If you’re reading this article, that means you’ve taken all the required steps, paid the fees, and obtained your USCIS receipt number. But remember that the real challenge begins now- waiting for your application to be processed.
This waiting game can be nerve-wracking as it involves few barriers, government delays, and constantly evolving regulations. However, you can take control of the situation by monitoring your USCIS case status.
By surveilling your application’s processing time, you can lower the tension level and stay informed about your immigration journey. In this article, we’ll explore some effective ways to track your USCIS case status and make your wait a lot more bearable.
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How to Check USCIS Case Status
Among the multiple ways to check the USCIS case status, it’s important to note the most effective ways to check and verify the status. Here’s the list of potential modes:
Did you know that tracking your visa status processing times for your USCIS case is now possible online? Yeah, it’s true! The USCIS website now offers a handy tool that allows you to get a better understanding of the processing times for your particular case. All you need to do is enter your form number and the office that’s processing your case.
You can now track the processing times for your USCIS visa status by phone, whether you’re located within or outside the United States.
You can now receive automated updates on the processing times of your USCIS case visa status. Simply sign up to take advantage of this service.
Checking Your Case Status Online
No need to waste time and energy. Checking your USCIS case status has now become convenient with online methods. To initiate, all you need is your I-797. You can see your receipt number in the top left-hand corner of your I-797.
Follow the following steps and get it done, once you get your I-797:
Enter the 13-digit USCIS receipt number as it is without the hyphens.
Click the “Check Status” button
Checking Your Case Status on the Phone
You can check your case status on the phone as well. The least you’re supposed to do is to provide your receipt number. Over the phone, you can call 1-800-375-5283 or TTY 1-800-767-1833. If you’re outside of the United States, you can call 212-620-3418 or get in touch with a USCIS international field office.
Afterward, the automated system will inform you that there’s a high volume of calls and suggest visiting their website to see if your question can be answered with their tools.
Following this, the system will remind you that it can comprehend complete sentences and prompt you to state your request, such as “Check Status.” It’ll then request your receipt number. You’ve the option to either dictate the number or input it using the keypad. The system will repeat the number back to you to confirm its accuracy and then provide you with your case status. However, attempting to reach an agent by pressing “0” or any other key repeatedly is highly unlikely to succeed.
It’s always advisable that if you’ve a particular query, reach out to your immigration attorney.
Note: USCIS doesn’t accept emails inquiring about case status, as of 2018.
How to Set Up Automatic Updates to Check USCIS Case Status
Setting up automatic updates is one of the options to check USCIS case status. You can do it with utmost ease. It evicts the need to constantly check for updates This service is provided by USCIS free of cost and can be very useful for immigrants.
It is advisable to avoid third-party websites that charge a fee for this service. Being aware of any changes to your application status will allow you to take the necessary steps towards your U.S. immigration process.
To get an estimate of how long it will take for your case to be processed, you can check the processing times for each service center. To begin, choose the relevant form from the dropdown menu, then select your service center. Be sure to check the first three letters of your receipt number to see which service center is handling your case. Keep in mind that not all service centers process all forms, so the available options will depend on the form you select.
Once you’ve chosen your service center, the tool will show you the estimated processing times. It’s important to note that all times are estimates and the USCIS Processing Times page is updated monthly.
For instance, if you’re checking the processing time for an I-130 form at the California Service Center, the estimated processing time for a green card holder sponsoring a spouse or child under 21 years old is currently 23-38 months as of late 2023.
Current USCIS Processing Times in 2023
The duration of processing for a USCIS form can range from 3 months to 20 months on average. Nonetheless, each processing center has its own set of tasks, and its speed does not depend on other centers in the vicinity. The waiting period is also influenced by the type of form you submit and your individual application. Processing times are constantly changing, and you can check the current times for early 2023 below:
I-129 for H-1B applicants – California Processing Center: 2 months
I-129f for K-1 applicants – Nebraska Service Center: 5 months
I-130 for green card holders sponsoring foreign spouses – Texas Service Center: 5 months
I-131 for advance parole applications – National Benefits Center: 5 months
I-485 for family-based adjustment of status – Vermont Processing Center: 14 months
I-601 for applications for waiver on ground of inadmissibility – Nebraska Processing Center: 5 months
I-765 for applications for employment authorization for H-1B spouses (H4) – California Processing Center: 5 months
N-400 for applications for naturalization – Texas Processing Center: 5 months
N-600 for applications for certificate of citizenship – Vermont Processing Center: 5 months
Why Is USCIS Taking So Long to Process?
