Some of you may be trying to figure out what the heck is the long 13 digit H1B EAC case number that USCIS gives us. How do we decode the case number to understand ? What does each part of it stand for and how to decrypt to may be check the approximate processing time for your case. Here is how the USCIS case number looks like as in below image :
First three letters are alphabets and they indicate the location name of the service center where the H1B visa petition was filed.
- LIN – Nebraska Service Center (LIN refers to Lincoln, Nebraska).
- EAC – Vermont Service Center (old name: Eastern Adjudication Center).
- SRC – Texas Service Center (old name: Southern Regional Center).
- WAC – California Service Center (old name: Western Adjudication Center).
The two digits correspond to current year of the H1B filing. For year 2016, it would be 16. To clarify, this corresponds to the current year and NOT fiscal year of USCIS. For instance, if you have filed petition for FY 2017 quota, and it was filed in current year, which is 2016, it would be 16.
Day indicates the number of the computer work day starting from October 1st. October 1st is when the fiscal year starts for H1Bs USCIS. If it was filed on October 1st, it would be 001. It is a little tricky with this number, computer work day indicates only working days and not weekends. For example, if it is like October 20th, it would be 16th working day or something like that…For April 12th, it would be 134 as the weekends and federal holidays are taken out. You can use wolframalpha website to ask the exact week day after Oct 1st, you will need to add federal holidays to that number.
The last 5 digits indicate the case number that was assigned to on a particular day. There is no guarantee that it would start with 0001. Some say it starts with 5.
Caution – One Big Catch – Is this a H1B Case Number or What else ?
The Case Number that starts with EAC/WAC, etc does not just correspond to H1B Visa petition, similar case number is given by USCIS for all petitions that are filed using I-129 USCIS form , which includes visa types of H1B, H2A, H3, L1, O1, P1,P1S, P2, P2S, P3S, Q1, R1, E1, E2,E3, H1B1 or TN…Phew ! thats a lot of non-immigrant worker visa types ! Do NOT be misguided by information saying that every number that has above format belongs to H1B and make conclusions. One more thing, even, if you know it was for a H1B visa application, you have no way to figure out that it it was new, extension, transfer, cap subject or cap exempt. There are few websites that post statuses of these number by scraping the USCIS website, beware and do not just assume it is all H1B cap subject processing times…
You should check article on: H1B Statuses, Flow in USCIS System using the H1B case number . Also you can read article on How to check Processing times for H1B on USCIS website and see the approximate processing times at a particular service center too by selecting the case type and center.
Any other thing that I have missed on the case number ?