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Foreign nationals that file an application for an immigration benefit often have questions about the processing of their case.  Important issues include the length of processing time, whether additional documents are needed, and when and where an interview will be scheduled.  Having complete and current information is critical to the foreign national and his or her ability to make good personal and financial decisions that will affect the entire family.   Today's blog post will summarize some of the useful tools for determining the case status and processing of immigration applications.

Case Status Online

Once the petition or application has been filed, United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will issue a receipt notice.  The receipt notice is mailed to the applicant's address listed on the application.  The receipt notice is a critical document, because it contains a receipt number that is used to monitor the status of the case.   Once the receipt notice is received, the applicant can visit the USCIS website at, click on the "Check Your Case Status" button and input the receipt number to find out the most recent developments.  

Case Processing Time

Often, applicants become frustrated with the length of time a case is in process.  Often, this frustration stems from a misunderstanding of the legal limitations on processing time.  For example, in certain types of family-based and employment-based immigrant visa petitions, there is a cap on the number of available visas each year.  Therefore, an intending immigrant must wait until a visa becomes available in his/her particular category before being eligible for the case to be completed.  Once a visa is available, the case processing time can be estimated by visiting the USCIS website at and clicking on the "USCIS Processing Time Information" button.  To access the information relevant to your case, you must know which form is being processed and which office is processing it.  The estimated times are fairly accurate.

Info Pass Appointment

If the estimated processing time has passed and you have not received communication from USCIS about a request for evidence or an interview date, another tool that can be used is an InfoPass appointment.  To schedule an InfoPass appointment, visit and click on "Make an Appointment".  This system for appointment scheduling is very user-friendly and allows USCIS to evenly space the appointments, which allows for minimal waiting time at the USCIS office.  It is critical to bring the InfoPass appointment notice, the receipt notice, photo identification and all other documents that are relevant to the inquiry.  The immigration officer will be able to review your case and provide helpful information.

Attorney Assistance

If an attorney has prepared and filed the application, the attorney's office can also provide valuable updates regarding the status of the case and the expected timing for processing a case.  The attorney's knowledge of your particular situation and access to your file materials can provide valuable help specific to your circumstances.

Being properly informed about the status of a pending case ensures that a foreign national can properly plan and accomplish the needed immigration benefit without undue stress and delay.  Christiansen Law Firm assists individuals with the immigration process from beginning to end so that the burdens and stress of the unknown are reduced.  The attorneys of Christiansen Law Firm will review all aspects of your case and ensure that your case is processed without unecessary delay or problems.  For additional information about how Christiansen Law Firm can assist with your immigration matter, please contact the attorneys of Christiansen Law Firm in Houston or San Antonio.


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(Principal Office)
810 S. Highway 6
Suite 210
Houston, Texas 77079
Phone: 281-579-2800
Fax: 281-579-2801
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84 NE Loop 410
Suite 130
San Antonio, Texas 78216
Phone: 210-829-0101
Fax: 210-829-8010
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