What Does the USCIS Case Status “Case Was Received” Mean for My DACA Application?

In a Nutshell

When you see the case status “Case Was Received” from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), it means USCIS is acknowledging that it received your immigration application packet. This is just the start of USCIS processing your application. It hasn’t yet reviewed your application materials or determined your eligibility. Once you see this status, you’ll want to keep an eye on future status changes and respond to anything that requires your attention, such as a request for evidence. This article explains the “Case Received” USCIS status and what to do when your application is in this status.

Written by Amy Lane Carst
Written December 14, 2022

My USCIS Case Status Says “Case Was Received.” What Does That Mean for My DACA Application?

When you submit an application for DACA status to USCIS, the agency will confirm receipt of your application by mailing you Form I-797C, Notice of Action. In most cases, you will receive this form within two to three weeks of your application submission. This notice contains the receipt number which you will need to check status updates throughout the process. It’s important to keep this notice!

If you have a USCIS account online, you’ll likely see your status updated to “Case Was Received” before you get USCIS’s official notice in the mail.

Neither the online case status of “Case Was Received” nor the physical receipt of Form I-797C means that USCIS has granted you DACA status. They are merely updates to inform you that USCIS has received your application. You may receive a slightly different case status, such as “Case Was Received at My Local Office,” which has the same meaning as “Case Was Received.” 

Does “Case Received” Mean the Same Thing As “Case Approved”?

While it’s good news to see a “Case Received” status update, it does not mean the same thing as “Case Approved.” Many applicants confuse these two statuses.

Having your case received marks the beginning of your immigration application process with USCIS. For DACA renewals, this process often takes several months. When you get to “Case Approved, you are nearing the end of the journey. Approval status is what applicants are waiting for! We track and publish current USCIS DACA processing times as well as the latest DACA news, which can help you understand when there may be delays and why. 

What Should I Do if My USCIS Case Status Says “Case Was Received”?

Once you see that your case was received, you have to play the waiting game. That being said, you can take certain steps to reduce wasted time and ensure that any requests are handled quickly and accurately. 

When you receive your Form I-797C, Notice of Action by mail, take a photo with a camera or your cell phone and put it in a safe place. This form contains your receipt number, which you can use to track subsequent status updates online. Regularly checking your status allows you to immediately respond to requests for additional information. 

Processing times depend largely on the application type, as well as the current state of immigration processing based on relevant court decisions and federal funding. This is particularly true of DACA applications. To find out how long DACA applications are currently taking, check out our current DACA processing times page or the USCIS processing times page.

If you’ve recently applied for a DACA renewal and your case falls outside normal processing times, you can contact USCIS to get answers.

Where in the DACA Application Process Will I See the “Case Was Received” Status?

Most applicants will see that USCIS received their case within 2–3 weeks. Although USCIS claims this status should appear within only 10 days, delays are common. 

It’s also worth noting that “Case Was Received” may not be the only “Received” status you encounter during this process. If you get a Request for Evidence (RFE) from USCIS and respond to that request, you may see “Request for Evidence Was Received” at some point in the process.

Beyond that, you may get other receipt statuses related to additional requests for documents and correspondence. Some examples are “Correspondence Was Received and USCIS Is Reviewing it” and “Document and Letter Received” 

How Can I Track USCIS Case Status Changes?

When you see the “Case Was Received” update, this is just the start of a long process during which you will likely see many status updates. Tracking case status changes is important because at least some of these status updates will require you to take action and meet strict deadlines.

For example, if USCIS issues an RFE, you will have a limited amount of time to respond with the requested information. The sooner you respond to that request, the sooner your DACA application may be processed. In most cases, online status updates are accompanied by mailed notices from USCIS, but the online status updates are nearly always available before the notice arrives in your mailbox. 

To check your case status on USCIS.gov, go to your online account and enter your receipt number.