Visiting USA

USCIS Status – Everything You Need to Know


(Last Updated On: December 27, 2018)

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS is a constituent of the Department of Homeland Security of the US that looks into lawful immigration of individuals to America. Some of the services provided by the USCIS include providing citizenship, immigration, adoption, civic integration, humanitarian programs, genealogy and managing opportunities for people to work in the US. You can check for other details on the USCIS website.

USCIS Case Processing

There are thousands of cases filed with the USCIS and the processing time of your application may depend on the type of petition. The processing of your USCIS case will be done in seven stages

  1. Acceptance of application
  2. Initial review
  3. Request for Evidence or RFE
  4. Testing & interview
  5. Decision and post-decision procedure
  6. Document production
  7. Oath Ceremony.

When you file a request for adjustment of status or I-485 with the USCIS, you get a receipt number that can help you track your USCIS status. You can use your receipt number to check if there is any LUD in your status.

What is LUD?

When there is a change in your USCIS status, it is called Last Update or Last Update Date. There are two different types of LUD – Hard LUD and Soft LUD. When an individual submits an application, answers the RFE, and submits the documents requested for the premium processing, the USCIS status changes, explains an article on Immihelp.

Don't forget to get Travel & Medical Insurance

It’s a great idea to get Travel/Medical insurance when traveling to USA. As medical cost (even for the common cold) can run into hundreds of dollars in the US, it is recommended that you get good medical insurance, before your trip. Good thing is that if you buy it online before your trip, it may be cheaper. Compare & find a good plan here.

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The USCIS will send you a receipt, approval notice, RFE, notice stating denial of application or other documents. Sometimes, your status might change without the USCIS sending these documents. In this case, you will get an email regarding the status change. This is generally referred to as a Hard LUD.

On the other hand, there might be some internal processing going on from the time you have submitted the application to the time it gets approved or denied. These may include adding your biometrics, identity check results from the FBI, etc. This is called a Soft LUD. There will be no notification of these changes, since they don’t really affect your USCIS status. You can know about these soft LUDs by keeping track of your account. You can log on to your account on any business day.

How to Check Your USCIS Status

It is extremely important to keep track of your status, since you may be required to submit some documents or evidence. Failing to do so at the right time may lead to delays in the entire process or even rejection of the application. You can easily check your status from your smartphone or by visiting the official USCIS website. You can also call the USCIS on 1-800-375-5283 or create an account with the USCIS for regular updates, says an article on BRIDGE US.

One of the simplest and most efficient ways of checking your status is to visit the official USCIS website, clicking on the USCIS Check Status option and entering your 13-character receipt number.

The USCIS website also provides a virtual assistant called Emma. Emma can help you with your queries and guide you through the website.

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Having lived in 3+ countries, worked for companies small and big in USA, Middle East & India, I have a lot of stories to share about international travel, immigration and living as an NRI in the US. Add me on WhatsApp if you have any queries (+001-408-489-4785)