Home » Visas » USA » H1B Visa » H1B Visa Case Receipt Number, Petition Number – IOE, EAC, WAC – Meaning?

H1B Visa Case Receipt Number, Petition Number – IOE, EAC, WAC – Meaning?

USCIS accepts various kinds of H1B petitions, such as new H1B cap-subject petitions, petitions for H1B extensions, H1B petitions for the transfer of companies, and H1B cap-exempt petitions. One thing is common: they all receive an H1B Receipt Notice from USCIS indicating they received the H1B petition.

When you look at the USCIS-issued Receipt notice for the H1B petition, it would have a receipt number or case number. This number can be used to track the petition’s status with USCIS.

If you are new to the process, looking at the long number and guessing what that number means can be puzzling. In this article, we will cover what the H1B Case Receipt Number or Petition Number indicates by looking at each of the letters in the H1B Case Number.

As a background, if you are a first-time H1B applicant, you will need to go through the H1B Visa registration Lottery process, and only if you are selected in the H1B lottery, then you would be eligible to file an H1B petition with USCIS. Also, the H1B petition can only be filed by a Company. As an applicant, you cannot file the H1B petition alone.

What is the H1B Visa Case Number? Petition Number?

USCIS sends a “Form I-797C, Notice of Action” after they receive the H1B Petition. This form is called the H1B Receipt Notice. It is a generic form used to notify the receipt of a petition or application, but the Class requested field indicates whether it is a receipt notice for an H1B petition or not.

As part of sending the H1B receipt notice, USCIS assigns a unique case receipt number for every H1B petition they receive. The receipt number consists of 13-digit alphanumeric characters and typically starts with three alphabets, like WAC or EAC, based on where it was filed.

This 13-digit alphanumeric number is called the H1B receipt or H1B Petition Number. It appears at the top of the H1B Receipt Notice (Form I-797C, Notice of Action), as shown in the screenshot below.

H1B Receipt Number on USCIS Receipt Notice
H1B Receipt Number on USCIS Receipt Notice

H1B Petition Number vs. Receipt Number

People sometimes use the term “H1B Petition Number” and ask for the “H1B receipt number”. This can be confusing if you are new to it. The “H1B Petition Number” and the “H1B Receipt Number” or “H1B Case Receipt Number” mean the same thing and are often used interchangeably.

On some websites, you may be asked to fill out the H1B Petition Number; in some cases, you may be asked to enter the H1B receipt number or USCIS H1B Case number. In all these cases, you would use the same 13-dight alphanumeric number on the H1B receipt or approval notice. If you are filling out the H1B Visa Stamping application, you will asked to fill out the Petition Number, which is nothing but the H1B Case Receipt Number.

Understanding the H1B Case Receipt Number, Petition Number

Of the 13-digit alphanumeric characters that are part of the H1B Case Receipt Number or Petition Number, each set of characters has a specific meaning. We need to break them out properly to understand them correctly.

We should break down the H1B Case Number into sets of characters grouped like below:

  • EAC—24—128—50345 ( example for H1B FY 2025 filed petition)

Now, let’s look at each of the groups of characters.

First 3 Letters of H1B Case Number: EAC, WAC, LIN, IOE, SRC

The first three characters 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).
  • IOE – IOE stands for Integrate Operation Environment(where the petition was processed); it is not a service center location but indicates that the petition was filed electronically or electronically scanned and processed. In the H1B petition context, it was scanned at a shared service center and then processed. The service center details will be at the bottom of the receipt notice.

Following 2 Letters of H1B Case Number: Year of filing

The following two digits indicate the year when it was filed. It is not the fiscal year but rather the calendar year when the petition was filed. Do not try to read something that says WAC2023XXXX to think it is related to the year 2023, you should only look at the following two letters after the first three characters.

  • For the H1B Visa FY 2024 season, it would be 23
  • For the H1B Visa FY 2025 season, it would be 24

Subsequent 3 Letters of H1B Case Number – Computer Working Day

The next three digits indicate the computer working day of the USCIS fiscal year that starts from October 1st. It indicates the computer workday 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 workday indicates only working days and not weekends.

For example, if it is October 20th, it would be the 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 websites like TimeAndDate to compute that number.

  • For April 8th, it would be 128.

Subsequent 5 Letters of H1B Case Number – Actual Case Number

The following five digits is the actual case number and is assigned based on some internal USCIS logic. There is no guarantee that it would start with 0001 and go in sequence. Sometimes, it may start with 5; sometimes, it may be with other digits as well.

  • One sample number would be 51244

Below is a nice visual explaining the H1B Receipt Number format. It is the same as any other USCIS Receipt Number format.

USCIS Case Number Format - What they mean
USCIS Case Number Format – What they mean

How to Check the 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 the decision.

You can read Steps after H1B Lottery – Flow Chart to know more on the next steps

Did I miss anything?  Any other thoughts to add?


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  1. Hello, do you get a Receipt Number just for applying for H1B? or only when selected? My employer has applied on my behalf through a law firm, but they do not have a receipt #.

