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

In a Nutshell

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 10 numbers. The letters identify the USCIS service center that is processing your application. The 10 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.

Written by Jonathan Petts
Updated October 9, 2022

What Is a USCIS Receipt Number?

USCIS assigns a unique 13-character case number to each application that people file. This is called 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 10 numbers to form your complete USCIS receipt number. The 10 numbers are a combination of the date your case was opened and your unique case number.

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

How Do I Find My USCIS Receipt Number?

USCIS will send you a receipt notice when they receive your application. Your 13-character receipt number will be at the top left corner of the receipt notice. Remember, it will begin with either EAC, LIN, WAC, IOE, NBC, MSC, or SRC followed by 10 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 two to three 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 two to three 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.

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. You can all call this number to request an in-person appointment. You can no longer request an appointment online.

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.

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 in our Learning Center 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.