How to Check Green Card Case Status?
Updated on 01/08/2022
Once you have finished filling out your immigration forms and compiling your evidence, the next step involves a bit of trust. After your green card application is out of your hands, you will first want to make sure that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has received your application for permanent residence. Then, you may begin to worry that your green card case materials are sitting in a pile somewhere at a USCIS service center, remaining untouched. Fortunately, there are several helpful methods to check green card case status.
1. How to Confirm USCIS Has Received the Application?
Most people have experienced the misfortune of a lost piece of mail or package sometime during their lives, and therefore they want to ensure that an important mailing reaches the recipient. There are several ways to check that a green card application has reached the USCIS.
USPS Tracking Number
Clearly, one of the simplest ways to ensure that the USCIS has accepted your green card package is by mailing it via USPS’s Priority Mail or with a tracking number. That way the applicant can check with the postal service to confirm delivery by using the tracking number.
G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions
For several immigration transactions, including green card applications, the USCIS allows applicants to provide their credit card number on a Form G-1450 and then place it on top of their application when they mail it. Therefore, when the applicant sees that the USCIS charged their credit card for the filing fees, they will know that the service center received their green card application.
Form G-1145, e-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance
Like the G-1450 form, the Form G-1145 can be placed on top of a green card application when it is mailed to USCIS. The USCIS will send either an email or a text message within 24 hours of acceptance of an application or petition. Furthermore, the message will provide the applicant/petitioner with a receipt number.
2. Check Green Card Case Status with a myUSCIS account
United States citizens (USC) and lawful permanent residents (LPR) who want to apply for a green card for a relative can submit their I-130 form online. Filing of I-130 form is the first step to help qualified foreign relatives to immigrate to the United States. To file an I-130 form online, the USC or LPR petitioners need to set up a myUSCIS account first at the website of USCIS. Through myUSCIS account, the USC or LPR petitioners can check their I-130 case status, upload documents to USCIS, and send message or case inquiry to USCIS.
However, if applicants plan to file Form I-130 concurrently with Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, it is recommended to file them together by mail.
Unfortunately, other categories of immigrant petitions like Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor, Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, cannot be filed online. Therefore, applicants are not able to check case status for these immigrant petitions through myUSCIS account.
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3. Check Green Card Status through USCIS Online Services
Those who don’t have a myUSCIS account, can still check on their green card case status by using their receipt number through USCIS online services. The receipt number should be visible on several immigration documents.
If the green card applicant submitted a Form G-1145, the text message or email that they will receive from the USCIS will indicate their receipt number. Otherwise, they will receive an I-797C Notice of Action in the mail (or in their myUSCIS account if they apply online) that will include a 13-digit receipt number. They can enter this number on the USCIS website to check case status of their green card applications.
They can also set up a USCIS account only for check case status (see account sample below) at the website of USCIS. After setting, they should add all receipt numbers for their applications to this account and activate email alert and/pr text message alert. By doing so, once USCIS has any update to their applications, they will receive an email or text message notification automatically. Occasionally, the email or text message notification function fails to work properly. Whatsoever, USCIS will send applicants an official I-797 Notice of Action in the mail (or in their myUSCIS account if they apply online)when there is any update to the applications. This case status checking method is also good for other types of USCIS applications.
4. Check Case Status by Calling USCIS
Applicants can always call USCIS at 800-375-5283 to check their USCIS case status. TTY for the deaf, hard of hearing, or person with a speech disability is 800-767-1833. They should have their I-797C Notice of Action and a pen at hand when calling. If they are unable to understand English, they should have an interpreter beside them when dialing a call to USCIS.
5. Submit a Case Inquiry to USCIS
If you have been waiting for what seems like too long for your green card, you should probably check the average processing times for your type of application, whether you have submitted an I-140, I-130, I-485, or some other form.
When you check the case status and find that it has not been processed, you can submit a case inquiry to push USCIS to process your application if that are outside normal processing times. However, if you have received a Request for Evidence or an update to your case status during the past 60 days, your case is not outside normal processing times.
If you prefer to use the telephone instead of going online, you might also consider submit a case inquiry by calling the USCIS Contact Center. You can reach them by dialing (800) 375-5283 (TTY: 800-767-1833).
6. Check Green Card Status with NVC
After an immigrant petition for green card is approved for someone who is living abroad, the USCIS transfers the case to the National Visa Center (NVC) for consular processing. The applicant now works toward obtaining the green card by submitting the Form DS-260 online. Here, the green card applicant is dealing with the U.S. Department of State. NVC is one of agencies of the Department of State.
NVC will notify applicants of their case status through email address listed in their immigrant petition form and/or DS-260. If they forgot to list an email address or want to change a new email address, they can provide or update their email address through Ask NVC. They can also check case status through Ask NVC. After green card applicants appear at an immigrant visa interview at a U.S. consulate, they can do immigrant visa status check to figure out whether they are issued an immigrant visa successfully by the visa officer.
For those who are already living in the United States, they may be eligible to apply and wait for green card through Form I-485 inside the United States. There is no USCIS online option for the I-485 application, but applicants can do I-485 status check through the methods described above.
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