What Is A Form I-797C Notice Of Action?

A Form I-797C is sent by the United States Customs and Immigration Services to inform people in the process of immigrating to the United States of any actions that they may need to take or actions that have been taken. It is a standard boilerplate form that could mean many different things depending on what it says. Some of the common purposes for a Form I-797C include notices of:

  • Receipt
  • Rejection
  • Re-opening
  • Transfer
  • Appointments (for fingerprinting, interviews, etc.)

Form I-797C As Application Acknowledgement

By far the most common use of the Form I-797C is simply to acknowledge that the USCIS has received an application or other necessary immigration form. It should be filed with other immigration documents. The form will also provide helpful information on the next steps you need to take in your process and journey toward citizenship such as other forms to file, appointments you need to make or deadlines to which you need to adhere. This immigration form also serves as a receipt for any filing fees you may have paid the USCIS in case you need to prove payment in the event of an audit.

Form I-797C As Petitioner Notice

If your immigration status has changed or if there were issues you forgot to address, you may receive a Form I-797C in the mail informing you of what you need to do as a result of the issue that arose. You may also receive a Form I-797C if you are vouching for an immigrant as their family or work sponsor and you need to take an action on behalf of the employee or family member immigrating to the United States.

Form I-797C As Rejection Notice

Finally, this form may be used to inform individuals that their application for the next step in the process has been rejected. This rejection may be the result of failure to meet requirements such as having a past criminal record, or it may simply be due to failing to send appropriate documentation or fees for your immigration process. It is not necessarily a final notice, but it is definitely cause for concern.

Even if it is a rejection notice, the I-797C will likely provide a phone number or other contact information to contest the ruling or provide the necessary payment or documents. It is recommended that you find a lawyer or legal professional to help you if this is the case.

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