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What is a DOS Case ID?
If you have an immigrant visa, and you are traveling to the United States as a lawful permanent resident (possibly pursuing naturalization), you will be required to pay an immigration fee before you can get your green card. You have to pay this immigration fee on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) online portal. But to do this, you need your Alien Registration Number (A-number) and your DOS Case ID.
Most people know what their A-number is and where to find it, but many people often struggle with their DOS Case ID. What is the DOS Case ID, and where can you find it? We’ll answer all these questions in the article below.
What is a DOS Case ID?
Your DOS Case ID is your Department of State (DOS) Case ID. Generally, this number has 3 letters followed by 9 or 10 numbers (for example, ABC123456789). If you are a Diversity Visa Immigrant, however, your DOS Case ID has 4 numbers followed by 2 letters and then again 5 more numbers (for example, 1234ZY12345).
Who Has a DOS Case ID?
You would have a DOS Case ID if you attended an immigration interview at a U.S. consulate or embassy. As you will see below, you would have received this with the documentation handed to you by the official conducting your interview.
How to Find Your DOS Case ID
It’s all good and well to know you have a DOS Case ID. But before you can pay your Immigration Fees, you need to know where to find it!
You can find your DOS Case ID on your Immigrant Data Summary, USCIS Immigrant Fee Handout, or your Immigrant Visa Stamp.
Immigrant Data Summary
When you attended your U.S. embassy or consulate appointment, your Immigration Data Summary would have been stapled to the front of your immigrant visa package. Your DOS Case ID (and you’re A-Number) appears at the top of your Immigration Data Summary.
USCIS Immigrant Fee Handout
The USCIS Immigrant Fee Handout is a document that gives you instructions on how to pay your USCIS immigration fees. You should have received your USCIS Immigration Fee Handout from the interviewing officer at your interview at the U.S. consulate or embassy.
You will find your DOS Case ID (and you’re A-number) at the top right corner of your USCIS Immigrant Fee Handout.
It’s a good idea to make a copy of your USCIS Immigrant Fee Handout or at least to write down your DOS Case ID and keep it in a safe place after your interview.
If you don’t have your Immigrant Data Summary or USCIS Immigrant Fee Handout on hand, you can also find your DOS Case ID on your visa stamp (also known as your visa foil). This appears in your passport.
Your DOS Case ID is the IV Case Number which appears on your visa stamp. But keep in mind, the IV Case Number has two additional numbers at the end (for example, 01 or 02). When you enter your DOS Case ID from your IV Case Number, don’t include these last two numbers.
For example, if your IV Case Number is “XYZ1234567802,” you would enter your DOS Case ID as “XYZ12345678”.
Using Your DOS Case ID to Pay Immigration Fees
Unfortunately, there is only one way to pay your immigration fee. You have to do it online on the USCIS Electronic Immigration System (ELIS). You don’t have the option to mail your fees or to pay it at a physical office. Fortunately, if you don’t have a computer, someone else can pay your immigration fees on your behalf – they only need your information, including your DOS Case ID.
You will have to pay your immigration fee before the USCIS sends you your green card. Until October 2, 2020, the USCIS immigration fee is $220. On October 2, the immigration fee goes down to $190. Keep in mind the immigration fees may be updated again, so to make sure you have the latest fee, you can check the USCIS fees page here.
You can pay your immigration fees with a credit card or debit card or directly from a U.S. bank account. You can even pay with a prepaid card. You just have to make sure it has enough funds available as you can’t split your payment.
To pay your immigration fees, you can go to the USCIS online portal here. Complete the required information, and the system will take you through the next steps.
In one of the steps, you will be asked for you’re A-number as well as your DOS Case ID Number. Once you’ve completed all your information, you can review your information and continue to the payment page. If you’re happy with the information, click on “Proceed to pay.gov.” This is the U.S. Treasury Department payment processing website.
When you get to the payment page, step 1 will be to enter your payment information. You can choose to pay via your bank account (ACH) or with a debit or credit card (“pay visa plastic card”). You can only pay via bank account if you are using a U.S. based bank account. If you choose this option, the money will automatically be taken from your bank account. If you opt to pay with a card, you can use MasterCard or Visa. You can even use a prepaid money card, as long as there are enough funds available.
After you’ve completed your payment information, you can select “payment authorization.” You’ll see a payment summary and must fill in your e-mail address where you want to receive confirmation of payment. Once you’re ready, you can select the box authorizing payment and click “submit payment.” Once your payment goes through, you will be taken to a confirmation page. You can print this page if you want to make extra sure you have proof that you’ve paid the funds. But confirmation of payment will be mailed to the e-mail address provided.
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Now you see why having your DOS Case ID is so important. Without it, you won’t be able to pay your immigration fees and get your long-awaited green card! Follow the guidelines above to find your DOS Case ID. Once you have your DOS Case ID in hand, it is a few short steps to pay your immigration fees, get your green card, apply for naturalization, and live your American dream!