The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) processes hundreds of thousands of immigration applications each year, and it’s a slow process for each one. This leaves many immigrants wondering how they can check the status of their immigration applications.
Many immigration applicants are eager to know their status. Unfortunately, prolonged wait times can keep them standing by in limbo. But while the process may be slow, checking the status of your immigration application is not. Here’s what you need to do.
Get Your Receipt Number
Before you can check your immigration application status, you need your receipt number. This is a 13-character number assigned to your application once the USCIS receives it. You can use this number to talk with the USCIS about your immigration application.
It may take up to a few weeks to get the form that has your receipt number. If you haven’t received it in 30 days, contact the USCIS by phone or by email to inquire about your receipt number.
Check the Status of Your Immigration Application Online
The USCIS allows you to check the case status of any application on their website. All you need is your receipt number. When you enter the receipt number, do not include the dashes but include all other characters.
If you enter your information correctly, the USCIS website will reveal the current status of your application. This is the easiest way to check the status of your immigration application.
Check 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 office is at the time you filed.
Fortunately, the USCIS provides estimates! Go to the USCIS processing times page and select the form and the office you send it to in the drop downs. Click “get processing time” and you’ll receive an estimate of how long it will take to finish your application.
If you’ve been waiting longer than this time and you haven’t seen any updates using the online tool, that’s the time to reach out to USCIS directly by phone about your immigration application status.
Checking an Application Sent to a Lockbox
If you have a question about an application mailed to the Chicago, Dallas, or Phoenix Lockboxes you can email the USCIS at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about the status of your application.
You will need the form number, your receipt number if you have it, the petitioner and/or applicant name, and your mailing address. Do not include Social Security numbers in emails. If you haven’t received a receipt number in 30 days after mailing your application, use this method.
Get a USCIS Account
If you already have a receipt number, consider making a USCIS account on their website. This will serve as a one-stop-shop for all of your immigration inquiries and update tools. You can get immigration application status information, update your address, and much more.