Understand H1B Visa Receipt Number? Meaning ? Track Status USCIS

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 270 Comments

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

XXX—XX—XXX—XXXXX

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 2019 Fiscal year, it would be 18 as you are filing in year 2018.
  • Sample Format :  EAC – 18 – 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 2018, 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 – 18 – 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 – 18 – 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 ?

   

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Comments ( 270 )

  1. ABK

    Hi,

    I just checked the uscis case tracker to check the case status and it shows approved.
    But the only thing which makes me wonder is that the update shows that it was approved on May 4, 2014 which is yesterday (thats a sunday).

    I looked at the PP definition and it shows they’ll process in 15 calendar days .. do they mean including weekends or 15 uscis calendar days(which exclude weekends and holidays)??

    AD/PP/Vermont

  2. Info needed

    Hi, My employer received 5 receipts by post on Friday last week. Does that mean I have no chance now ? or I can still wait ? Do they send all the h1’s picked for a particular employer at once ?

    1. Raghu

      No. They send out the receipt notice as and when they process the application. There is no consolidation of receipt notice shipment at the employer level. You can wait till this weekend to see if you are through. After this week, chances are slim but not impossible .

  3. Raghu

    Hello – I am in Non-AD/RP/Vermont

    My checks have been encashed by USCICS on 4/24, but I haven’t received the receipt yet. I was thinking that I am selected on the lottery.

    My employer tells me that just because checks have been processed, does not mean that USCIS will process my H1 application. That statement made me really nervous.

    What is your take on this?

  4. xguru

    i was informed by my employer that my cheque got cleared and that i have made if through the lottery. my case was filed via Vermont so has to be EAC, i do not have a receipt number yet but will provide that once available.

  5. raj

    I have receive my receipt no and the current stage in USCICS shows as Initial review , does it mean I am selected in Lottery.

  6. Ali

    I applied for H1b premium process and currently I am on f1 and did my undergrad from USA university. My friend has a same case as mine but he didn’t do the premium process and he got his receipt number and I am in the middle of now where. Do you think that my h1 was not picked up in lottery?? Since I did premium processing and people under regular are getting receipt numbers and I haven’t receive anything?? Please advice me and your blogs are great keep it up 🙂

  7. raju

    Finally i received the good news from my employer.Selected in the lottery.Last year i was not lucky enough to get selected in the lottery. This forum really kept my days and hope alive. i was able to get lots of information from here.

    Mine was NON-AD/RP/VERMONT. EAC-141445xxxx

    Thanks ALMIGHTY!!!

  8. H1b Finally

    My employer emailed me that my petition was selected in the lottery. I haven’t received any case number yet. Kind of relieved!! Mine is Ad/RP/CA and I am third time lucky. Wasn’t selected in lottery earlier and had to leave US a good 4 years back. Though I am doing good in my career now, I always wanted to work in the country where I studied. Hope I make it this time.

    Good luck to those who got selected/approved. And to those who didn’t get through, do not lose hope, for you might get picked up next time.

  9. Godisthere

    My application is Ad/Regular processing and until today, it was saying case not found and today it has moved to following message, in post decision activity.

    On May 2, 2014, we mailed you a notice that we have approved this I129 PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER.

    Mine is regular category and it has already moved to approved stage.. I am so Happy.. I was rejected last year due to RFE.. I wish you guys all the very best. Don’t loose hope.

    1. @Godisthere

      Were you able to maintain status and continue to stay in US despite last year’s RFE OR you are oustide of US and planning to fly back in OCT-14 ?

  10. Rajesh

    “USCIS announced today that data entry of all FY15 H-1B cap petitions has been completed. USCIS will now begin returning all H-1B cap petitions that were not selected in the lottery. ”

    Got this email from USCIS as I have subscribed for alerts. USCIS tweeted this too. So I think today they finished sending the receipt and if we don’t get it by next week, GAME OVER 🙁

    1. Jashmi

      Now that Data entry is done, Does that indicate that if we didn’t get news(receipt/acceptance mail) on our application by May 2nd then our application is not picked in lottery.Or should we wait for at least a week or 10 days to get receipt/acceptance mail.I am Non-Adv/RP

      1. Asian

        Receipts generated today would have been sent through snail mail….no more receipts will be generated….almost 87000 applicants will feel broken….

