After you file an application or petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services “USCIS” you and/ or your attorney will begin to receive vital updates on your case from USCIS through the U.S. mail. Most case updates are printed on a form I-797, Notice of Action document.
While the amount of I-797 documents issued for typical USCIS case filings has increased in recent years, we have found that USCIS’ ability to deliver such notices reliably through the US mail has not increased. This results in the occasional I-797 notice that is not issued, misdelivered, lost or delayed in the mail process.
We encourage our clients to set up a MyUSCIS account online where foreign nationals can input data from their I-797 notices and receive immediate updates regarding actions taken by USCIS on their case.
A MyUSCIS account can be used to track the status of any USCIS filing, but it is especially helpful in matters where:
- The USCIS is expected to issue multiple notices for a given USCIS matter;
- When a family has filed multiple applications at the same time resulting in multiple receipt notices;
- When a foreign national anticipates moving their residential address before a case is finalized by USCIS; or
- Matters where the USCIS is expected to send notices regarding fingerprinting appointments such as applications filed on form I-485 and I-539, in person interviews or other urgent items that need acted upon within a finite period.
Suffice to say, it is useful and pragmatic to have a second point of contact to receive case updates to ensure that valuable case information is received about any matter that you have pending before the USCIS.
Please follow these steps to set up a MyUSCIS account
Step 1: Go to the MyUSCIS Sign Up page.
Step 2: Enter your email address and click “Sign Up.”
You will use your email address to create and log in to your USCIS online account. USCIS will send all email communications to this address.
Step 3: Confirm your account.
Step 5: Create a password and click “Submit.”
Step 6: Choose how you want to receive a verification code (such as text, email, or authentication app) and click “Submit.”
Every time you log in to your USCIS online account, you must enter a one-time verification code. This provides an extra layer of security for your USCIS online account.
Step 7: Enter this verification code and click “Submit.”
In the future, every time you log in, you will receive a one-time verification code via email or text message, depending on how you chose to receive it.
Step 8: When you create an account, you will also receive a two-step verification backup code. Print or save a copy of this code and keep it in a safe place. Click “Proceed.”
Step 9: Select password reset questions and answers.
Step 10: Welcome to your USCIS online account. You can choose the USCIS service you want log into. In this case, select MyUSCIS.
Step 11: Under Account Type, select “I am an applicant, petitioner, or requestor” OR “I am a legal representative” and click Submit.
You should receive a confirmation message in the email account you provided us, confirming that you have successfully created your USCIS online account.
Step 12: Receive confirmation that you have created a USCIS online account.
You should receive an email confirming that you have successfully created your USCIS online account.
Adding a Paper-Filed Application or Petition to your MyUSCIS account in order to receive case updates
Once you have logged into to your MyUSCIS account, click on “My Account” and then “Add a paper-filed case” in the drop-down menu.
Find the receipt number on your I-797 notice. The receipt number is a unique thirteen (13) digit number that is assigned to every visa application filed with USCIS. The number usually begins with the letters MSC, WAC, EAC, SRC, LIN. On most I-797 notices, it will be located in the top left of the document under the label “receipt number.”
Enter your receipt number and you can then see your case status and history.
If you did not file your case online but have a receipt number that begins with “IOE” and the Online Access Code you received on your USCIS Account Access Notice, you can add the case to your MyUSCIS account and be able to see case status, case history, send secure messages and view notices.