Most of the H1B Visa Applicants, who are picked in H1B Visa registration Lottery process would file their H1B petition with USCIS. Once USCIS receives a H1B petition, they would issue a Case Receipt number that can be used to track the status of H1B petition. Usually, employer or attorney would share this number with an applicant. If you are new to the process, it can be puzzling to look at the number and guess what each of that means. In this article, we will cover what the H1B Case Number given by USCIS would mean by looking at each of the letters in the H1B Case Number.
What is the H1B Visa Case Number ?
USCIS would assign a case receipt number for every H1B petition filed with them. It is a 13 digit number and typically starts with three alphabets like WAC or EAC based on where it was filed. Each set of characters mean something in the case number.
We should break down the H1B Case Number into sets of characters grouped like below:
- EAC—20—128—50345 ( example for FY 2021 Case)
Now, lets look at each of the groups of characters.
First 3 Letters of H1B Case Number EAC, WAC, LIN
First three digits indicate where the H1B petition was filed.
- EAC – Vermont Service Center (old name: Eastern Adjudication Center).
- WAC – California Service Center (old name: Western Adjudication Center).
- LIN – Nebraska Service Center (LIN refers to Lincoln, Nebraska).
- SRC – Texas Service Center (old name: Southern Regional Center).
Next 2 Letters of H1B Case Number – Year
Next two digits indicate the year when it was filed. NOT the fiscal year. Do not try to read something that says like WAC2017XXXX to think it is related to year 2017, you should only look a the two letters after the first 3 characters.
- For H1B Visa 2021, it would be 20
- For H1B Visa 2020, it would be 19
Next 3 Letters of H1B Case Number – Computer Working Day
Next three digits indicate the computer working day of the USCIS fiscal year that starts from October 1st. It indicates the computer work day, does not include weekends and holidays. USCIS computers do not work on weekends and USA National holidays :-). October 1st is when the fiscal year starts for USCIS. If your H1B 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.
- For April 8th, it would be 128.
Next 5 Letters of H1B Case Number – Actual Case Number
Next five digits is the actual case number. Most of the times, it would start with a 5 for H1B Cases that use form I-129. It is also is the number that was assigned to on a particular day. There is no guarantee that it would start with 0001.
- Sample number would be 51244
Check out detail article: Understanding your H1B Visa Case number
Check H1B Case Status on USCIS.gov
After you receive your H1B Visa Receipt case number, all you would have to do is to track the status on USCIS website. Read How to Check H1B Petition Status on USCIS website.
Premium Processing for H1B :
If you were to file H1B visa petition under premium processing, you would have received the case number and a confirmation email that your petition was received by USCIS and it is under processing. Usually your attorney or your employer would get that information. Once your case is approved, similar email with approval status would be updated via email. A hard copy would be emailed after the emails to the address specified in petition.
Regular Processing for H1B :
If you were to file your H1B visa petition under regular processing, you would not necessarily get an email from USCIS, rather you would get a hard copy receipt mailed to your employer or attorney. Also, decision information would be mailed to your attorney or employer after decision.
You can read Steps after H1B Lottery – Flow Chart to know more on next steps
Did I miss anything ? Any other thoughts to add ?