  2. Does the case number received for any given H1B approval will be same for extensions too ?? I have received an update on the same case number which was updated at the time of my H1 B extension and now the renewal is under process , once gain i have received an update under the same case number ?

    • Hi Ravi

      Just to clarify! Was your receipt number the same for your H1B extension? My company is applying for my H1B extension. My current H1B expires in mid June. I am planning to visit (home) in the summer – so naturally I need to visit the consulate to get my visa stamped. For that, I need to fill out the DS-160 to get an appointment and in that application I need to type my receipt number. So….my question is will the receipt number be the same as the one that I currently have? Or will the H1 B extension application generate a new receipt number that I need to enter in the DS-160 application?

  3. About the 3rd three-digit:

    The 3-digit may be working days count except for weekends. However, it should be added holiday for the extra delay days.

    For example: If the 3-digit is WSC 21 190 *****, then it will be opened around 6/15/2021 because there are 6 USA holidays between 10/1/2020 and 6/15/2021.

    Excel or google sheet: =NETWORKDAYS(‘start date’,’end date’)+’2020 holidays +2021 holidays before the end date’

    ex) NETWORKDAYS(10/1/2020,6/15/2021)+3 +3 = 190, it means number 190 will be opened the files at 6/15/2021

  4. Is it possible to file for Premium Processing without knowing the receipt number. My Case was filed but the attorney’s office keeps saying that they can only file for PP once they receive the receipt. Is this true?

    • Abis,
      Yes, you need to receipt number to upgrade. They cannot trace your petition, without having receipt number as it was already filed.

  5. Hi – I have old receipt number for h1-b picked up on 2017. But due to some project issues it didnot go through. But when I see the status has still not updated to denied. It’s still in “Response To USCIS’ Request For Evidence Was Received“. Can that be used for new h1 non cap filing with another employer? Please reply if you have any idea.

    • Kirankumar,
      No…even, if you had approval, most of the times they need stamping to be done to be cap exempt. It is a grey area…

  6. Kumar,
    My i94 expires on 03/13/2020.
    My employer filed for H1b extension and amendment.
    It reached the USCIS office on 03/11/2020.

    My attorney has not received any receipt yet.
    Am I eligible to work after i94 expiry?
    or should I stop working until I get the H1b receipt?


    • Rahul,
      As long as it was filed before expiry and it was extension, you should be fine. You can work. Check with your attorney as well on this to be sure.

  7. Hi,

    H1 and H4 extension were filed together on Jan 15th, H4 receipt was received and H4 biometrics was also received on Jan 20 to be done Feb 5. But H1 receipt not received by the employer or attorney. It has been three weeks and H1 receipt not received and visa will be expired on March 31. Will there be any issues. Please suggest how to proceed further.

    • Vijaya,
      Check with your attorney to email or call the customer service. It could be that they tried to deliver it to attorney office…Not sure, they should follow up with USCIS…Dont worry, your application has reached for sure, so you are in period of authorized stay…

  8. My H1b transfer receipt number starts from WAC-19-081-XXXXX. Though my application was filed in november 2018 by an employer. Is it possible year will change . ?

    Please help me in understanding that. Does anyone facing same situation ?


  9. Hi Saurabh, the start date for h1b is october 1st but if my visa gets approved and if stamping is done can i be there before october first? If yes, how many months prior can i be there?


  10. Hi, I’ve received a receipt number from my employer starting with WAC. how much time will it take for the further processing of approval? and what will be the next process after it gets approved? Mine is a regular case and as I’ve received my receipt number can I upgrade to premium processing now as it is already 22nd May. Please help with the info.


    • Dileep,

      Regular processing can take months, say 2-6 or more. If you want to upgrade to PP, that is an option available to your employer. Still the start date cannot be prior to Oct 1.

    • Bob,

      Yes, it is possible. However, it would take considerable time to become US citizen. First you need to have green card which can either be sponsored by a US family relative or a US employer. Once that green card is approved, citizenship can applied 5 years later.

  11. Hi,

    I file my H1 B extension in premium processing, it got approved but country of citizenship was wrong in the approved petition. then my attorney has filed amendment for the same and two months are passed still I did not get any information not even receipt number. Could you please help what to do in this case.

  12. Hello,

    I have valid visa until 2017 but my employer has filed an amendment for change in location, now I got a new WAC no.. Will that be an issue if I travel outside US.

  13. Hi, my lawyer only gave me my case number, but it doesn’t look like the info I found online, and I couldn’t figure out what’s my receipt number and still waiting to know the status now. Would be great if you could kindly help me with it –
    Here’s the only info I got
    Case Number: I-200-15064-628868 Received: 2015-03-11 10:30:24.0 This is a confirmation email that the ETA Form 9035E – Labor Condition Application for Nonimmigrant Workers covering 1 worker(s) for the position of xxxxxxx during the period of employment beginning 09/04/2015 through 09/03/2018 (case number I-200-15064-628868) has been received and submitted for processing by the U.S. Department of Labor.

    Thanks so much!

    • What was your case receipt date?
      My “Case was received date” is 13th April 2015. And Case# starts with EAC15146*****. Is yours similar number?
      Yours was regular processing or premium?