  11. AD/PP/CA

    Just Got My H1B Visa approved. It was in acceptance since April 11th. It moved from ‘acceptance’ to ‘Post Decision Activity’. WAC141335XXXX. 🙂

  12. Surprise!

    Guys, You don’t believe this!. Yesterday my attorney received my ‘Approval Notice’ over the mail. The interesting part is, My attorney never received the Receipt number so far and he received this email with receipt number and message stating about my approval. I am a silent follower of this site and this is the second time I am trying my luck here. I almost lost hope (myne is RD/PP/EAC) and was planning on other options Plan B . All my hard work paid on ‘Labor’ day !! So don’t loose hope ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN AT ANYTIME !! After all this is just a tiny drop in one’s sea called LIFE.

    1. Tia

      Congrats, mine still shows in acceptance, i dont know wht will happen now, will they accept it or ill get a RFE..??

      1. Asian

        if u have all the documents ready, then answering RFE will be a cakewalk….any good attorney will take care of that…..

  13. Kumar

    Any idea about approval changes and time frame for H1B Appeal?

    Initial Review

    On January 15, 2014, we transferred your I129, PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER, to your local USCIS Office for further processing. The new office has jurisdiction over your case and will send you a decision as soon as processing is complete or you will be notified if further information or action is needed. If you move, please use our Change of Address online tool to update your case with your new address.

    Regards,
    Kishroe

    1. GUess

      Same thing showed to my friend… but not to worry.. some local USCIS officers comes to your client location and just asks for you that they will check is it real or fake.

          1. Godisthere

            My application is Ad/Regular processing and until today, it was saying case not found and today it has moved to following message, in post decision activity. My number starts with EAC14136…..

            On May 2, 2014, we mailed you a notice that we have approved this I129 PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER.

            Mine is regular category and it has already moved to approved stage.. I am so Happy.. I was rejected last year due to RFE.. I wish you guys all the very best. Don’t loose hope.

          2. Dukesilver

            I checked many receipt number starting with Eac14135*****
            Half of them do not exit, the other part is divided into ” decision” and rfe status…
            I want to avoid the rfe status

    1. Neeraj

      I also have same issue. i got receipt notice on April 21st and it started EAC14136*****. But still i am seeing record not found on dashboard when type my number. Worry now…

  14. Amit

    Hi,

    Need Urgent help.

    I am planning to travel to India on 4th May via London-Frankfurt-Mumbai.
    Do i need transit visa in London and frankfurt.
    Both stopover duration is 2 hours & not planning to go outside airport.

    I will really appreciate your help.

    Thanks
    Amit

    1. Q.c

      You don’t need any visa for transit flights
      If you want to leave the airport then you need visa otherwise you are good to go.

    2. usgrad

      If you have valid US visa, then you can travel through Frankfurt without any transit visa. However, if your visa in not valid (expired), then you need a transit visa (even if you are at the airport). I don’t know about London. Please check their websites for accurate information. Don’t rely (100%)on the information obtained from blogs/forums.

    3. Zahed

      Hello Amit,

      There are certain rules which have changed at heathrow Airport. They are charging for the transit visa Even if you land there for a 1 minute and doesn’t get out of the plane. If you have landed at the airport you have to pay the transit Visa fee (Around $ 121.00 I think). Best is consult a travel agency just for confirmation purpose.

        1. Zahed

          Yes you will get it on arrival. Better please ask a travel consultant before booking the flight. These days people are getting hard times at London while travelling.

  15. PP petitions

    I’m a little worried again – the forum is flooded with approvals for PP petitions (mine included) – which is great – but none of our lawyers received the emails USCIS needs to send for approvals – are we getting happy too early?

