How to Monitor the Progress of Your Green Card Application

What is a Green Card?

A Green Card permits the possessor to remain in the United States permanently and to work there. The well-known immigrant visa also grants the holder of a Green Card nearly all the privileges of a US citizen as an official ID document. Form I-551, also known as the Lawful Permanent Resident Card, is the official name of the US Green Card. Anyone who wins the highly competitive US immigrant visa – whether through the Green Card Lottery or one of the other application procedures – is given unrestricted authorization to work and dwell in the United States of America. 

The American government issues more than a million green cards each year. The majority are provided to family members of US residents and current green card holders, with people from foreign nations seeking employment in the US coming in second. Depending on the sort of green card you’re looking for and where you’re applying from, the processing period can range from a few months to several years. Having a Green Card comes with its benefits as well as responsibilities.

Making a Green Card Application

The process of obtaining an immigrant visa is often the first step toward being able to reside and work permanently in the United States. You can obtain a green card in one of three ways: through employment; through family; or by winning the green card lottery. All applications are typically submitted to and handled by the United States. Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS).

Following USCIS’s approval of the Green Card application, the primary Green Card applicant will be invited to finish the “consular processing” at the US embassy in their country of residence. Depending on the type of Green Card, there are different entry requirements, application features and processes, waiting periods, authorities in charge, and prices. Choosing the Green Card category that pertains to you is the first step.

How to Monitor Your Green Card Status

Your immigration status is at stake while it may take many months for your green card application to be decided. Thankfully, you can track the progress of your application using the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. You can check the status of your application for a green card or monitor the delivery of one once it has been granted. Both within and outside the United States, applications are processed using the same procedures. The procedures for these two categories vary a little, though, and several organizations will handle the application’s final steps. When researching how to track your green card, be careful to be aware of the relevant agencies. 


Applying From Within the U.S.

USCIS will send an I-797C Form or Notice of Action following receipt of a green card application. Using this form, you can get a receipt number of 13 digits. Three letters and ten numbers make up the number. Visit the USCIS website and look for the Case Status Online Page to track a green card. In the search field, type the receipt number. Enter all other characters, but do not enter any dashes. The system will let you check the status of your I-485 after submission.

Applying From Outside the U.S.

An I-797C Form and an email or letter of notification are both sent by the NVC. This will have a 13-digit Case Number that is made up of 10 digits and 3 letters. Visit the Visa Status Check Page of the Consular Electronic Application Center, or CEAC, using your Case Number. Ensure that “Immigrant Visa (IV)” is selected as the visa application type. In the search box, type the Case Number. To check the status of your NVC case, use the verification code found below the search box.

By Mail

Applying From Within the U.S.

You must include a mailing address on the I-485 Form when applying for a green card. Throughout the application process, USCIS will mail all official notices to this address, including updates on your I-485/green card status.

Applying From Outside the U.S.

A mailing address is required on the DS-261 Form, I-130 Form, or I-140 Form when submitting a green card application. To keep you informed of the progress of your NVC Case or I-140, USCIS will mail all official notices to this address during the application process.

By Email

Applying From Within the U.S.

There is no way to track a green card or do a green card status check (or I-485 status check) for applications originating from within the United States via email.

Applying From Outside the U.S.

You can use a public inquiry form online to check the status of your NVC case. The U.S. Visas website has this form. Your name, birthdate, email address, NVC Case Number, and the name of your sponsoring relative (I-130 Form) or employer are required to submit a Public Inquiry Form (I-140 Form). The email address you provide on the public inquiry form will be used by the NVC to reply to a submitted form.

In Person

Applying From Within the U.S.

Without initially calling the USCIS Contact Center, you cannot schedule an in-person appointment. A Tier 1 agent will make an effort to respond to your question. If they are unable to give you a satisfactory response, they will pass you along to a Tier 2 representative. If the Tier 2 representative is unable to address your question, they will assist you in setting up a face-to-face meeting at the nearby USCIS Field Office.

Applying From Outside the U.S.

There is no possibility for green card tracking, checking your NVC Case Status, or seeing your I-140 status in person for applications arriving from outside the United States.

By Phone

Applying From Within the U.S.

Call 1-800-375-5283 to track your USCIS application status. You must have your name, birthdate, USCIS Receipt Number, and A-Number (Alien Registration Number) available so that USCIS can promptly locate your green card application.

Applying From Outside the U.S.

The appropriate phone number to call is +1-603-334-0700. The NVC receives a lot of calls. The NVC typically has wait times of more than 30 minutes. Try several methods if you can to check the status of your green card as a result.

How Can I Track the Delivery of my Green Card?

USCIS will offer tracking information once your green card has been issued and is being sent through the mail. Your Travel Document (TD) and Employment Authorization Document (EAD) will also be mailed by them. You might access your USPS Tracking Number if you created a USCIS Case Status Online account. This number can be used to track your green card while it is being mailed. Additionally, you can use the USPS Informed Delivery system to get daily updates on the progress of your green card.