A Receipt Notice, also as known as Form I-797C, Notice of Action, is the first letter you will receive from the USCIS after filing most of the petitions. Normally, applicants will receive it within 1-3 weeks after the USCIS receives the petition. In the receipt notice, the USCIS will state either your petition is rejected (when not filed appropriately) or they have accepted your petition and notify you of how they will process it. There are a few other important items listed in the letter like:
Once you get your receipt number, you will be able to check your case status online at the USCIS official website. In most cases, you will see the case update before any more notice of action arrives to your mailbox.
Case Processing Center
There are several different USCIS service centers. Normally, the service center or USCIS office responsible for your petition will be stated in the letter. If not, the first three letters of receipt number also indicate the service center that is processing your petition.
You will need this date later on when you schedule the interview.
Date When Filed
You will need this when you send a inquiry to USCIS.
What if I never received a receipt notice?
Since this is the first notice you get from USCIS, and you won't know your receipt number until you get the letter, you are not able to check your case status online with your receipt number. The average time to receive receipt notice is 1-3 weeks and sometimes it can take up to one or two months due to current workload of the USCIS. So make sure you pick a postage service that provides a tracking number. In most scenarios, you will receive your receipt notice sooner or later as long as USCIS has received your petition. Secondly, if you have used personal check to pay the USCIS fee, check with your bank see if your check has been cashed. If your cash is cashed, that means your petition has been accepted by USCIS. If you still did not receive anything from USCIS, it might mean the letter is lost or your address is not deliverable and the letter has been returned. If you think your letter is lost or being returned, you should make an InfoMod with your local USCIS office.