  16. ST

    I’m hoping I won’t offend anyone, because I know there are a lot of people who are tensed because they didn’t receive their receipts and all.
    For all the PP applications that were approved – did your lawyer received the confirmation email? Mine shows up as approved on the website (post – decision step), but the lawyer didn’t receive the confirmation email yet – i know things should be good, but I’m a little, very little tensed until I see the papers or a confirmation email that their online status is accurate (since USCIS had so many issues with their online platform)

    1. Noah

      Hi,
      I have the same experience. I found out on the 29th that my petition had been approved and was now in ‘post decision’. Today I emailed my lawyer and asked if she had gotten the mailed notice from USCIS. After congratulating me, she expressed that she surprisingly hadn’t received any mail as of yet. However, she wrote she wasn’t surprised by it as there appears to be some degree of disorganization and chaos right now with the H-lB processing, which is inevitable given the enormity of the task. She said it still is too early after the approval to be concerned by the lack of receipt of notification to the lawyer. She suspected that she would be hearing from them soon, and that she would keep me informed of any communication she receives from USCIS regarding my H-lB petition. So, don’t worry. USCIS did after all get 172,500 petitions this year! Cheers!

      1. ST

        I’m hoping it will be over soon … I got an answer for other immigration lawyers on a different forum. For PP applications – uscis will send an email to the attorney (although they said this doesn’t happen all the time) and in my particular case, if an i-94 number is mentioned, the change of status was approved. The actual mailed papers should take anywhere from 4 to 14 days. I’m planning to speak to my attorney next week in case the USCIS is not sending the email to maybe give them a call – not sure if he’ll make time for that.

  17. SR

    All,

    Firstly would like to wish all those waiting for the receipt BEST of LUCK.. I hope and believe that everyone gets it. Importantly have faith in your abilities and there is ALWAYS a work around although it might be a complicated one at times, but it surely will be worth it..

    I have been a silent reader of this forum and i would like to thank each and everyone for their comments, statements of strength and support, well-wishes and prayers. I will have you all in my prayers and once again wish everyone the best!!

    My H1 (EAC-14-134-XXXX) got approved this morning and i felt i had to share this with you all although it might not be of such importance than my words mentioned earlier.

    All the best, have faith and GOD bless ALL!!

  18. C

    I see others tweeting @immigrationcom and the attorney said there is still hope for PP. Others can also tweet and ask him

    1. Lost Hope L1 to H1

      How could you receive?. It should the attorney receiving it. And did you check with your employer if their cheque is encashed

      1. Samir

        I got it from attorney. I have not checked with my employer if cheque is encashed. Just wanted to know if I receive NIV number does that mean I am through H1b lottery?

  19. Aarti

    My employer informed me that my check’s got cleared last thursday(4/24). Does this mean, I am through in the lottery? I haven’t received the receipt yet.

    I am Non-AD/Regular Proceeeing/ Vermont.

    1. rk

      Congrats! This info is helpful as it gives some clarity on the possible gap between events. My legal team says they have applied for 5000+ petitions for various employers and it is impossible for them to check if the checks are cleared for each candidate and asked me to wait.

      1. Rk

        Who would know about the check status? Attorney or the employer? Shouldn’t be the employer as the check is issued on their account?

  20. AC

    Was stuck at Acceptance stage since 11th of April. Last night around 7PM EST (When Vermont center should have already been closed), got an email from USCIS tracker update that case has been updated. Checked It was in Post Decision. Then started to receive same email over and over for about 15 times from them. Today at 9Am EST its at the Decision stage.

    1. Scientist

      Their system was supposed to be in scheduled maintenance during the time you got the messages, so I would just ignore.

      But yeah, it is amazing how behind their setup is.

