The USCIS receipt or case number is one of the most commonly used numbers, by immigrants and lawyers alike, to track the progress or identify a particular immigration case or filing.
These receipt numbers start with three letters followed by a series of numbers, for example EAC-15-123-45678. Here is how to understand what the numbers mean.
Processing Service Center
The first three letters indicate the USCIS service center which is processing the petition, as follows:
– EAC – Vermont Service Center;
– VSC – Vermont Service Center;
– WAC – California Service Center;
– CSC – California Service Center;
– LIN – Nebraska Service Center;
– NSC – Nebraska Service Center;
– SRC – Texas Service Center;
– TSC – Texas Service Center;
– MSC – National Benefits Center;
– NBC – National Benefits Center;
– IOE – ELIS (e-Filing); and
– YSC – Potomac Service Center.
The next two digits represent the fiscal year in which USCIS received the petition. In the example above, “15″ means that the petition was received by USCIS during Fiscal Year 2015. Note that the government fiscal year runs from October 1st until September 30th.
The next three digits represent the computer workday on which the receipt was processed and the fee was taken. This represents the sequential workday on which USCIS is accepting cases for intake. In the example above, 123 would indicate that this was the 123th processing date of the fiscal year. If necessary, a date of filing can be calculated starting from October 1st.
Case Processing Number
Finally, the last five digits are used to identify uniquely the petition filed. Our observation has been that these are sequential numbers which are issued as cases are being processed at the intake facility. Cases filed together are often given sequential (or close to sequential) numbers for the last five digits (and overall).
Difference between Lockbox Facilities and Service Centers
Please note that there is a distinction between a lockbox facility and a service center. Many USCIS cases have to be filed at a designated “lockbox” facility, as indicated in the relevant form’s instructions. A lockbox facility is essentially a case intake processing center – it is staffed by people who do initial case review such as checking whether all forms and filing fees are included. Assuming the case is properly filed, the lockbox staff would generate a receipt notice (and number), assign the case to the appropriate service center and forward the case file for further review and adjudication by the service center.
Applicants who have a pending USCIS application can check the status of the application online by using the receipt number.
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