What Is a Receipt Number, and Where Can I Find My Receipt Number for USCIS?

October 15, 2020
What Is a Receipt Number, and Where Can I Find My Receipt Number for USCIS?

Summary

Your receipt number for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a 13-character identification code that USCIS uses to identify and track your case. The receipt number will contain three letters followed by ten numbers. The letters identify the USCIS service center that is processing your application and will be either EAC, WAC, LIN, SRC, NBC, MSC, or IOE. The ten numbers that follow are a combination of the date your case was opened and your unique case number. USCIS will print your receipt number on any correspondence they send you regarding your application. You will need your receipt number to check your application status. This article explains what a USCIS receipt number is, where to find it, how to read it, and how to use it to check your application's status.


You will receive your USCIS Receipt Number after you file your application. ImmigrationHelp.org can help you prepare your immigration application for free with our easy-to-use online tool. Click the "Get Started" button above or read on to learn more.


This article is not legal advice. We do not intend for it to replace the expertise of an immigration attorney. Its goal is to help you learn more about receipt numbers for USCIS.


Overview

This article will answer these questions:

What is a USCIS receipt number?

USCIS assigns a unique 13-character case number to each application that people file. USCIS refers to this case number as the “receipt number” for your case. The first three characters of your case’s receipt number depend on which of the USCIS service centers are processing your case. 

If the USCIS California Service Center (CSC) is processing your case, your receipt number will begin with “WAC.” If the Nebraska Service Center (NSC) is processing your case, your receipt number will begin with “LIN.” If the Texas Service Center (TSC) is handling your case, your receipt number will start with “SRC.” If your application is with the Vermont Service Center (VSC), your receipt number will begin with “EAC.” If the National Benefits Center (NBC) is processing your case, your number could start with “MSC” or “NBC.” If USCIS is processing your application online, your receipt number will begin with “IOE.” These first three letters will be followed by ten numbers to form your complete USCIS receipt number.


You can check the status of your case online by entering your receipt number on the USCIS.gov website. You can also get an estimate of how long your application processing will take on the USCIS website.


Check out our website to learn more about immigration filing processes and timelines. We can help you prepare your immigration application for free with our easy-to-use online tool. Click the button below to get started.

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How do I find my USCIS receipt number?


USCIS will send you a receipt notice when they receive your application. Your receipt number is on the receipt notice. The 13-character receipt number will be at the top left corner of the receipt notice. It will begin with either “EAC,” “LIN,” “WAC,” “IOE,” “NBC,” “MSC,” or “SRC” followed by ten numbers. You will use your receipt number to check your application status.


What is a USCIS receipt notice?


When you submit your application to USCIS, USCIS will confirm that they received your application. They do this by sending you an update on a form that is officially called Form I-797C, Notice of Action. USCIS will send this form to your mailing address listed on your application, usually 2 to 3 weeks after you submit your application. Form I-797C is your USCIS receipt notice. It is not evidence that USCIS has granted you any immigration benefit. It is merely an update to let you know that USCIS has received your application for processing.


How long does it take to get my USCIS receipt number?


You should expect to receive your USCIS receipt number about 2 to 3 weeks after you submit your immigration application to USCIS. The amount of time that it will take to receive your receipt notice and receipt number varies slightly depending on which forms you filed and which service center you filed them with.


You can check the current USCIS form processing times for your immigration application type on the USCIS website. You can also learn more about immigration filing processes and timelines on our website.


Can I call USCIS to get my receipt number?


Yes, you can call USCIS to get your receipt number. USCIS’s phone number is 1-800-375-5283 and once you explain your circumstances to the USCIS representative, they can help you retrieve your receipt number.


Some people also choose to meet with a USCIS officer in person to ask about their case. You can do this if you set up an InfoPass Appointment with USCIS. During this appointment, you can speak to a USCIS representative one-on-one at a local USCIS office and ask general questions about your application, including your case's status and what your receipt number is. InfoPass appointments are currently unavailable due to the coronavirus pandemic.


ImmigrationHelp.org can help you put your immigration application together correctly so that you get your receipt notice and receipt number from USCIS as quickly as possible. Our services are free -- click the green button below to get started!


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How do I read my USCIS receipt number?


You don’t have to understand your USCIS receipt number to use it for your immigration purposes. It is okay to be curious about it, though! The receipt number is a combination of the USCIS service center processing your application, the fiscal year and workday when USCIS opened your case, and your unique case number. Let’s take a look at each of these pieces of your USCIS receipt number.


