To the USCIS when a petition or application is submitted petitioner or applicant receives a receipt. This receipt notice what USCIS send is also called Form I-797. Approval notice will be sent by USCIS after successful processing of the application or petition like Form N 400.
Approval Notice Versions
For approval of adjustment of status applications and immigrant visas Form I-797 is used. For extension of stay and changes of non-immigrant status when applicant is in US Form I-797A is issued with a I-94 card. When applicant is outside US and wants a non-immigrant visa Form I-797B is issued along with a notification card. For non-approval actions like requests for more information, to communicate receipt of payments, transfer of files, fingerprint biometric, rejection or filing receipts, re-open cases, interview and re-scheduled appointments etc Form I-797C is used. Along benefit cards I-797D is issued. To request evidence I-797E, Notice of Action is issued. To allow applicants to travel overseas I-797F, Transportation Letter is issued.
Information on Form I-797
Applicant’s personal information, beneficiary’s details, Application or petition name, receipt number with which you can check the status, receipt date, priority date which tells waiting list queue status, notice date, notice type, class or the category you belong to and validity of your application or petition. Hence in case of Form I-797C you won’t find receipt number.
The priority date is decided depending on the category you come under and also home country. When the current date is same as the priority date it denotes the immediate availability of visa. Your legal period of stay in the US can be got from the approval notice form.
The USCIS center address information will be on the notice. So once the notice is received in case of any discrepancies you should inform them immediately. This approval notice has to be kept safely since you may have to have it handy during visa stamping and interview processes. Duplicate copies of the approval notice can be obtained if USCIS fail to send one or if they send one with errors.
Form I-797C information
Following are details of Form I-797C, Notice of Action since April 12, 2012
- on plain bond paper it will be printed
- “THIS NOTICE DOES NOT GRANT ANY IMMIGRATION STATUS OR BENEFIT.” as a header stating will be included.
USCIS printed Form I-797Cs with a DHS seal and on more expensive bond paper prior to April 12, 2012. For cost savings to the government it was determined that these notices could be printed on plain bond paper. Form I-797Cs now contains the disability accommodation information on the reverse side to reduce paper use in addition, after April 12, 2012.
Any specific immigration benefits Form I-797C grants?
As collateral evidence for awarding a benefit USCIS recognizes and they administer that some state, local, public, or private benefit granting agencies may accept Form I-797C. USCIS has not determined whether that applicant is eligible for an immigration benefit and according to USCIS that Form I-797C is only a receipt proving an applicant has submitted a benefit request to those agencies.