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The “Secret Language” contained in your Receipt Number

What do those letters and numbers mean in your receipt number?  Let’s use the following example:  WAC-15-123-12345.

The first three letters (WAC) reference which USCIS Service Center was initially assigned to process your petition.  I say “initially assigned” because sometimes, due to processing backlogs, etc., USCIS can “transfer” your case to a different location.  If this happens, the Receipt Number will not change.  The first three letters represent the following Service Centers:

  • Vermont Service Center                 EAC, VSC
  • California Service Center               WAC, CSC
  • Nebraska Service Center               LIN, NSC
  • Texas Service Center                     SRC, TSC
  • National Benefits Center                MSC, NBC
  • ELIS (Efiling)                                  IOE
  • Potomac Service Center                YSC

The next two digits (two numbers) represent the fiscal year in which the USCIS application was filed.  In our example above,  “15” means that it is received by USCIS in the 2015 fiscal year.  USCIS’ fiscal year starts in October of the previous year.  In other words, the above application was filed sometime between October 2014 and October 2015.

The three digits represent the business workday that the application was actually logged into the system.  In other words, the 123rd business workday.  The last five digits simply serve to make the application number unique and do not serve any other function.

See our upcoming article about understanding the function and importance of Priority Dates.

We hope you have found this helpful!