • ADIT Stamp
  • Emergency Advance Parole (EAP)
  • Immigration Judge Grant

If you need help and believe it justifies an in-person appointment, call the USCIS Contact Center by phone at 1-800-375-5283. USCIS agents won’t grant an appointment to anyone. You’ll need to present a compelling reason why you need an in-person appointment. The phone agent will attempt to assist you over the phone. Routine requests for information and USCIS case status checks may be provided over the phone. The in-person appointment is with a USCIS officer and is generally suitable for urgent situations or more complex matters.

Be prepared to explain why you need to meet with someone in-person. If you have an urgent situation, gather evidence that compels the agent to act.

Apps to Track Your Case Status at USCIS

You can find several apps for your phone or tablet to track the status of a USCIS case.

My USCIS Case Status
My USCIS Case Status Tracker
The app's designer says that they "track and analyze your US visa and immigration cases with algorithms and a million users have been already using our app!"
App Store badge
Case Tracker for USCIS
Case Tracker for USCIS
The app's creator claims it is "The ultimate app for tracking USCIS Citizenship and Immigration cases for the U.S.A. Quick access to Visa Bulletins and push notifications."
Google Play badge
Case Tracker for USCIS
The app stores your case receipt number so that you can easily refresh the USCIS case status with the single swipe. You won't have to visit the USCIS website.
App Store badge

This list of apps is not a recommendation or endorsement, and none are affiliated with an official government agency. Please carefully research the apps before downloading to ensure that you’re comfortable sharing your USCIS case information with the organization providing the service. Some apps may also charge fees.

About CitizenPath

CitizenPath provides simple, affordable, step-by-step guidance through USCIS immigration applications. Individuals, attorneys and non-profits use the service on desktop or mobile device to prepare immigration forms accurately, avoiding costly delays. CitizenPath allows users to try the service for free and provides a 100% money-back guarantee that USCIS will approve the application or petition. We provide support for the Adjustment of Status (Form I-485), Citizenship Application (Form N-400), and several other immigration services.

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