When you file an application, petition, or a benefit request with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), they issue a receipt notice indicating that your application was received by them on a particular date and they are processing it. As part of the receipt notice, there is a ‘Receipt Number’ that can be used to check the USCIS Case Status online. There are various components that make up the USCIS ‘Receipt Number’. In this article, we will look at what are those components in the USCIS receipt number, what they mean, and how you can use them for tracking your case, including common FAQs.
Before we get into the details on the format of a USCIS receipt number, let’s briefly look at what is USCIS Receipt notice is, how does it look, and where to find the receipt number.
What is USCIS Receipt Notice? How does it look ?
USCIS Receipt Notice is a document that is generated by USCIS after they receive an application, petition, or benefit request with them. USCIS only generates receipt notice for applications that meet basic criteria. If some of the basic requirements are not met, they usually reject the application and return the application package back to the applicant.
The USCIS Receipt notice generated is sent to applicants as ‘Form I-797C, Notice of Action‘. The top of the receipt notice indicates this form number and details. The I-797C form generated has an indication on it that says ‘Notice Type‘ as ‘Receipt Notice‘, which confirms that it is a USCIS Receipt Notice.
The Receipt notice also has details about the application or case type, the received date, receipt number, applicant name, and other important information. The applicant or attorney, who files the application with USCIS gets the physical copy of the receipt notice mailed to them. Below is a sample of how a Receipt Notice Looks. It is a sample receipt notice for an H1B Visa petition that was filed with USCIS.
What is USCIS Receipt Number ? Where to Find ?
USCIS Receipt Number is a 13 digit number that appears on the USCIS ‘Receipt Notice’ as described in the above section. You can find the ‘Receipt Number’ on the Receipt Notice ( Form I-797C) that is sent by USCIS. It appears on the top left side of Form I-797C under field name called as ‘Receipt Number’.
Below is a screenshot that indicates on where to find ‘Receipt Number’ on a ‘Receipt Notice’. This is the same receipt number that is used to track your case status on the USCIS website.
You can only find ‘Receipt Number’ on the Case Receipt notice that is generated by USCIS. The ‘Notice Type’ on the I-797C form has to say “Receipt Notice” to have the receipt number on it. You do not find the ‘Receipt Number’ field on other types of form I-797C notices like “Registration Selection”, which is generated by the online USCIS system as part of the H1B Registration Lottery Process.
Now that we know all about receipt notice and where to find the receipt number, let’s dive into the details of the USCIS Receipt Number format
What is USCIS Receipt Number Format ?
USCIS receipt number that is generated by the USCIS online case management system is based on a set of criteria to indicate where it is being processed, when it was filed, etc. It is a 13 digit number. The receipt number always starts with 3 alphabets like EAC, WAC, etc. It is followed by a 10 digit number.
USCIS Receipt Number has two main formats. The format depends on the filing location of the application or petition with USCIS as listed below :
- USCIS Service Centers
- USCIS Lockbox Location
USCIS Receipt Number Format – Sent to Service Centers
If the petition or application filed with USCIS is sent to the USCIS Service centers for processing, the generated13 digits USCIS receipt number can be broken down into the below components.
- Receipt Number Format : XXX—XX—XXX—XXXXX
- Example : EAC—21—128—50345
Below screenshot is a summary of the format of the USCIS Receipt Number and what each of the letters means, when the application is sent to Service Centers. We look at each of these in detail in the next sections.
USCIS Receipt Number Format – Sent to Lockbox
If the petition or application filed with USCIS is sent to a USCIS Lockbox facility for processing, the generated13 digits USCIS receipt number can be broken down into the below components .
- Receipt Number Format : XXX—XX—X—XXXXXXX
- Example : EAC—21—9—12850345
We look at each of these in detail in the next sections.
