Once your forms are submitted to USCIS, then comes the waiting game. Clients get anxious and very excited to know that their case has been received and to know that it is processing. They also want to know how long before it will be decided and approved.
There are a number of ways to find out. Note that technology and webpages change quickly, so this information is only current as of 12-2017.
First, after you submit your case, you will receive a receipt notice from USCIS. On that receipt notice it will contain a case number. The first three letters of that case number determine where the case will be processed.
1.) Case Status Online
The Case Status Online function of the USCIS official website allows you to type in that receipt number and find otu the current case status. It is sometimes pretty vague information, but it is better to have something than nothing. It is the easiest and best place to start. Here is the link: Case Status Online
2.) Case Processing Times
If you have a particular form filed such as an N-400 or an I-130 or an I-485, you may want to know when to expect an interview, or when the case will be decided. You can access the USCIS case processing times page here.
Then you need to look at your receipt notice, locate the receipt number, and look at the first three letters.
That will tell you where the case should be processed. Note that sometimes the case is transferred to another processing center, but you should be notified if that happens.
Use the drop down menus to locate the correct form and the field office for your case.
You will then see this load on your screen. It shows you the estimated time range for the specific form you selected.
Note that in this example, the processing time is listed for the form I-485. The forms will vary. Most of the time you will find your form and processing time listed.
These are two ways to find the status of your case. Of course, one can always call the USCIS number at (800) 375-5283. Hold times may vary and first level operators can often do nothing more than check what you can check online yourself. Sometimes a higher level supervisor can be reached (or will call you back) and then you can actually find out more detail on your case.
Additionally you can schedule an infopass appointment and go to your local USCIS office.