Service Center


The first three characters of the receipt number represent the USCIS service center that is processing your case. The three letters at the beginning of your receipt number are codes for the different service centers. Here’s what the codes stand for for each of the USCIS service centers that process immigration applications:


  • EAC - Eastern Adjudication Center (Vermont Service Center)
  • WAC - Western Adjudication Center (California Service Center)
  • LIN - Lincoln Service Center (Nebraska Service Center)
  • SRC - Southern Regional Center (Texas Service Center)
  • NBC - National Benefits Center
  • MSC - Missouri Service Center (National Benefits Center)
  • IOE - USCIS Electronic Immigration System (ELIS)


Fiscal Year


After the three-letter service center code, the next two characters represent the fiscal year in which USCIS opened your case. The United States government uses a fiscal year different from the regular calendar year for immigration purposes. This immigration fiscal year begins on October 1 and ends 12 months later on September 30. For example, if the Texas Service Center is processing your case and they received your application in November of USCIS’ 2017 fiscal year, your receipt number will read as SRC 17 XXX XXXXX


Computer Workday


The next three numbers in the receipt number represent the computer workday on which USCIS opened your case. The computer workday counts all regular workdays except weekends and holidays. In this example, for instance: SRC 17 018 XXXXX, means that the Texas Service Center opened this case on the 18th workday of the 2017 USCIS fiscal year.


Case Number


The last five numbers of the receipt number are the unique case number USCIS has assigned to your case. The order of the numbers will be according to the internal counting system that the USCIS service center handling your case has in place. In this example, SRC 17 018 10000, might be the 10,000th application opened by the Texas Service Center during the 2017 USCIS fiscal year.


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How do I use my USCIS receipt number to check my application status?


The main thing you will use your USCIS receipt for is tracking the progress of your application and your case status throughout the application process. Your case status at any point in time will depend on the case type and its average processing timeline. You can learn more about immigration filing processes and their estimated timelines on our website so that you have a sense of how long your application should take, and what to do if it seems like it might be taking too long. Here are the different ways you can check your application status, and how to go about each.


How to check your USCIS case status online


One of the quickest ways to check your USCIS case status is by using the USCIS online case status tracker. While you’re at it, you can also create a USCIS online account so that you can receive case updates in your email as they are available. Here are the steps to follow to check your case status online:


  1. Go to the USCIS case status checker.
  2. Enter your receipt number into the box underneath the “Enter your receipt number” text on the page. Type the receipt number in without spaces or dashes between any of the characters.
  3. Click the “Check Status” button.
  4. The page will load your case status.


How to check your USCIS case status by phone or email


If you prefer, you can also call or email USCIS to get your case status. 


To check your case status by phone, call USCIS at +1 (800) 375-5283 and follow the prompts. When you call this number, you will not be speaking directly with a USCIS officer. Many people call this number, so you may have to wait a while before getting connected to the system. You will need to provide your receipt number on the call, so make sure you have it with you when you call.


If you want to request your case status from USCIS via email, here are the email addresses you should use depending on which service center is processing your application:


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


If USCIS has forwarded your case to the National Visa Center (NVC) at the Department of State for further processing, USCIS cannot provide a status update to you by email. You will have to check your visa status with the NVC in that case.


How to use the USCIS online account system


For some immigration filings, for example, Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, USCIS manages all case processing on the USCIS online account system. For such cases, USCIS will automatically create an online account for you and send you a welcome letter containing all the account details. When you create an account on USCIS’s online system, you will receive updates on your application in the email associated with your account. USCIS will also send case update notices to your mailing address.


How to use the USCIS e-Request portal


If you want to make further inquiries about your case status, you can submit an inquiry using the USCIS e-Request portal. You should file an inquiry if:

  1. your case is outside of the standard processing time
  2. you recently moved and need to update your address USCIS
  3. you have not received notices and other documents related to your case, like your Biometrics appointment notice, Employment Authorization Document (EAD), or Green Card in the mail,
  4. you made a typographic error on your application and would like to correct it. 


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Conclusion


We hope that you found our guide to finding and using your receipt number for USCIS useful. If you have any questions or comments about USCIS receipt numbers, or about checking your application status with USCIS, we'd love to hear from you. Drop a comment below, and we will reply ASAP!


Prepare your immigration forms
Prepare your immigration forms
Prepare your immigration forms
Prepare your immigration forms
Prepare your immigration forms
Prepare your immigration forms

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