How to Check a USCIS Case Status

By Mary Jane Freeman
the status, your case, your local USCIS office

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When you file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency will mail you a notice confirming it received your application and providing a receipt number, a 13-character number that starts with three letters. This is the number you use to check on the status of your case, either online or by phone.

Case Status Available Online, By Phone or Appointment

With your receipt number, check the status of your case online on the USCIS website under "My Case Status," or by calling USCIS at (800) 375-5283. You must provide either your receipt number or alien registration number if you have one. If the customer service representative doesn't have updated information, she routes your inquiry to the local office handling your case. That office then conducts a review and contacts you within 30 days. Alternatively, schedule an appointment with your local USCIS office and go in person to check your case status.

Extenuating Circumstances For Expedited Processing

Generally the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services handles the applications in the order filed, but if you are experiencing exceptional circumstances, such as financial loss or other emergency, you may be eligible for expedited processing. Request expedited processing at your local USCIS office or by calling customer service. These requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

About the Author

Based on the West Coast, Mary Jane Freeman has been writing professionally since 1994, specializing in the topics of business and law. Freeman's work has appeared in a variety of publications, including LegalZoom, Essence, Reuters and Chicago Sun-Times. Freeman holds a Master of Science in public policy and management and Juris Doctor. Freeman is self-employed and works as a policy analyst and legal consultant.

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