Understanding USCIS receipt numbers

BY , Courtney H. New

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) assigns a 13-character code that is used to identify and track applications and petitions for immigration benefits called a "receipt number." The receipt number can be found on the I-797, Notice of Action (i.e., "receipt notice"). The receipt notice confirms that USCIS has received the application or petition and that it is currently in queue for processing.

When you can expect to receive a receipt notice can vary greatly depending on the type of immigration application or petition, whether you elect for premium processing (not all petitions and applications are even eligible), and USCIS's workload at the moment. You can check the average processing times for your petition or application type to give you a better idea of when you can expect to receive a decision.

When you do receive your receipt notice, your receipt number will be at the top left of the form and will start with three letters. These three letters are indicative of the USCIS service center that is processing your application.

Abbreviation Service Center Name
CSC California Service Center
NSC Nebraska Service Center
PSC Potomac Service Center
TSC Texas Service Center
VSC Vermont Service Center

The two numbers that follow these letters represent the fiscal year in which your application or petition was received and the next three numbers represent the workday that USCIS received your application or petition. The subsequent numbers are the unique case number assigned to your application or petition.

You can use your receipt number to check the status of your application or petition at any time. You will likely need to provide this receipt number in connection with future applications or petitions so it is important that you store your receipt notices and the subsequent approval notices in a safe place, preferably electronically or in a fireproof box.

Please reach out to the NP Immigration team if you have any questions or concerns.

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Brianna Thompson


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Courtney H. New


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