U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has upgraded its technological services over the years, and now offers immigrants ways to check their case status online and keep up with the progress of your application or petition even by cell phone text message.
To view the status of your immigration case, you will need to enter the application receipt number on the USCIS case status web page. The receipt number has 13 characters and can be found on the application notices that you received from USCIS.
The receipt number begins with three letters (such as EAC, WAC, LIN or SRC). You should omit the dashes when entering the receipt number in the web page boxes. However, all other characters, including the asterisks, should be included if they are listed on your notice as part of the receipt number. If you did not receive an application receipt number, you can contact the USCIS Customer Service center at 1-800-375-5283 or 1-800-767-1833 (TTY).
Nine Steps to Your Goal
USCIS lists nine steps that petitions and applications can go through as part of the process, though not every application or petition will need to spend much time in each of the nine steps on the way to the desired immigration status. Here are the nine steps: Acceptance, Initial Review, Request for Evidence, Request for Evidence Response Review, Testing and Interview, Decision, Post Decision Activity, Oath Ceremony, Card/Document Production.
After you enter your application receipt number in the boxes, the web page will show you where your application is located -- how far you have progressed -- in the nine-step process. It will show you how many steps you have left to reach your goal.
Applicants also can register to receive automatic case status updates by email.
Get Case Updates by Text Messages
USCIS also has a new pilot program that allows applicants the option of receiving text message notification that a case status update has occurred. The notification can be sent to any United States mobile phone number. Standard cell phone text messaging rates may apply to receive these updates. The service is available to USCIS customers and their representatives (immigration lawyers, charitable groups, corporations, other sponsors), and you can register for it online.
Be Sure You’ve Created an Account
It’s important for anyone who wants regular updates from USCIS to create an account with the agency to ensure access to case status information. Again, the registration is available to USCIS customer and their representatives.
Another relatively new feature from USCIS is the e-Request access option. According to the agency, “e-Request is a web-based tool that allows you to place an inquiry with USCIS for certain applications and petitions. You may make an inquiry on selected forms that are beyond posted processing times or selected forms where you did not receive an Application Support Center (ASC) appointment notice or other notice. You can also create an inquiry for a notice you received from a Service Center with a typographical error.”