Below are some of the immigration-related tools we use daily to help our clients. Like all tools, use them wisely. If in doubt, you can always schedule a consultation to discuss your case with us.

USCIS and Visa Forms

The Visa Bulletin

The current visa bulletin is provided courtesy of the U.S. Department of State. The visa bulletin shows visa availability in the different preference categories or waiting lists. Anyone who has a pending family or employment-based visa petition should know how to read and use it. Lastly, please confirm your preference category with an experienced immigration lawyer. Your preference category can automatically change due to marriage, divorce, age, or a change in the petitioner’s immigration status.

National Visa Center AskNVC Inquiry Tool

Do you need to update your address with the NVC? Do you have any questions about your immigrant visa case that’s pending at the NVC? Since at least 2019, the NVC has been transitioning away from snail mail and their phone-based live customer service system (603-334-0700) to the AskNVC web-based public inquiry system. You should use this tool for most, if not all, questions you may have about your immigrant visa. Note that since 2020, NVC stopped taking any inquiries through regular (or snail) mail.

USCIS Case Status Online

If you have your receipt notice you may check the status of any pending application directly at the USCIS Case Status Online page. For confidentiality reasons, you won’t find the status of any VAWA or U Visa-related applications on the online system. Your receipt notice contains the form type, your receipt number, and the USCIS office handling your case.

USCIS Civil Surgeon Locator

Certain immigration benefits–adjustment of status being the most common–require you to submit a physical exam conducted by a specially authorized doctor. These doctors are called “Civil Surgeons”. They’re located in every major city and they’ll ensure your physical exam is properly conducted and recorded. You can use the USCIS Find a Doctor Locator tool to locate your nearest Civil Surgeon.

USCIS Case Processing Times

Do you think that USCIS is taking too long to process your case? Before panicking, please check USCIS’ Check Case Processing Times tool to find out how long it’s taking USCIS to adjudicate your type of case. In addition to the form type, you’ll also need to know which USCIS office is processing your case. You’ll find that information in your receipt notice.

In the receipt notice below, (1) is your case type, (2) is your receipt number, (3) is the USCIS office where the case is pending, and (4) is the alien registration number, if one has already been assigned.

Immigration Court Information System

Call (800) 898-7180 to obtain information about an immigration court case. This is an automated system and after you provide the alien registration number, you’ll have access to case status information, such as the date of the next hearing, the judge’s decision, and case appeal information.


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