Whenever you send an application or petition to the USCIS, you should expect a “receipt notice,” or Form I-797C which is titled Notice of Action. Typically, applicants get the receipt notice about 2 to 4 weeks after the USCIS receives the application.
Here are a few pointers to keep in mind about your USCIS receipt notice:
- The notice will state that either your application has been rejected or accepted. If your application was rejected, the notice should explain why it was rejected and be attached to the application itself. Depending upon the reason for rejection, you can send back the application once you have made any corrections. Sometimes, the USCIS wrongly rejects an application. In that case, you can send back the application and explain why you believe the application was correctly filed.
- If your application is accepted, you should read the notice thoroughly because it has very important information. Note the receipt number, which is your case number, and typically starts with three letters that represent the USCIS service center that is processing your case. You will need the number to track the progress of your case online and to contact the USCIS by phone or chat if you have a question about your case. The receipt notice will include the date the USCIS received the application, the date the USCIS generated the receipt notice, and contact information and instructions on setting up an online account to monitor your case as well.
- If you are applying for an extension or change of visa status, the receipt notice serves as proof of your legal permission to remain in the U.S. while your application is pending. In this case, you should alway keep the receipt notice easily accessible or even keep a photo or scan of the notice on your phone.
- The receipt notice can also be used along with your expired green card to return from international travel if you filed one of the following applications:
- I-90 to renew or replace your green card
- I-751 removal of conditions on residence
- Form I-829, Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status.
- If you don't receive your receipt notice within 30 days of filing, determine if your filing fee check has been cashed or your credit card has been charged. If your filing fee has been collected, then the USCIS has accepted the application and will generate a receipt notice soon. If you do not receive the receipt notice or if your application has not been returned after 30 days, contact the USCIS using one of the various methods of communication listed on its website.
I hope this article helps you understand basic immigration requirements, but please don't consider it as legal advice or legal opinion about your specific circumstances. Every case is unique so seek advice from an experienced immigration lawyer to help guide you in the right direction.
This article is provided as an educational service and is not legal advice. Consult with an attorney for your specific circumstances. For a comprehensive evaluation of your immigration situation and options, you are invited to call us at 214-494-8033, text us using our chat box, or complete our contact form.