As USCIS continues to grapple with backlogs and extended processing delays, the issuance of receipt notices has also be impacted with some taking 3 weeks or longer to arrive by mail. Coupled with mail delivery issues at USPS, it has now become a challenge just to get the receipt notice in hand. It is no longer easy or expected to receive the receipt notice within a few short days.
Receipt notices are not just important for checking case status. Many H-1B beneficiaries, for example, must have the receipt notice so that they can extend their driver’s license. Receipt notices are also evidence of the lawful presence in the US and continued work authorization. Knowing that your application/petition was properly received by USCIS eliminates any worry about potential rejection and the need to re-file.
We are sharing a shortcut to getting the receipt number instead of waiting for the receipt notice to arrive by mail. If you are concerned about whether or not the application/petition has been received, you may go to USCIS.gov and ask Emma. Emma is a computer-generated virtual assistant. It has an automated response function but can also connect you to a live agent who can in this case provide information about your receipt notice. We recommend waiting at least 5 business days before checking through Emma.
The basic step-by-step for using Emma for finding out receipt number:
- Cick on Emma on USCIS website (top right corner)
- Type: LIVE CHAT
- Select the option: Case Status
- When Emma ask you about the case number, select ” I do not have a case number”
- Wait to be connected to a Tier 1 representative
- After you are connected, tell Emma about the filing date and provide applicant’s name, date of birth and A number.
- If it is a company petitioned filing, company’s name, Tax ID and address may be required.
- If the case was accepted, Emma will provide you the case number and receipt notice mailed out date.