What Does the USCIS Case Status “Case Was Received” Mean for My VAWA 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 February 2, 2023

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

If your case status indicates “Case Was Received,” this means that USCIS is confirming it received your initial application. However, this does not mean the same thing as your application being approved. The following section will explain in greater detail the difference between “Case Received” and “Case Approved.” You may also see similarly worded statuses, such as “Case Was Received at My Local Office.” 

You will see this status on your online USCIS account. However, USCIS will also mail you an official notice called Form I-797C. This notice is called a receipt notice. This notice is important because it has a 13-digit receipt number, which you will later use to check for subsequent status updates. 

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

No, “Case Received” does not mean the same thing as “Case Approved.” This can be confusing because these statuses sound similar, but they mean different things. “Case Received” indicates the beginning of your application process. USCIS has just received your initial application. 

“Case Approved” is a status you may see toward the end of your application process after a lengthy wait. At this point, it indicates good news for your application, as USCIS has decided you are eligible for VAWA status. However, it is not necessarily the last step in your process, as you may want to also apply for a green card. 

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

If your case status says “Case Received,” you do not have to take further steps at this time. Instead, you should continue to wait and check for further updates. However, make sure to preserve your receipt notice, as it contains your crucial receipt number. You should store the notice in a safe place and take a photo of it for your records. You will later use this receipt number to continue checking for further updates by entering it into USCIS’ tracker

Processing times for VAWA applications can be long. The time will depend on many factors, including the number of staff at USCIS service centers and certain court decisions. You can check the processing times for your VAWA application on USCIS’ page. If your application has exceeded the typical processing times, which currently is 32 months, you can then consider contacting USCIS or reaching out to an immigration attorney. 

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

You should see the status “Case Was Received” after sending in your initial application, Form I-360, to USCIS. USCIS states that you will receive your notice within 10 days after accepting your application. However, due to delays, it can actually take two to three weeks to receive your notice and receipt number

Later in the VAWA application process, you may also see other “received” statuses. For example, you may receive a request for evidence where USCIS needs further documentation of the abuse you faced from a U.S. citizen or green card holder. Once you submit further evidence to the agency, you may see “Response to USCIS’ Request for Evidence Was Received.” 

Or, if you sent other correspondence or cover letters to USCIS, you may see “Correspondence Was Received and USCIS Is Reviewing It.” If you send a letter requesting USCIS to expedite your case or review it sooner, you may also see “Expedite Request Received.”

How Can I Track USCIS Case Status Changes?

It is crucial to stay on top of any case status changes. These will indicate if USCIS needs you to take action or any next steps during your VAWA application process. Usually, in addition to these changes in status, USCIS will also mail you a notice with more details. Because these notices by mail contain important information, it’s crucial to keep USCIS updated on your current address. If you move, you need to notify USCIS about your change of address.

You can check your case status online through USCIS’s online tracker. Simply enter the 13-digit receipt number you received in your original notice of receipt. USCIS will then reveal your current case status.