If you have applied for a green card (permanent resident card) in the United States, you may be wondering how long it will take for your application to be processed and approved. You may also want to know if there are any updates or changes in your case status. Fortunately, you can check your green card status quickly and conveniently in several ways.
In this article, we will explain what a green card is, why you need to check your green card status, and how to check your green card status online, by phone, or in person.
What Is A Green Card?
A green card is an official document that proves that you are a lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the United States. It allows you to live and work in the U.S. indefinitely, as long as you abide by the laws and regulations of the country.
A green card also gives you many benefits, such as:
- The ability to travel outside and re-enter the U.S. without losing your status (subject to certain restrictions and limitations)
- The eligibility to apply for U.S. citizenship after meeting specific requirements (such as continuous residence and good moral character)
- Access to certain social services and programs (such as Social Security and Medicare)
- The protection from deportation or removal (unless you commit certain crimes or violate immigration laws)
Why Do You Need To Check Your Green Card Status?
There are several reasons why you may want or need to check your green card status regularly,
- To know how long it will take for your application to be processed and approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which is the agency that handles immigration matters in the U.S.
- To monitor any updates or changes in your case status, such as requests for additional evidence, interview notices, approval notices, etc.
- To detect any errors or mistakes in your application or case information that may affect your eligibility or outcome.
- To prepare for any actions or steps, you must take during or after your application process, such as attending an interview, paying a fee, submitting biometrics, etc.
Checking your green card status can help avoid delays, complications, or application denials.
How To Check Your Green Card Status Online
One of the easiest and fastest ways to check your green card status is online using the USCIS online tool.
To use this tool, you need to have your case receipt number. This is a unique 13-character identifier that USCIS provides for each application or petition it receives. It is used to identify and track its cases.
Your receipt number consists of three letters followed by ten numbers. For example, MSC-123-456-7890.
After filing your application, you can find your receipt number on notices or documents you may have received from USCIS. It is usually located in the top left corner of the notice.
How To Find Your Receipt Number
If you do not have your receipt number or you have lost it, here are some tips on where to find it:
- If you filed your application online, you can log into your USCIS online account and view your case history. Your receipt number should be displayed there.
- If you filed your application by mail, you can check the copy of Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance, that you attached to your application. This form confirms that USCIS has received your application and provides your receipt number.
- If you filed your application through an attorney or representative, you can contact them and ask for your receipt number.
- If you do not have these options, you can call the USCIS Contact Center at 1-800-375-5283 and request your receipt number. You will need to provide some personal information such as your name, date of birth, address, etc.
How To Interpret Your Case Status
Once you have your receipt number, you can enter it into the USCIS online tool and click on “Check Status”.
You will see a page that shows your case status and some basic information about your case.
There are different case statuses that may appear depending on where your case is in the process. Some of the most common ones are:
|My Case Was Received||USCIS has received your application or petition and assigned a receipt number to it.|
|Request for Additional Evidence Was Mailed||USCIS needs more information or evidence from you to process your case. You will receive a notice with instructions on what to submit and by when.|
|Response To USCIS’ Request For Evidence Was Received||USCIS has received your response to their request for additional evidence. They will resume processing your case.|
|Case Was Approved And My Decision Was Emailed||USCIS has approved your application or petition and sent you an email notification. You may also receive a notice by mail with more details.|
|Case Was Denied And My Decision Was Emailed||USCIS has denied your application or petition and sent you an email notification. You may also receive a notice by mail with more details and information on how to appeal or file a motion.|
|Card/ Document Production||USCIS has ordered your card (such as green card, employment authorization card, etc.) or document (such as naturalization certificate, travel document, etc.) and will mail it to you once it is ready.|
|Post Decision Activity||Your case is pending further action after being approved or denied by USCIS. This may include administrative review, background checks, security checks, etc.|
I hope this helps you understand the different stages of your case status.
How To Check Your Green Card Status By Phone
Another way to check your green card status is by phone using the USCIS Contact Center. To use this option, you need to call 1-800-375-5283 (TTY: 1-800-767-1833) and follow the automated instructions.
- You will be asked to enter your receipt number using your phone keypad.
- You will then hear an automated message that tells you your current case status and some basic information about your case.
If you need more assistance or have specific questions about your case, you can also speak to a live representative by choosing that option on the phone menu. However, be prepared to wait for a long time before reaching someone, as this service is often busy and understaffed.
How To Check Your Green Card Status In Person
- You can choose an office near your location and a convenient date and time for your visit.
- You will need to bring your appointment confirmation notice, your receipt notice, and a valid photo ID with you.
- At the office, you can ask an officer about your case status and any issues or concerns you may have.
- You can also request a copy of your case file or submit additional evidence if needed.
However, be aware that not all offices offer the same services or have access to the same information, so you may not get a satisfactory answer or resolution at every office.
How To Check Your Green Card Status By Mail
The last way to check your green card status is by mail by sending a written request to the USCIS office that is processing your case.
- To use this option, you need to write a letter that includes your full name, date of birth, address, phone number, email address, receipt number, and a brief explanation of why you are requesting your case status.
- You should also attach a copy of your receipt notice and any other relevant documents to support your request.
- You should mail your letter to the address listed on your receipt notice or on the USCIS website.
- You should expect to receive a response from USCIS within 15 to 30 days after they receive your letter.
However, this option is not recommended unless you have no other way to check your case status online, by phone, or in person, as it is slow and unreliable.