What is a USCIS Case Number?
After filing a K-1 Fiance Petition or any other type of application with the USCIS, you will receive a Notice of Action on form I-797. The first block on this form lists your USCIS case number (although the form calls it a Receipt Number).
This will always be 13 digits. To be more exact, this identifier will contain three letters and 10 numbers. The case number can tell you a lot.
Here’s how case numbers work.
We will use the fictitious case number EAC-11-002-99999 for our example.
The first three letters indicate the USCIS center where your case was filed. These are the codes:
WAC – California
LIN – Nebraska
EAC – Vermont
SRC – Texas
MSC – Missouri
So we can see in our example that we filed at the Vermont Service Center.
Next, we have a two-digit number indicating the fiscal year in which your visa application was filed. For the U.S . Government the fiscal year starts on October 1st. For example, the fiscal year of 2010 for the U.S. Government started on October 1st 2009 and ends on September 30, 2010. The government’s fiscal year 2011 will start on October 1st, 2010. Leave it to the government to keep things confusing.
So for our example, the digits 11 indicate that our case was filed in fiscal year 2011, which hasn’t actually started yet (it starts on October 1st, of this year). Obviously, your actual receipt number will not have a future date.
Now we move on to the third set of numbers, a three-digit number. These numbers indicate the working day of the fiscal year in which your visa was filed. Now notice I said working day, not the actual day. So in our example, the 002 would be Monday, October 4th. October 2 & 3 are Saturday and Sunday so they are not counted. Again, the government likes to make things as difficult as possible.
The last set of numbers contains five digits. This number simply represents your place in the total count of applications received.
The very cool thing about this number is that you can use it to check your case status by going here: Check USCIS Case Status. When you enter your case number, you need to remove the dashes. So for our example, we would enter EAC1100299999. You can try that number now if you want to see how it works. Of course, it will tell you “your case can not be found” since this is a face case number.