Wondering why the USCIS is taking time to process? The following could be the potential reasons:
The kind of visa you’re applying for is one of the most vital factors that influence processing times. For example, I-131 and I-130 visas have varying criteria, which means their processing times differ too.
Those who’re sponsored by employers or family members usually experience longer visa backlogs, especially under certain preference categories. Additionally, some beneficiaries and citizens from particular countries may have to wait longer due to unique circumstances influencing their applications. Checking USCIS processing times can give you an idea of how long you’ll have to wait.
Varying Regional Processing Times
The time of processing can differ based on the location. In some regions, offices may have more applications to manage, leading to longer wait times.
It’s important to note that faster processing times in other regions cannot be guaranteed. While certain locations may have a track record of quicker processing times, these patterns can shift, resulting in extended waiting periods.
Separation of Immigration Files
If there are many beneficiaries in a case, it requires different applications with different processing times and citizenship requirements. For instance, the process for sponsoring children and parents will vary extensively. Immigration documents may become separated at some point during the case, which could cause delays for specific individuals.
Continuing Disruptions from COVID
Although the COVID lockdown has lifted, USCIS operations are still experiencing delays due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic.
The process of recovering from the impact of COVID-19 on the government’s part is continuing, but once things are back to normal, USCIS processes should become more efficient. However, it may take some time for this transition to occur.
Sending Documents to the Wrong Address
In case you’ve relocated since your initial filing with USCIS, it is important to inform them about your address change to guarantee that all documents are sent to your new address. You’ll land yourself in trouble due to an incorrect address on file with USCIS.
Hence, it’s essential to ensure that your credentials with USCIS are accurate. If you suspect that USCIS has an inaccurate address, you should visit your local office to confirm and later provide them with your correct address to rectify the situation.
Inadequate Responses to Requests for Evidence (RFEs)
If you’re seeking to change your immigrant status, it’s crucial to submit a request for evidence at some stage. Delaying your response to RFEs or incorrectly filling out the necessary forms may cause a holdup in the process.
How to Deal with Longer Processing Times
Here are some suggestions that may help expedite the processing time for your immigration case:
– Inquire with USCIS to see if there are any potential opportunities to accelerate the processing time for your case.
– If you qualify for premium processing, consider filing your case using this service.
– Seek assistance from a congressional representative to help expedite the processing time.
– Contact USCIS and submit a service inquiry.
– In more extreme cases, you may need to file a mandamus action against USCIS to compel them to take action on your case.
What Can You Do if Your USCIS Office or Form Type Doesn’t Appear?
There can be instances when you’ll have trouble finding your USCIS office or form or experience delay as your case has been pending for over six months, in that case, you can file an inquiry with USCIS directly.
Remember that USCIS is constantly updating its website with processing times for all forms and offices, so you may be able to find the information you need at a later time.
Tips for Getting Through Processing
Quick tips to get through the processing times can aid you in multiple ways:
Create an account on the USCIS website and sign up for email notifications which will provide you automatic updates on the changes in your case status, thereby keeping you up-to-date, alert, and aware of the progress.
With enough patience and persistence, you can easily navigate through processing time and fulfill your American dream of living as a proud resident or citizen of the U.S.
Various factors play a role in ensuring faster or slower processing time. If other applicants receive faster responses during processing time despite sharing similar circumstances as you, then don’t be anxious and hold any grudge against the government. Your turn will too come.
To sum up, seeking the guidance of an immigration attorney can make your application process smoother and less stressful.
An experienced lawyer can keep you informed about the latest updates and changes, so you don’t have to constantly monitor your USCIS case status or processing times. H1Bvisajobs.com is highly recommended for their caring and personalized service, and they’re always available to address any concerns related to your application.