How to Track Your Green Card Status

By Richard Ludwig
Lady Liberty has welcomed immigrants to America since 1886.
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A green card allows immigrants to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. Receiving a green card is the next-to-last step before becoming a full-fledged American citizen. Green cards are issued for employment, to family members of American citizens, to refugees and seekers of political asylum. The procedure for procuring a green card involves many steps, but applicants can stay abreast of their status by checking with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, whose website provides real-time updates for applicants.

Navigate to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) "My Case Status" web page. Go to the USCIS's home page. In the left hand column under Customer Tools will be a link titled "Check My Case Status." The website can be viewed in Spanish by clicking on the "Espanol" link located in the upper-right corner of the site.

Enter your green card application's receipt number. Your application's receipt number is a 13-digit number listed on your application's receipt and all correspondence you have received from the USCIS. It begins with three letters and includes numbers and characters--only dashes should be omitted. After entering your receipt number click the "Check Status" button located below the input box.

Check the status of your green card application. After entering your receipt number, circles pertaining to green card applicants will show an application's progress. The first step is acceptance and is completed after the USCIS has received your application. Other steps involved in your green card application process include initial review, additional evidence requested, testing, in-person interview, decision and card production. A highlighted circle indicates which step in the process your application is currently in.

Register for automatic email updates. Located in the left hand column on the "Check My Status" page is a link titled "Sign-up for Case Updates." After creating a USCIS account, applicants receive an update each time their case has a status change. As of March 2011, the USCIS is also implementing a system to send case updates via text message.

About the Author

Richard Ludwig has been a writer for over eight years and has had his work published in "Co-Ed Magazine," the "East Manatee County Observer" and the Disaster and Recovery e-magazine. He received journalism and sociology degrees from the University of South Florida.