How Will I Know if USCIS Started on my Case

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When will my case get underway at USCIS? Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States, at our office here in St. Louis, Missouri. We’ve been getting a lot of good feedback, not everyone likes the green screen so I’m probably not going to go back into the studio until Monday. And then I’ll knock out a batch of videos to keep our street going. We’ve filed a video every day since January 1st, 2020. We’ve got a lot of good engagement and I thought I’d shoot today’s video to talk about how you can find out when your green card case or your citizenship cases actually underway at USCIS. Now, in the old days, when I first started practicing in immigration, you would get your receipt notice back in about two weeks, if you can believe that. And the USCIS, the Citizenship and Immigration Service has put in a lot of procedural roadblocks that slow all that down.

Now, all the forms are sent to a lockbox where there are government contractors, or where there at least used to be government contractors who would open up those packages, process them, assign them a case number, and then send out your receipts. That process has slowed to a slow crawl, and now it takes about four to six weeks to get your receipt notices. If you filed for adjustment of status, say you would file your I-130, your 45, your I-131 for your travel document, and in your I-765 for your work card. And after your case is underway, you’ll get receipt notices back in the next, like I said, four to six weeks. And these will have case numbers and priority dates. Your priority date is your place in line, that’s when they’re supposed to be working on your case, it’s sort of the first in, first out.

They’re going to work on the older cases first, but your priority date is a way that you can keep track. Now, USCIS also issues such receipts in N-400 naturalization cases, N-600 certificates of citizenship and for I-751s for petitions for removal of conditions. All these are ways that you find out that your case is underway. Now, if you file online, you might get an alert sooner, you might find out your case number sooner, but we really still prefer to do the paper route. We like having proof that it was delivered. And one of the great things about paying with a check is you get proof that the check was cashed. And so if you’re anxious and worrying about where your receipt numbers are, your receipt notices are, go ahead and keep checking with your bank to see if the checks were cashed.

That’s going to be your first sign. And if you can see the back of the check, sometimes you can even see the case number that was assigned, and then you can start tracking it electronically. Once you get your receipts, you should definitely sign up for e-alerts because sometimes things get lost in the mail. And it’s good to know that something’s on its way. You want to make sure to sign up for those electronic alerts on the uscis.gov website. One of the great things about working with a lawyer is that we also do, that we keep track of that for you. But for the most part, you’re probably going to wait about four to six weeks to get your receipt notices back these days. The one hack that we have is to check the checks, to see if they’ve been cashed. If they’ve been deposited in the USCIS bank accounts, and you can sort of keep track that way.

If you’ve gone four, six weeks and you haven’t received a notice that your case has been receipted, then you might want to be concerned. You might want to call the USCIS number. This is another reason why it’s really good to file your case by Federal Express so that you at least have proof that it was delivered and signed for. We don’t usually send things through regular mail. At the very least you should use certified mail return, receipt, requested. We hope you found this video helpful. If you did give us a call (314) 961-8200, you can email us at info@hackinglawpractice.com. We also have this Facebook group it’s called Immigrant Home, you might like it in there.

We share a lot of good immigration information and people talk about their cases and their processing times, and all those things. That’s called Immigrant Home, and if you just asked to join, as long as you’re not selling English as a second language, we’ll let you in. And then finally, if you like this video, please share it out on social, and also please subscribe to our YouTube channel so that you get updates whenever we make videos just like this one. Thanks a lot and we’ll see you tomorrow.

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