  21. Confused

    Hi Guys
    This is how my status changed over the past month:
    Till April 29th – Case Not Found
    April 30th Morning US Time – Request for Evidence
    “On April 30, 2014, we mailed a notice requesting additional evidence or information in this case I129 PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER. Please follow the instructions on the notice to submit the requested information”

    April 30th Afternoon US Time – Initial Review
    “On April 30, 2014, your Alien Registration Number was changed relating to your I129, PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER. Please check our website at www.uscis.gov for further updates on your case”
    Anything simillar happened to other people? Am I a RFE case? (Non-AD/PP/Vermont) Thanks in Advance !

      1. optimist

        How long could we wait for non ad / pp . Can we hope for approvals .fingers crossed please tell any positive reply

  22. Dutchman

    Got the news from my employer that I passed the lottery yesterday and checked the USCIS website just now and…

    my application got APPROVED 🙂

    Awesome, two years on living in uncertainty on a J1 come to and end.

    Keeping my fingers crossed for friends and all of you.

    (Non-AD/PP/CA

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Congrats ! Please update the H1B Tracker with your details, including decision date from USCIS. It will be used to compute average processing times once we have enough data. Also, any additional details will help others as well.

      1. Dutchman

        I was notified by my company on Monday that I passed the lottery and found out that my application was already approved by USCIS yesterday.

        Though the result of the lottery was probably already known by my company for a few days/weeks (?).

  23. Vermont center

    I got my receipt number from my lawyer on April 14th. I still cannot track it on the USCIS website. Vermont center AD/PP. It says, ‘Case cannot be found at this time’..It is worrying me a bit. Is anybody else having the same problem? Please reply.

    1. st

      yeah – there a bunch of us in the same situation – non-ad/pp/vt – receipt eac141345XXXX – i’m hoping we’ll hear something soon – this week will be great

          1. Vermont center

            Congrats ST. Is your receipt number from VT center? Can you tell me the first few digits? It will indicate the date it was received. I can expect some thing based on that. Mine is EAC141345XXXX.

            Thanks!

          2. ST

            thanks! sure – yes, VT – EAC141345XXXX If they are processing them by day – you should get an answer soon! Fingers crossed!

          3. ??

            ST, my guess is that yours was not approved till 2 and then it was approved when you checked around 2:50, right?

  24. LooserForThisYear

    Guys I am following this website from the last 1 month. I have seen many Emotional & Happiest comments that i have never seen before in my life

    Congrats for the one who went through lottery and All the very best for the one who didnt.

    Coming to the point Me & My friend applied H1B this year (AD/PP/VMT). He is lucky and went through lottery and got approved with out any RFE. Every minute i refresh my Outlook to see whether i can get a good news from My HR. It would be great that from next year USCIS will start sending the Packets who didnt go through the Loterry first.

    Any ways we all decided to stay in USA. Lets face the worst situation. Nothing will be worse than this.

    Be Happy and make your family happy

    Regards

  25. AC

    Got my receipt on the 11th. Tracking it online still shows to be on Acceptance stage. Seeing other receipt numbers +-5 from my receipt number on either Decision or Post Decision stage gets me wee bit worried now. Why would it take so long to even get to Initial review.

    1. ndk

      Same with me. Got receipt 10th April. Some nos before and after mine got H1 approved. Not sure how they are handling it, any idea?

      1. AC

        I don’t think there is any way to know how they handle it, as its their internal process which will never be made public.
        What I am more interested is how many application are each officer assigned at a time.
        Looking at some further receipts, 01 thru 09 on some sequence are receiving RFE and some from 01 to 09 are getting all approval.

  26. Pablo

    Got receipt yesterday.

    Regular quota & processing. California.
    Receipt was sent to attorney on 04/23 and they got it yesterday and sent to me right away.

    USCIS website shows “Initial Review”.

    Thank you all… Don’t loose hope guys, I was confident I would go through all the time, keep it positive!

  27. prayinghard

    AD/PP/CA. The USCIS website shows approved. I am strongly praying that others, apart from duplicate applicants and bodyshoppers/consultants, sail through this smoothly.

  28. Sanjuu

    Hi,

    I didn’t get any Receipt no still now and random selection is done.

    Still there is any hope to get the mail with Receipt no.

    Thanks is advance…

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