Once you’ve sent your immigration application to the USCIS the waiting game gets underway. The time it takes for the USCIS to make a decision on your application can vary depending on the benefit you’ve applied for.

For example, Form N-400 Application for Naturalization is the most complicated form and can take the longest to process.

Checking the status of your application online

The USCIS allows you to check the status of any application on their website. All you need is your receipt number. That number is a 13-character identifier the USCIS sends you after they have received your application.

The form they send you with the receipt number is Form I-797 Notice of Action. Here’s an example of what it looks like:

The receipt number can be found on Form I-797, Notice of Action

It will read I-797, Notice of Action at the top and the receipt number should be clearly visible.

When you enter the receipt number on the USCIS website do not include the dashes but if there are other characters such as an asterisk (*), you should include them.

If you enter your information correctly the USCIS website will reveal the status of your application.

Checking the status of your application by phone

You can also check the status of your application by calling the USCIS directly. You must call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283. They will ask you for your receipt number and provide you with the latest details on your application.

How long will it take for my application to be complete?

Unfortunately, that’s a question all applicants want to know but not many people can answer. It all depends on the type of application you filed, how many applications are pending, and how backed up the USCIS is at the time you filed.