Alien Registration Number FAQ
Updated on 03/12/2023
Question: What is an “Alien Registration Number”?
An alien registration number is a number assigned by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to you as a non-U.S. citizen. It is made up of seven, eight or nine digits and is unique to you. It is also called “A-Number”, “A#”, “Alien Number”, “Registration Number”, “USCIS Number”, “USCIS Alien Number”, “USCIS#”, “INS Number”, “INS Registration No.”, “INS#”.
Question: Who will get an Alien Registration Number?
- Anyone who files an I-485 adjustment of status application with USCIS to apply for green card inside the U.S will be assigned an A-Number. The number will be indicated on the I-797 Notice of Action.
- Anyone who obtains an immigrant visa from a U.S. embassy/U.S. consulate will be assigned an A-Number. The number will be indicated on the immigrant visa stamp.
- Anyone who files an I-589 application to apply for asylum will be assigned an A-Number. The number will be indicated on the I-797 Notice of Action.
- Anyone who entered the U.S. as a refugee will be assigned an A-Number.
- Any F-1 student who obtains employment authorization document (EAD) will be assigned an A-Number. The number will be indicated on the EAD card.
- People who is a beneficiary of I-129F petition for fiancé(e), I-140 petition for alien worker, I-526 immigrant petition by alien investor, or I-360 petition for special alien might be assigned an A-Number. The number will be indicated on the I-797 Notice of Action.
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Question: Where can I find my A-Number?
Actually, you may find the A-Number in various immigration-related documents if ever assigned one.
Find A-Number on green card
Because USCIS redesigned green card several times, green card has different versions.
Find A-Number on EAD
Find A-Number on I-797 Notice of Action
There are many versions of I-797 Notice of Action. Each type of application or petition has its own version. As a result, the location of A-Number varies.
Find A-Number on immigrant visa stamp
Find A-Number on certificate of naturalization
Find A-Number on certificate of citizenship
Question: Why Alien Registration Number is important?
Alien Registration Number is the number that identifies noncitizen’s official files for all immigration and naturalization records created or consolidated since April 1, 1944. Such files are called Alien File, or “A-File”. With an A-Number, USCIS may easily locate all immigration records that applicants ever have. As a practice of USCIS, one alien should have only one A-File or USCIS should combine all A-Files that the alien has into one A-File.
Question: How to fill out in the application form if I never have or forgot an A-Number?
You may just leave it blank or type “N/A” if you never have one. If you forgot it, you may write down “Forgot”.
Question: How to fill out in the application form if my A-Number only has 7 or 8 digits?
Just add 0 in the beginning to make the number with 9 digits.
Question: Is it possible that one has two or more A-Number?
Yes. Even if you are not mandatory to provide all of them when filing application to USCIS, it is advisable to provide all A-Numbers so that USCIS may easily combine all immigration records identified by each A-Number to one A-File.
Question: Is an A-Number the same as a Social Security Number?
No. Although it also has nine digits and is unique to the holder, a Social security number is issued by the Social Security Administration and is used for tax and related purposes. Please see our article Social Security Numbers for Foreigners for more information about whether you as a non-citizen need to have one and, if so, how to request it.
Question: Is an A-Number the same as a USCIS Case Number?
No. USICS Case Number is also known as USCIS receipt number. It is a 13-digit number that begins with three letters followed by a series of 10 digits. You may always find an USCIS case number in an I-797 Notice of Action issued by USCIS when filing an immigration-related application to USCIS.
Question: Is an A-Number the same as a Green Card Number?
No. Green Card Number is a 13-digit number that is printed on a permanent resident card (“green card”). You may learn more about it in our article Where to Find Green Card Number?
Question: Is an A-Number the same as a Visa Number?
No. Visa Number is a red number located in the bottom right of a newer issued U.S. visa. You may learn more about it in our article Where to Find Visa Number?
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