What Does an I-797 Approval Notice Mean?

By Mary Jane Freeman
Woman reading paper slip while sitting at table.

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The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issues I-797 forms to inform the recipients of actions that the USCIS has taken in their cases. These actions can include approving an application for citizenship or alien worker status, confirming receipt of a fee payment, or scheduling an interview.

Notice of USCIS Action

When USCIS issues an I-797, it is typically in response to a petition it received. For example, an immigrant or foreign national may be issued an I-797 because an employer submitted a green card petition or request for a work-related visa on his behalf, or because the petitioner's request for a change in immigrant status from student to permanent resident has been approved. The I-797 notice contains a unique number starting with three letters followed by 10 digits. It identifies the person or organization that submitted the original request and includes a description of the action taken by the agency. If the recipient was approved for a visa, for example, the I-797 will include a description of the type of visa and the validity dates. An I-94 card, a record of the recipient's arrival and departure to and from the U.S., may also be included at the bottom of the I-797 notice.

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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