How Long Does it Take to Receive My Receipt Notice During COVID-19? (Updated Nov 2021)

If you are still waiting for your receipt number, you are not alone! During the pandemic, everything at USCIS is slow. So how long should you expect to receive your receipt notice during COVID-19 exactly? Don't panic, let me give you more information here.

How Long Does it Take to Receive My Receipt Notice During COVID-19?

How Long Does it Take to Receive My Receipt Notice During COVID-19?

What's taking so long?

Normally, in pre-COVID time, it takes around 2 to 3 weeks after you mail your package to receive your I-797 receipt notice in the mail. This will ensure you that USCIS has received your case and it has been moved along in the process. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other short-staff factors, USCIS is experiencing delays in issuing receipt notices for many applications filed at a USCIS lockbox. Here are a few reasons:
  • More people are filing through mailing because of COVID-19 restrictions
  • Across all USCIS  offices including lockbox facilities, the agency is taking measures to increase social distancing and frequent cleaning to mitigate the spread of COVI-19
  • Stricter local guidelines in locations that have been severely impacted by COVID-19

How long will it take to receive my I-797 notice during COVID-19?

You may experience a delay of four to six weeks in receiving your receipt notice after properly filing your application with a USCIS lockbox. Some non-family based Form I-485 or Form I-765 based on F-1 student visas can experience significant delays. 

Not to mention that if you didn't file it correctly such as using the wrong address, including the wrong fees, etc., your application can be delayed even longer than that. 

Does it affect my receipt date? 

No, it will not affect the receipt date. USCIS still follows 8 C.F.R.103.2(a)(7) rule to determine the receipt date. 

Remember, when you file your petition, you can always attach a Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance, which will give you text alert and/or email notice when USCIS accept your forms! 

Read about my experience or download my ebook to get more filing tips and tricks! 

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