USCIS Outside Normal Processing Request

“I’ve checked online and I see that the date of my receipt notice, that my case is actually outside of normal processing times. What can I do? Should I make a request? Will it help?”

USCIS has a tool for checking case processing times for various forms at We regularly use this tool in our office for our clients whenever things are outside normal processing.

One person in our Facebook group said, “I have this I-129F petition. It’s pending at the California Service Center. When I check the case processing times, I see that it’s currently taking five and a half to seven and a half months and that they have a receipt date for a case inquiry.” Using this example, we’ll look at how to check case processing times.

If you have a case that was filed before February 13, 2021, you can actually make an inquiry with immigration to ask for an update on your case.

If you have a receipt notice with a date before the receipt date for a case inquiry, you select Inquire about a case outside normal processing time.

You’ll fill out all of the information on the form. You select the form number and the category. The receipt number is a 13-digit code. It starts with three letters and it’s on the top of your I-797, Notice of Action. It’ll say your receipt number and the date filed.

If it happens to have an A-number, put your mailing address. They will mail you their response.

Under the Last Action Taken section, what we say is, “This application for our client was filed on this date. USCIS processing times tool shows that this case is outside of normal processing times. Please advise what is the current status.”

It doesn’t have to be anything too fancy but just enough details that they understand you have a case that is outside of normal processing times and you want to know what’s going on. You can put your email in too so you’ll get a confirmation.

Typically when we send these, immigration will send us a letter in about 30 days. What they’ll say is, “We’re looking at your case.” or “We’re reviewing your case.” It’s a template response but we think that bumping them gets them to pay attention and so we highly recommend using this tool when you’re checking case processing times.