Decoding a USCIS Receipt Number aka “Notice of Action”


You’ve filed your petition with USCIS and have received your receipt notice in the mail, now what?

A receipt notice also known as a “Notice of Action” is sent by USCIS to an applicant/petitioner of an immigrant or non-immigrant benefit, to communicate information relating to receipt of the benefit requested, or to notify the applicant of a rejection, extension, transfer, re-opening, or of an appointment (for biometrics or interview).

Why is this notice important?

A receipt notice is important for two different reasons. Firstly, a receipt notice is an official government document that can be provided as evidence that your application has been received by USCIS. If you lose your receipt notice, you will no longer have an official record that your case was formally received by USCIS. Although it is possible to request a duplicate receipt notice from USCIS this process is time consuming and costly. So, make sure you are keeping your receipt notice in a safe place.

Secondly, a receipt notice contains a “receipt number” which is used internally by USCIS to track and identify your case. You will need your receipt number when communicating with USCIS about your case by mail, phone, or in person.

Moreover, for specific case types such as the I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident, the receipt notice plays a crucial role, because the I-751 receipt notice automatically extends a conditional permanent resident’s green card status for a period of 18 months, while the I-751 application is pending with USCIS.

Why else is the notice important?

Finally, the receipt notice is important to identify the service center that will be processing your application. When looking at your receipt notice or “notice of action” you will notice that your receipt number begins with three letters followed by a series of numbers, for example VSC-15-123-45678.

The letters that appear on your receipt number identify the particular USCIS service center that is processing your petition.

Why is this important? This is important because if you, or your attorney, need to get in touch with the particular service center that has your case, you will need to know what service center to get a hold of.

What do the digits mean in a receipt number? The first two digits of your case number represent the fiscal year in which USCIS received your petition. The following three digits represent the computer workday on which the receipt was processed by USCIS and the fee was taken by the agency. The last five digits of the receipt number are chosen sequentially to identify the petition filed. These digits are chosen during initial intake of the application.

Follow this table to determine which service center is processing your petition:

– 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.

Now you know all there is to know about receipt numbers. If you have any questions please contact our office.