Once the H1B lottery/random selection is done for any year, the selected applicant’s employer would have got receipt numbers from USCIS. If your employer shares that number with you, you may wonder : What does the H1B case number mean ? What do I do with it ? Can I use it to track my case status ?
We see a quite a bit of cases in our H1B Visa Tracker, that they don’t know the filing center. If you understand the H1B receipt number, you would easily know that and update the same on the tracker to have accurate reporting. This article focuses on helping you understand the H1B Visa receipt number and how you can use it to track your case status online.
What is the H1B Case number meaning? Is there a format?
Firstly, H1B Case number is a unique number given by USCIS for tracking a particular case. Think of it like Social Security Number for an Individual in the US or a Hall Ticket Number for a student. The H1B case number is unique for a case. It is a 13 Character Number and usually starts with a three Alphabets. It follows a certain format as shown below. You can break it down in the below format of
The first three characters indicate the filing center of the H1B petition. It would be one of the below:
- EAC – Vermont Service Center (old name: Eastern Adjudication Center).
- WAC – California Service Center (old name: Western Adjudication Center).
- Sample format: EAC- XX—XXX—XXXXX
The second two characters indicate the filing year. It does not indicate the Fiscal year number. It is the actual year the petition was filed.
- For H1B Visa 2018 Fiscal year, it would be 17 as you are filing in year 2017.
- Sample Format : EAC – 17 – XXX—XXXXX
The next three characters indicate the computer working day of the USCIS fiscal year. It starts from October 1st of the fiscal year. So, for this fiscal year starting from October 1st of 2016, it would be 001 for Oct 1st, it increments for each working day and does NOT include Weekends and Holiday. This day corresponds to the day your H1B Case was receipted by USCIS, it does NOT indicate when they received your petition or filed.
- If your case was receipted on April 10th, it would be 130.
- Sample format : EAC – 17 – 130 – XXXXX
The next five characters indicate the case number that was assigned to your case on a particular day. For H1B Visa cases, it would typically start with a 5. USCIS typically assigns case numbers for all types of cases processed on a particular day. That’s the reason, we mentioned in article Misconceptions of H1B Processing, that you should not get confused with the case number increments saying that so many H1B cases were processed on a particular day.
- Sample format : EAC – 17 – 30 – 51344
What do I do with H1B Case Number ? Can I track status ?
H1B Case number is issued by USCIS to a petitioner to track the status of their case. You can use the H1B Visa Case number to track your petition status. All you need do is go to the USCIS website at URL : https://egov.uscis.gov/casestatus/landing.do and enter your case number there and click on check status. You will get the status information of your H1B petition.
Sign up for Automatic Email and SMS Updates for H1B Case Status Tracking
It can be frustrating to go to USCIS website and check the case status every day right ? USCIS has given a nice facility to get automatic updates. USCIS allows you to track your H1B Case status by signing up for automatic alerts via email and SMS. You can register an account at https://egov.uscis.gov and then enter your details and case number information to get automatic updates.
Any questions ? Comments ?