Whether it’s applying for a visa, residency or citizenship, navigating the U.S. immigration system can intimidate many newcomers to the United States. If you want to ensure that your path to a life in America is going smoothly, keeping track of your U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) case status is a good first step. 

USCIS is a government agency that is part of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the primary organization that manages visa and adjustment of status ("Green Card”)  applications. You may have to reach out to USCIS if your status changes unexpectedly, so check it regularly to avoid surprises due to unexpected delays.

For each visa and Green Card application submitted, the USCIS assigns a unique 13-digit case number. You can find your latest receipt number on your Form I-797 Notice of Action. Check your visa or immigration application filed with USCIS case status online using this receipt number.

How to check your USCIS case status online

  • Visit the USCIS case status online search page.
  • Insert your 13-digit receipt number in the box below "enter a receipt number"
  • Enter your number correctly with all 13 letters as printed on the receipt notice, and ensure that there are no spaces 
  • Click the "check status" button
  • Once the page refreshes you will see the latest update about your case

Other options to check your USCIS case status

Via email: Contact the appropriate USCIS Service Center to check your status. Every individual USCIS processing center has a different email address where your application will be reviewed. Here are the contact details for some of the most popular centers:

  • California Service Center: csc-ncsc-followup@dhs.gov
  • Vermont Service Center: vsc.ncscfollowup@dhs.gov
  • Nebraska Service Center: ncscfollowup.nsc@dhs.gov
  • Texas Service Center: tsc.ncscfollowup@dhs.gov

Via phone: You can also call USCIS at 1-800-375-5283 to inquire about your USCIS case status. You don’t need your receipt number to get an update, but be prepared for a long wait if you call; depending on how many people are inquiring about their status, you may be on hold for two hours or more.

Direct mail: You can request a case status update by mail if you've filed your petition or application through a local USCIS field office. In your letter, provide personal information such as your full name, birth date, alien number (if applicable), the date and place your petition or application was filed, and receipt number (if you've received one). Include a copy of your receipt notice if you can. 

In person: You can schedule in-person appointments for updates on your visa or Green Card status. You can schedule in-person appointments regardless of whether you are currently in the U.S. To schedule an appointment, visit the USCIS appointment scheduling page.

Who can check their USCIS Case Status?

Anyone who submitted a visa application (for example an H-1B petition), visa transfer, or visa extension can check their USCIS case status. Green Card petitions (Form I-130) for employees or family members as well as Forms I-140, I-485, I-765, AOS, Advance Parole, Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) and citizenship can also be checked online for an update on USCIS case status.

Here are some USCIS articles:

How to Read the Visa Bulletin

H-1B Visa

H=1B Case Status

When will my USCIS case status be approved?

The processing time of your case depends on the form you submitted. You can also find the typical case processing time on the USCIS website. Unfortunately, processing times can range from months to years depending on your case and the type of form you submitted.

New to the U.S.?

Learn more from Nova Credit about visas, immigration, and personal finances—especially credit scores, which are essential for basic tasks such as getting a credit card, leasing an apartment, and getting a cell phone plan or student loan all require a U.S. credit score. 

For the first time, you can now use your international credit history to access to get a credit card or other credit product here, you can start to build a U.S. score. Learn more: 


More from Nova Credit:

How to Read the Visa Bulletin

H-1B Visa

H=1B Case Status