USCIS Service Center Code
The first three characters (from left, XXX—XX—XXX—XXXXX) of the 13 digit USCIS Receipt number are alphabets. These three letters are nothing but short forms for the USCIS Service Center that the filed application or petition is processed at. Below are the short forms and their corresponding service center names. Though these three letters are not exact current abbreviations, they correspond to the previous names used by USCIS for the service centers.
|Receipt Number first 3 Letters||USCIS Service Center Name||Abbreviation / Old Name|
|EAC||Vermont Service Center||Eastern Adjudication Center|
|WAC||California Service Center||Western Adjudication Center|
|LIN||Nebraska Service Center||LIncolN Service Center|
|SRC||Texas Service Center||Southern Regional Center|
|YSC||Potomac Service Center|
|MSC||National Benefits Center||Missouri Service Center|
|NBC||National Benefits Center||National Benefits Center|
|MCT||MCT is a prefix used for I-539 COS/EOS|
|IOE||Electronically Filed or ELIS||IOE is a prefix used for online filings|
In addition to the above, you may also see many use the below 3 letter codes for Service Center abbreviations. They do not necessarily appear in the USCIS Receipt number format but are used for general reference as a short abbreviation. You can read more at Complete USCIS Service Center Codes, workload transfer
|USCIS Service Center Abbreviation||USCIS Service Center Name|
|CSC||California Service Center|
|TSC||Texas Service Center|
|NSC||Nebraska Service Center|
|VSC||Vermont Service Center|
USCIS Fiscal Year
The next two digits (from left, XXX—XX—XXX—XXXXX ) after the first 3 letters indicate the ‘Fiscal Year’ when the petition or application was filed with USCIS. The fiscal year for USCIS starts from Oct 1st and ends on Sep 30th of next year. For instance, USCIS Fiscal Year 2022 would start on October 1st, 2021, and end on September 30th, 2022.
- For example, If you have the receipt number that says EAC2112850345, it means your petition was application was filed in USCIS Fiscal Year 2021, which started on Oct 1st, 2020 and ends on Sep 30, 2021.
Computer Working Day from USCIS fiscal year start date.
In most of the cases, the next three digits (from left, XXX—XX—XXX—XXXXX ) after the first 5 letters indicate the computer working day when the application or petition receipt number was generated. The computer working day is counted from the start date of the USCIS Fiscal Year, which is October 1st. The computer working day is counted excluding the weekends and holidays.
Below are some of the examples of the Computer Working day
- If your application was filed with USCIS on October 1st, it would be 001. It would look like EAC2100150345
- If it is like October 20th, it would be about 14th working day and say 014. It would look like EAC2101450345
- If we are looking at April 8th, it would be 128. It would look like EAC2112850345 Total there are 135 week days and 7 are Federal Holiday between Oct 1st and April 8th. So, you subtract 7 from 135 (135 -7 = 128), that’s how we get 128. You can use wolframalpha website to know weekdays count kind of queries
In some cases, you may not see the computer working day and see something different. For example, see the case number WAC2190000001. If you see 900 in here does not correspond to a computer working day. This is a real case number shared by users. So, some exceptions do happen for some case types.
Actual Case Number of USCIS Application or Petition
The last five digits (XXX—XX—XXX—XXXXX ) indicate the actual Case Number assigned to the application or petition that you filed with USCIS. This number is generated based on a host of factors like Case Type, Location, and then a sequence number on that particular date.
There is no publicly available information on what each of the case types would start with or how they get generated by the service center. Usually, for H1B Visa petitions, that are filed using form I-129 you would start with a number 5. For example in case number EAC2112850345, the 50345 is the case number and 5 indicates it could likely be an H1B Receipt number. Read more at H1B Receipt Number Format, What it means
Most of the applications or petitions do get a receipt number, if they are accepted by USCIS. But, some of the submissions like H1B Registrations do not get a receipt number. Also, you do not get USCIS Receipt Number for service requests or submissions like Address Changes AR-11 Form
No, they are not the same. USCIS Online Account Number (OAN) is a unique number assigned only for certain online forms. It is also called as USCIS ELIS Number. You cannot use USCIS Online Account Number to track application case status.
Did you got a sense of the USCIS Receipt Number format ? What has been your experience ?