How Do I Know If USCIS Received My Application?

Updated on April 11, 2024
At a Glance:
  • The USCIS receipt notice provides important information about your case, including a receipt number for tracking.

  • USCIS takes around 8 to 9 weeks to issue receipt notices, but it may vary.

  • The confirmation of receipt, notice of results, referral notification, selection notification, and vacancy announcement close-out notice are some of the written notifications you may receive during the application process.

  • You can check your case status on the USCIS website, over the phone, by mail, in person, or via email/phone app/text.
  • Understanding the complexities of the U.S. immigration system can be daunting, especially when you’re anxiously awaiting updates about your application. One of the primary concerns for applicants is ensuring that their paperwork has reached the right hands. In this blog post, we’ll dive into understanding one of the key stages in the application process – the “Case Was Received” status. Whether you’ve recently applied or are just researching the process, this guide will shed light on what this status means, its significance, and how to track your application’s progress effectively. Let’s demystify the steps together!

    How Can I Confirm USCIS Got My Application?

    Upon applying for an employment-based green card, you might encounter various case statuses. If your status reads “Case Was Received,” it means that the USCIS has successfully obtained your application. Sometimes, the phrasing might differ slightly, such as “Case Was Received at My Local Office.”

    This is a positive sign. It indicates that your employment green card application hasn’t been declined, and USCIS will commence the processing. However, since this status appears early in the application journey, anticipate several months of processing time.

    To confirm USCIS has your application, you can either monitor updates on your online USCIS account or await a mail receipt. This receipt, officially termed Form I-797C, is crucial. Make sure to keep it safe as it holds your receipt number, a 13-character code, which is instrumental in tracking the ongoing status of your application.

    Is “Case Received” Synonymous with “Case Approved”?

    It’s not uncommon for applicants to confuse USCIS case statuses due to their similarity in wording. However, “case received” and “case approved” are distinct stages. The status “Case Received” indicates the initial phase of the application review, whereas “Case Approved” surfaces towards the culmination of the process. The time between these statuses can span several months, contingent on the duration of your immigration application process.

    What to Do When Your Case Status is “Case Was Received”?

    When the USCIS notifies you that your case has been received, your initial action should be to safely store the receipt notice. It’s prudent to either photograph this document or create a duplicate. This receipt notice holds your unique 13-character receipt number, essential for monitoring future status updates online.

    Following this, your role is primarily to wait for the USCIS to assess your application. In due course, the USCIS officer handling your case might request further details to validate your eligibility or notify you of necessary actions. You’ll be informed of these through changes in case status or direct mail notifications.

    Consequently, it’s crucial to routinely inspect your case status and regularly check your mailbox. The official correspondences from USCIS will guide you if there’s a required action and precisely what that entails.

    How Long Does It Take for USCIS to Send Receipt Notices?

    USCIS applications are processed in the order they are received. On average, USCIS takes approximately 8 to 9 weeks to issue receipt notices for some applications and petitions. Depending on the type of petition, it may take longer to receive your receipt notice.

    When in the Green Card Process Does “Case Received” Appear?

    After submitting your initial application to USCIS, you should anticipate the “Case Received” status. While the standard receipt notice time is roughly 10 days post-submission, it’s not uncommon to experience delays, extending the wait to two or even three weeks.

    For a prompt electronic notification upon the acceptance of your green card application, consider filing Form G-1145. In the interim, it’s advisable to monitor your online account for updates using the provided receipt number.

    Your immigration journey might reflect other “received” statuses. For instance, if you supplement your case with additional documents, you might encounter a status like “Correspondence Was Received and USCIS Is Reviewing It.” Such updates can reassure you that the paperwork reached the appropriate USCIS office and is being processed accordingly.

    Should you address a request for evidence, the status might read “Response to USCIS’ Request for Evidence Was Received.” Additionally, if you wish to expedite your application, the “Expedite Request Received” status will confirm that USCIS has your request in hand.

    How to Check If USCIS Has Received My Application

    Checking your case status lets you find out what part of the process is going on at the moment, and how much time is left until the case is finalized. Here is how you can check your case status:

    • On the USCIS Website – USCIS allows users to check case status online. All you will need to look up your case status is your 13-digit receipt number.
    • Over the Phone – To check your USCIS case status by phone, call 1-800-375-5283. You may inquire about your case status without a receipt number.
    • By Mail – You may also inquire about your USCIS case status via direct mail. To get a case status update, you will mail an inquiry letter to your local USCIS field office.
    • Asking in Person – you can inquire in person about the status of your USCIS case. This will require you to make an appointment with your local processing center.
    • Email/Phone App/Text – Another option for checking your USCIS case status is by inquiring via email. USCIS processing centers have unique email addresses.

    Check out this guide for full explanations about how to check your USCIS case status.

    Understanding USCIS Application Status Notifications

    After your application is received, USCIS is going to notify you up to five times:

    1. Acknowledgment of Receipt – Your occupational questionnaire receipt is confirmed. Ensure you answer all online questions and submit required documents for a complete application.
    2. Notice of Results – This notice reveals your rating based on your online questionnaire responses. It indicates ratings for various grade levels if you applied to multiple ones.
    3. Referral Notification – If you’re among the top-rated applicants, your application will be forwarded to the selecting official, and you’ll receive this notification.
    4. Selection Notification – If chosen for a position, the HR Operations Center will contact you with a tentative job offer. If not selected, you’ll be notified via email, even if your application was reviewed by an official. If interviewed but not chosen, the selecting official or their representative will contact you.
    5. Vacancy Announcement Close-Out Notice – This final notice is sent if no more selections are planned from the announcement. Check the status of your application at http://applicationmanager.gov by logging into your account.

    Read More

    Below, you will find some common questions around USCIS case status receipts and their answers.

    How do I know if USCIS received my application by mail?

    You will typically receive a receipt notice from USCIS confirming they’ve received your application.

    How do I know if USCIS received my application without a receipt number?

    If you haven’t received a receipt number, you can wait for the official receipt notice by mail or contact USCIS directly for confirmation.

    Can I check if USCIS received my application?

    Yes, once you have your receipt number, you can check the status of your application online on the USCIS website.

    How long will it take to get a receipt from USCIS?

    Typically, USCIS sends out receipt notices within 10 days of receiving an application, but delays can sometimes extend this to a few weeks.

    What happens if I haven’t received a receipt from USCIS?

    If you haven’t received a receipt within a reasonable timeframe, consider reaching out to USCIS or checking if there were any postal issues.

    What does a USCIS receipt notice look like?

    A USCIS receipt notice is an official document containing details about your application, including your unique receipt number.

    Can I call USCIS to get the receipt number?

    Yes, if you haven’t received your receipt notice, you can contact USCIS directly, but ensure you have relevant application details at hand.

    Where can I find my USCIS receipt?

    Your USCIS receipt is part of the official receipt notice you receive in the mail after submitting your application.

    What is next after USCIS received my application?

    After USCIS acknowledges receipt, they will process your application. You may be asked for additional information, or you will receive updates on the next steps, which can vary depending on the type of application.

    JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
    I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
    Join over 100,000 visitors who are receiving our newsletter and learn more about finance, immigration, and more!
    We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

    Frank Gogol

    I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

    Check your loan offer in minutes

    Apply for a loan with 100+ partners with one application. It takes only 2 mins and doesn’t impact your credit score.

    *checking your rate doesn’t impact your credit score

    Get the Checklist