Monday, June 7, 2010

What is Form I-797?

When a petition or application is submitted to USCIS, the applicant or petitioner will receive a Receipt notice. On receipt of the petition or application USCIS will send this receipt notice to the applicant. The receipt notice is also called as Form I-797. After the application is processed successfully, USCIS will send an approval notice on Form I-797. Be notified that Form I-797 is not a visa and cannot be used in place of a visa. It states that action is taken on your application and this will be mentioned in the form.

The use of the USCIS Approval Notice has been revised. It has four versions as follows:
Form I-797, used only for the approval of immigrant visa petitions and adjustment of status applications.
• Form I-797A, with a tear-off I-94 card used when the applicant is inside the United States, for extension of stay and changes of non-immigrant status.
• Form I-797B, with a tear-off consular notification card used when the applicant is outside the United States or will use the approval to obtain a non-immigrant visa.
• Form I-797C, used for non-approvable actions such a filing receipts, requests for more information and denial.

The USCIS Approval Notice is a receipt that USCIS has received your application and contains information about the following:
• The applicant's (Petitioner) personal information.
• The Beneficiary's information (if any).
• Name of the petition.
• Receipt Number, using this number you can check the status of your application.
• Receipt Date, the date your application was received by USCIS.
• Priority Date, is your place in the waiting list queue. This date depends on the preference category you come under and the country of birth. If your priority date is the current date, it means that a visa is immediately available.
• Notice Date.
• Type of notice, whether it is USCIS Approval or receipt.
• Class, what category you belong.
• Validity of your petition. This states how long your petition is valid. The consular authorities have the right to extend your validity period.

The USCIS Approval Notice on Form I-797 has the information about how long you are permitted to have a legal stay in the United States. Please note that this date always matches with the date in the I-94 card. If your application is rejected by USCIS, you will receive Form I-797C, where the receipt number would be blank.

When you receive the USCIS Approval Notice, carefully go through the form. If you find any errors in it, you should immediately inform the centre from where you have received the USCIS Approval Notice. You can find the address of the centre in Form I-797. Keep the USCIS Approval Notice safely, as you have to include it along with the supporting documents, when you submit certain visa petitions. Moreover the USCIS Approval Notice should be taken to the embassy when called for the interview and for visa stamping process.

If the applicant does not receive the USCIS Approval Notice on Form I-797, a duplicate copy will be issued without fee. Similarly when there are errors in the USCIS Approval Notice, corrected Form I-797 will be issued without fee.


  1. Before 90 days of your second wedding anniversary both the U.S. Citizen and spouse will have to file joint application form I-751 to remove conditions. This is due to the fact when you received your green card it was issued as “conditional”. After the I-751 application process is complete and approved, the conditions will be removed and the foreign national spouse will become a permanent resident without conditions.

  2. USCIS Form I-130 Instructions say: "Both you and your conditional resident spouse are required to file Form I-751, ..., during the 90-day period immediately before the second anniversary of the DATE YOUR ALIEN SPOUSE WAS GRANTED CONDITIONAL PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS."

  3. I am looking a form I797 that my sister in law filed for my wife years ago. She was not my wife then, but what are they(we) waiting on. Here is some information on the form. Receipt Date: aug 15, 2001, priority date: April 30, 2001, notice date: Sept 1, 2009, Notice type: Approval Notice.... So what is the next step? Do we have to do anything else or just wait? Thanks

  4. Hi Steve, you may visit the to check the status of your/sister-in-law application.

  5. Some people will want to seek professional help as soon as they see the mountain of forms, checklist and supporting documents needed. The forms used for adjustment of status based on marriage can also be used for other adjustment applications, hence the confusion and the likelihood to make mistakes. Any mistake in the form can return the case back to you, resulting in delays and even denials.

  6. Get your Adjustment Of Status. Automated Visa Preparation System without the high legal fees. Approved by Immigration Lawyers.This will allow you to start the process of obtaining their Green Card.

  7. There is a risk that USCIS (US immigration) for adjustment of status will believe you obtained your visitor visa under false pretenses if you immediately get married. During your application process USCIS may claim that you obtained the visa through fraud (pretending to be “only” a tourist), which can prevent you from getting a green card if you want one later.

  8. I am on H4,I filed for an extension and some how my I-797 approval notice got misplaced . Tto apply for a duplicate notice I-824 form says that I need to pay a fee of $405 but I see your site says that no fee is required if I am filing for a duplicate notice. Pls advice me asap.

  9. So what happen when a person is marry then he leave and she every year sign and send I-797 with a Marriage license to Immigration so she can work and get food stamps and he is not living with them for years

  10. six of us was petitioned by our employer for H1-B and we got the approval notice I-797A but i noticed that on my I-797A USCIS approval notice the "class is 1b1" instead of H1-B unlike the 2 others got H1-B. is anyone here can explain what is 1b1? im not chilean/singaporean citizen because H1B1 is for singaporean or chillean citizen. thank you

  11. I file an immigration petition for my monther and I received Form I-797C, Notice of Action today, the form showing my Alien Number instead of Citizen Certificate Number, Is that cerrect? I already naturalized to become US citizen when I file I-130, and I mailed a copy of my Citizen Certificate go with I-130 too. Do they made a mistake or the way supposed to be? Is this will delay my case? Is anyone can explain what is this A Number for? Thanks.


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