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How to Check Your I-140 Status: 5 Ways
If you’re applying for an employment-based visa, you’ve probably heard of the Form I-140. And, since you’re excited to start your new adventure in the U.S., there’s a good chance you are wondering how long the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is going to take to process your I-140.
Instead of wondering about it, you can actually check your I-140 status. Take a look below to find out more about your I-140 processing times and how to check your I-140 status.
What is an I-140?
Form I-140 is the immigration form filed by an employer in an employment-based visa petition. Your new potential employer in the U.S. acts as your visa sponsor, and your visa is based on the job opportunity they are offering you. There are certain instances where you could file this form for yourself, but your employer most commonly files it.
The Form I-140 petition is also known as an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. You can read more details about the Form I-140, how to fill it out, and what documents you’ll need here.
How to Track Your I-140 Status
Once you’ve filed your Form I-140, the wait begins. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can check the status of your specific case. As with most status checkups, you will need a receipt number to track your case. Your receipt number is the 13-digit case number the USCIS issues to you once your application is filed. You will find this number on your Form I-797.
Let’s take a look at the specific steps you need to take to track your I-140 status.
1. How to Track Online
You can check your I-140 status online by visiting this website. When you land on the website, you will see a box with the title “Enter your receipt number”.
Fill in your unique receipt number in this box and select the “Check Status” button.
It is essential to enter the 13 digits of your case number correctly. Don’t use any spaces. The field isn’t case sensitive, so don’t need to go through the usual backspacing effort if you accidentally had caps lock on!
Once you’ve filled in your receipt number and selected “Check Status”, the page will refresh and load new information. Your case information should appear after the page has loaded. You should also be able to register an account on the website which will enable you to receive email notifications as soon as your I-140 status changes.
If you are having trouble using the website or your information doesn’t appear, double-check that you entered the correct case number. Otherwise, give it some time and try again later. If it still doesn’t work, try one of the other options below or contact the support team.
2. How to Track by Phone
You can track your I-140 status by calling 1 (800) 375-5283. Make sure you have your case number ready!
Unfortunately, you won’t be talking to a human over the phone. There will be automated instructions taking you through the process. Once you’ve punched in your case number, an electronically recorded message will state your date of initial filing, and the approximate time you will need to wait before you get approval.
Keep in mind these telephone lines are generally quite busy, so you might have to try a few times or wait a while before you are connected.
3. How to Track by Email
You can also email the applicable USCIS service center to find out what your I-140 status is. Keep in mind the service centers are generally quite busy, and emails have to be tended to by USCIS employees, so you might not get an immediate response via email.
If your application has been moved to a National Visa Service Center (NVC), you will have to check your case status directly with the NVC to get updates about your case.
4. USCIS Electronic Immigration System
The USCIS has an online system where you can create an account to receive electronic notifications of decisions and receive real-time case updates. You can also use this system to submit and file certain forms. As you may already know, Form I-140 is included in this list of petitions you can file through the USCIS Electronic Immigration System.
For guidelines on how to create your USCIS Online Account, follow the steps set out here.
5. USCIS e-Request Portal
You can use the USCIS e-Request Portal if you have specific inquiries about your case, or you have certain services requests.
You can use the e-Request Portal if:
- You did not receive your notice by mail
- You did not receive your card by mail
- You need to change your address
- Your case is falling outside standard processing times
- You’ve made a typographic error in any part of your application
- You need your appointment to be adjusted.
To use this portal, you will need to provide basic information such as your case number and date of filing. The USCIS will respond to your inquiry via email, so keep an eye on your email.
I-140 Processing Time
On average, reports indicate the I-140 processing time to be about six months. The exact processing time of your I-140 will, however, depend on a wide range of factors. It may take longer and could, in certain cases, take over a year.
Let’s take a look at the three most significant factors that will influence your I-140 processing time.
1. Your Priority Date
Your priority date is the date the USCIS received your application. Before the USCIS can issue your visa, your priority date needs to be “current” with a final action date listed in the Department of State’s visa bulletin. Various factors influence whether your petition is current. These include your green card preference level and your country of origin. You can read more about the factors that influence your priority date here.
2. The Service Center
The service center processing your petition can have a big impact on your I-140 processing time. If they have a lot of cases to work through, the process will probably be delayed.
3. A Request for Evidence (RFE)
If the USCIS issues an RFE, you have a second chance to boost your case by providing all the information the USCIS requires. If you respond properly to an RFE, you could avoid the dismissal of your application. Make sure you respond within the timeframes provided. The sooner you respond, the sooner the USCIS can continue processing your petition, and the sooner you will get an outcome!
If you can’t afford to wait six months or more for your visa, you can find out whether your visa qualifies for I-140 premium processing.
With premium processing, you pay an additional premium processing fee to receive your outcome within 15 calendar days. If they don’t process your petition within 15 calendar days, they will refund your premium processing fee. You can read more about premium processing here.
- How Do I Speak to a Live Person at USCIS?
- How Many Citizenships Can You Have?
- How Do I Know Which USCIS Service Center?
- How Do I Know If USCIS Received My Application?
- What “Country of Residence” and How to Know Yours When on a Visa
- How to Check Dropbox Eligibility with the App
Many unplanned factors can delay your I-140 processing time, but fortunately, you will have transparency with regular I-140 status update opportunities.
Six months can feel like a long time. But, by getting a status update and focusing on the benefit of the eventual outcome, it can tick by quickly!
Checking the Status of a USCIS Form I-140 FAQ
How Can I Check the Status of My USCIS Form I-140?
You can check the status of your USCIS Form I-140, also known as the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, online through the USCIS Case Status Online tool. You’ll need your receipt number, which is located on your receipt notice.
What is a Receipt Number, and Where Can I Find It?
The receipt number is a unique 13-character identifier that USCIS provides when you file your petition. It can be found on your Form I-797, Notice of Action, and typically starts with three letters such as SRC, LIN, EAC, or WAC.
How Often is the Online Status Updated?
USCIS updates the online status of applications and petitions as different milestones are reached in the processing timeline. However, the frequency of updates can vary, and some stages of processing may take longer than others.
Can I Check My I-140 Status Without a Receipt Number?
It’s difficult to check the status of your I-140 without a receipt number. If you’ve lost your receipt number, you may contact USCIS for assistance, but be prepared to provide other identifying information.
What Do Different Status Updates Mean on the USCIS Website?
Status updates can include “Case Was Received,” “Request for Additional Evidence Sent,” “Case Was Approved,” and others. Each status reflects a specific stage in the processing of your I-140 petition.
How Long Does It Take to Process Form I-140?
The processing time for Form I-140 varies based on several factors, including the USCIS office handling the case, the visa category, and the specifics of the petition. You can check estimated processing times on the USCIS website.
What Should I Do If My Case Status Hasn’t Changed in a Long Time?
If your case status hasn’t changed for an unusually long time, you can inquire with USCIS. You may submit an inquiry online or call the USCIS Contact Center for more information about your case.
Can I Expedite the Processing of My Form I-140?
In certain circumstances, you may request expedited processing of your Form I-140. However, expedite requests are granted at USCIS’s discretion and typically require evidence of urgent humanitarian reasons, severe financial loss, or other compelling reasons.
What Happens After My I-140 Is Approved?
After your I-140 is approved, it means USCIS has recognized your eligibility for an employment-based immigrant visa. The next steps depend on your specific immigration path, including applying for an adjustment of status or consular processing.
Can My Employer Check the Status of My I-140?
Yes, your employer, who is the petitioner for Form I-140, can check the status of the petition. They can use the same online USCIS Case Status tool with the receipt number.