What Does the USCIS Case Status “Case Was Received” Mean for My Form I-129F 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 Jonathan Petts
Written December 22, 2022

My USCIS Case Status Says “Case Was Received.” What Does That Mean for My Form I-129F Application?

Your USCIS case status will say “Case Was Received” once USCIS receives your Form I-129F: Petition for Alien Fiancé. However, this does not mean that USCIS approved your application. “Case Was Received” is just USCIS acknowledging it got your application. You may also see similar or related statuses like “Case Was Received at My Local Office.” This means the same thing.

You will see this status on your USCIS account online. However, USCIS will also mail you Form I-797C, a receipt notice that will again confirm they have your application. This notice is important because it will contain a receipt number unique to your case. In the future, you can use this number to check if your case has progressed.

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

No, “Case Was Received” does not mean the same thing as “Case Was Approved.” These case statuses may sound similar, but they mean very different things. 

“Case Was Received” is the first status you will receive in the entire process of USCIS handling your application. This status means that USCIS just received your case and will then begin to process your application. This is the beginning of a potentially long process

“Case Was Approved” means that USCIS reviewed and decided on your Form I-129F application. You will see this at the very end of your Form I-129F application process, and this indicates you will successfully receive a fiancé visa! However, USCIS may provide additional instructions you have to follow to get your visa.

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

Once your USCIS case status says “Case Was Received,” you will have to wait for USCIS to process your application. However, be sure to save your official receipt notice (Form I-797C), which you were sent by mail. It contains your receipt number, which you can enter in USCIS’s online case status tracker to check if the agency has advanced your case. You should also take a photo of this notice to have a digital record, just in case you misplace the physical paper.  

You may have to wait a long time for USCIS to process your application. Unfortunately, it depends on how busy USCIS is and other factors, such as employee layoffs at USCIS field offices or federal funding issues. You can check the processing time for fiancé visas by selecting your form type and field office on USCIS’ online processing time checker

If you have not received any case status updates after the estimated processing time for Form I-129F, you could consider contacting USCIS to ask for more information.

Where in the Form I-129F Application Process Will I See the “Case Was Received” Status?

After you mail in your initial application to USCIS, you should receive the case status “Case Was Received.” USCIS usually indicates receipt of applications within ten days of receiving them. However, there are often delays, so it may take two to three weeks for your status to change. 

As your case progresses, you may see other “received” case statuses when relevant. If USCIS sends you a request for evidence (RFE), they need additional documentation to prove your case. Once you submit it and they receive it, then you may see the case status “Response to USCIS’ Request for Evidence Was Received.” 

Another example of a “received” case status is “Correspondence Was Received, and USCIS Is Reviewing It” if you sent the agency any kind of correspondence. If you sent a cover letter for your fiancé visa application, you would likely see “Document and Letter Received.” Or, if you sent a request to expedite your case, you may see “Expedite Request Received.”

How Can I Track USCIS Case Status Changes?

You want to be aware of your case status changes to stay updated on its progress and take action if necessary. “Case Was Received” indicates the beginning of its processing by USCIS. You will likely continue to see many different case statuses, including ones that may require you to do something. For example, you may receive an RFE from USCIS and will have to submit more documents by a certain deadline. Usually, in addition to the online status changes, USCIS will mail you a notice with more information. 

You can check your case status by entering your unique case number from your receipt notice into USCIS’s online tracker