        • Does your petition# start with EAC15146?
          I am just trying to understand which date was your case receipted.
          e.g. ‘146’ in ‘EAC15146*****’ indicates receipted on 1st May.

  14. Hi,

    My Employer said my H1 got seleted in lottory on May 20th. But he said they didn’t get ant EAC tillnow. Is there anything wrong?

  15. Hi,

    I have received an email from my employer stating that my H1B lottery status is Awaiting.
    Few people have received status as accepted.
    What are my chances?
    Are there any hopes?

  16. Hello,
    My employer said that my cheque has been cashed by the USCIS but I did not get any receipt. He informed on April 22nd, I’m still waiting for the receipt. Any comments on this or anyone with same situation?

    • Hello PSK,

      Based on my knowledge, your filed petition might not yet known to your employer. If your H1B petition is selected in the lottery then USCIS will inform your employer with H1B case receipt number (no specific time for regular processing). Once your remployer receives form USCIS then they will inform you the same. So just wait for the updates from your employer.

  17. Hello ,

    Currently I am holding valid H1 visa from Wipro.
    Due to change in client I would need amendment process.
    How long the Amendment process will take normally ? Any Idea ?

    Thanks in Advance.

  18. @Lanchister

    I am a H1b holder , but didn’t get a chance to travel yet. Would like to know if i change my job then my new employer would be able to transfer my H1B or there would be some legal issues since i didn’t travel even once with my current employer.
    Changing employer while in India is legitimate and easy process ?
    Need kind help as I am badly stuck.

    • Hi Rahul, if your H1B petition was approved in last 6 years, you are cap exempt and any employer can file your H1B transfer. It doesn’t matter whether you travelled on that visa or not. i believe the process is easy and your new employer can do it. Timeline will depend on the fact that whether it is being filed under Premium or Regular processing.

      So no need to worry 🙂

  19. Dear Saurabh,
    Thanks to replies on my previous query on L1-B extn and H1B last year…It was helpful and I was able to come back on H1B.

    Current H1B expires (Visa and I-94): 10/31/2014
    H1 Extension: Applied (Normal) – 2 days before

    It looks like I have to make a urgent visit to India and is unavaoidable. It will be in the month of August (arund 15th). Now, please suggest me on the following….

    1) Can I travel when my H1 extension is pending?

    2) There are less chances that my extension getting approved within 3-4 weeks. But if it happens, can I travel to India and come back with my previous H1- stamp and carrying this extension document and be safe to return. Will I be questioned at POE for my stay beyond 10/31/14.

    3) Do I have to reapply for extension after I come back ?

    4) My spouse on H4 – Is it legal for her to stay here when Iam out of country. Does she gain any out of status days? I have my GC running and so dont want to messa round.

  20. Hi,

    Can any one please let me know how to track my H1b Status as I do not have any unique number except my Employer ID.
    If any one are aware of tracking the status by name please post the websites here.
    Kindly do the needful.

  21. Hi ,

    Could any one of you help me in finding the lottery status of my H1B Quota 2015??

    Kindly suggest some websites where I can find them as I don’t have any unique number except my Employer ID to track.

    Appreciate you help..

    Thanks in Advance!!.

    H1B status Waiter

  22. Hi
    I have not received the rejection letter nor any receipt number. Mine case is NON AD/PP. Please advice, very very upset.Any slightest bit of hopes?????

  23. I got H1b receipt on April 21st but still my status showing on website case not found. I am really worry now, not sure what is going on.

      • In case receipt is received, update on USCIS site is appearing after some processing is done. I recd my receipt on 4/14, but i could see an update only on 5/6.

    • Finally got my H1b approved and in post decision activity after long wait. I was not able check my online status until today afternoon. i just checked on 14th may evening , it appear with post decision activity. relax now…

  24. Hi Saurabh/ Friends,

    My number was picked in the lottery and now I have got RFE on Employer-Employee relationship. I am in EVVC model and I managed to get the letters from all the layers. In all of my letters, it is mentioned that my Employer controls and review my work. It also states that only my employer is responsible for paying the salary, benefits and expenses of mine. In case I need any technical input, training, performance reviews, equipment, tools and assistance, the same will be provided only by my employer and they only have rights to assign me to different client or projects. In-fact I have mentioned my supervisor’s name also from my employer in the letter.Ultimately it says only my employer can control and supervise my activities and no one else.
    So are there any chancec that my petition can still be denied? I am little scared as I have read at many places that EVVC is not the ideal model and chances of denial are very high.
    Thanks in advance for your valuable inputs!

    • You should not face any problem. I had a similar rfe and I was a part of EVVC model too. I had replied with all the relevant documents and it got approved. You should be fine

  25. Guys pls clear my doubt

    I got my h1b visa approved two days back and rite now i am in US with h4 visa so now can i travel to india and come back with my h4 visa?

      • If your application was filed with a COS(change of status) your H4 is not valid anymore. If you go to india, you can only come back after Oct 1st with valid H1 visa stamp


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