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Do you have a case pending with immigration's United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or submitted an immigrant visa petition that is being processed by the U.S. Department of State or National Visa Center (NVC)?  Regardless of whether you have an attorney or not, there is a way for you to find out what the status of your case is.  In this week's article I will be giving you information on how you can check the status of your own case. Even though I am an attorney, I will be the first to tell my Thai people: You don't need an attorney for this - you can do it yourself! 

Status Check for Cases Pending with USCIS

There are different ways to check the status of your immigration case with USCIS.  Let's say you (or your attorney) submitted a green card application, and you want to know what stage it is at. One way to find out is to call the USCIS National Customer Service Center (NCSC) directly at 1-800-375-5283. Listen for the prompts and select accordingly. Be prepared to give them your full name, case number and any other identifying information that you may be asked. (Note: this number can also be used if you have not received your receipt notice for an extended period of time). For the hearing impaired, NCSC's TDD number is 1-800-767-1833

Another way to check the status of your case, which I actually think is a quicker way, is to visit USCIS' online case status checker at:    Under "Enter a Receipt Number", enter the receipt number you received on your I-797C, Notice of Action form. You can generally find your "receipt number" near the top left portion of this document. It'll be 13 characters long, with the first 3 characters being alphabets. (i.e., MSC1234567890, or WSC0987654321, etc).  Click "Check Status" and voila! You're case status should be up.

Processing Time Check for Cases Pending with USCIS

Now, let's say you checked your case and you now know what stage your case is being processed at. But, now what?  How do you know if your case is proceeding normally or if your case is taking a longer time than usual?  Well...then you check the "processing" time of your case. You do that at:  (or if you followed the directions above for case status, scroll down that same page for "Related Tools". Click on "USCIS Processing Times Information"). Once you are on USCIS' website, scroll down to the bottom and enter the appropriate service center or field office handling your case. Now click on the button to the right for your case's "processing time".  Once you do that, you'll be given a processing timeframe for your case. Compare this with you case and you'll know if your case is within the timeframe and normal, or outside of the processing time and needs attention.

Immigrant Visas

For those of you who have submitted a visa application, you can check the status of your visa application at the U.S. Department of State's website at:  

Under "Visa Application Type", enter whether your case is a Immigrant Visa (long term, permanent) or a Nonimmigrant Visa (short term, temporary). Then in the box underneath that, enter your case number exactly as it appears on your reciept. Once done, click the red button marked "Submit". That's it. Your case status should be up for you to review


So, let's recap: You don't need an attorney to find out the status of your case. There are a bunch of ways to find out the status on your own. Of course, if you need one or encounter difficulties, you can always contact me to assist you.  Immigration can be confusing and/or frustrating. We are here to help you.  I've been providing my service to the Thai community for over 10 years.  Please do not hesitate to contact my office at (818) 846-5639.  If you have any questions you would like to be answered in future articles, please email me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or see my website at: WWW.JC4LAW.COM for general information regarding this and many other topics in Business, Property and Family Law.


Disclaimer: The information contained herein have been prepared for informational purposes only and are not to be considered legal advice unless otherwise specified. If you have a specific question regarding your personal case, please contact the Law Offices of Joseph Chitmongran for a full consultation.