In the United States, an immigrant who has been granted lawful permanent resident status is granted a Permanent Resident Card. The Permanent Resident Card, also known as the Green Card, is issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). A person who has been granted a Permanent Resident Card can lawfully live and work in the U.S. indefinitely, as long as she doesn’t do anything that subjects her to deportation, such as committing certain crimes or abandoning U.S. residency. After applying with USCIS to become a permanent resident and to receive a Permanent Resident Card, applicants can check on the status of their application in several ways.
Check Case Status Online
Applicants can check their case status online via the USCIS case status website. Applicants must enter their receipt number in the search box. The receipt number is a unique 13-character identifier that USCIS provides for each application that it receives. It consists of three letters followed by 10 numbers.
Applicants can find their receipt number on all notices that USCIS has mailed to them, such as their receipt notice. Applicants should expect to receive a receipt notice within 30 days of filing if the application was sent to a USCIS Service Center, or within 10 days of filing if the application was sent to a USCIS Lockbox. When entering the receipt number in the search box, applicants should not include any dashes, but should include any other characters, such as asterisks, if they are listed on notices as part of their receipt number.
USCIS recommends that applicants sign up for an online account with USCIS. With an account, applicants can easily see their entire case file, including all the petitions and applications they have filed with USCIS and their corresponding receipt numbers. Creating an online account requires creating a username and password.
Calling USCIS for Case Status
Applicants can also check on the status of their green card application by calling USCIS at 800-375-5283. Applicants who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability can call 800-767-1833. Those outside the U.S. or in a U.S. territory can call 212-620-3418.
USCIS representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST except on federal holidays. Applicants should be prepared to provide the USCIS representative with their personal information, including their name, date of birth and receipt number. Automated information can be assessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Submit a Case Inquiry Online
If the case status search doesn’t provide a sufficient answer, applicants can submit a case inquiry online via several channels. One channel is for applicants who believe their case is taking longer than expected to receive an answer. Generally, USCIS processes applications in the order received. Applicants can get an idea as to how long it will take to process their case via the USCIS processing times website.
On this website, applicants select their form number and the Service Center that is processing their case. Applicants can find the office that is processing their case on their receipt notice from USCIS. For example, someone who submitted form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, and whose field office is the California Service Center may receive an answer that the estimated processing time is 10 to 47 months.
In addition to giving a time range of when applicants can expect to receive an answer, the USCIS website will also give a “Receipt date for a case inquiry.” This shows applicants when they can submit a “case outside normal processing time” inquiry online. If the applicant’s receipt date, which is listed on their receipt notice from USCIS, is before the “Receipt date for a case inquiry” date, then he can submit a case inquiry online.