What Does Initial Review Mean?

If you have filed an immigrant petition with the USCIS, you can track the status of your case online. You can use your application receipt number, a 13 character application receipt number, to check the USCIS case status.

Soon after you file your application with the USCIS, your application will be reviewed and the USCIS will accept your petition after making sure that it has been properly filed. USCIS will check whether you have signed your petition and that you have paid the right fee. If you have properly filed your petition, USCIS will assign your petition a receipt number and send you a receipt notice.

If you receive an application receipt notice with a receipt number, it means that the USCIS has accepted your petition. You will not receive a receipt notice if your application has not been filed properly. In this case, you will receive a letter with an explanation of why the USCIS has rejected your petition.

USCIS will complete this step within 2 days. However, it might take around 2 weeks for you to receive the notice from the USCIS by mail. You can contact the USCIS at 1-800-375-5283, if you do not receive a notice within 30 days of mailing your application.

The next step is initial review. USCIS will initiate background checks and will identify the issues the agency must address. If additional information is needed, USCIS will require you to submit additional supporting documents. During this step, USCIS will review your criminal history and review your application for fraud indicators.

If you check the status of your application and if you find that your petition is under initial review, you need to understand that the USCIS is reviewing your petition. It means that the agency is yet to decide on your case. The time the USCIS takes to review your petition will depend on the volume of applications the USCIS has received.

You will be required to appear at an Application Support Center (ASC) for biometrics submission, at this stage. USCIS will send a notice to appear at an ASC around 14 days ahead of your scheduled appointment. You can request the USCIS to reschedule your appointment, if you believe that you may not be able to make it to the ASC on the scheduled date. Initial review will last until the USCIS approves your petition or until you receive a Request for Evidence (RFE).